Going away on holiday? And dreading the guilt of sending your cat to a cattery? Don’t worry, you are not on your own. Thousands of cat owners face the same dilemma every year. To help, we’ve prepared pros and cons to 3 great alternatives to cat boarding. Choose which solution suits you and Mr Whiskers best.

What is cat boarding?

Cat Boarding facilities or catteries are locations where your cat is temporarily housed until your return. Cats are usually given a small enclosure of their own, where they will be fed and receive the care they need. But as cats are very territorial and most will find the cat boarding environment very stressful. So please do consider this option carefully.


  • Professional pet care
  • Constant supervision


  • Can be expensive for multiple cats
  • Unknown environment for your cat
  • Stressful transport and opening times
  • Your cat needs to be up to date on vaccinations
  • Your cat might have to share a space with other cats
  • The good ones book up quickly
  • There may be no good ones close by

If you don’t like the idea of your kitty being stuck in a small unfamiliar enclosure fulled with strange smells and other cats. We’d suggest looking into these 3 great alternatives to alleviate the stress and possibly returning to find an angry kitty. 

  1. Asking Friends or Neighbours
  2. Employ a Cat Sitter
  3. Employ a House Sitter

1. Asking Friends, Family or Neighbours

Asking a friend, family member or neighbour to pop-in and feed your cat is the most common alternative to cat boarding. Your cat gets to stay in the comforts of his or her own home. And the cat care duties such as feeding, fresh water and litter box clearing will be done.


  • You know the person
  • They live nearby
  • It’s free


  • Asking favours can often be awkward
  • They may not really like cats, and not spend enough time with them
  • Your cat may feel lonely
  • They’re not insured
  • They may not always be available
  • You may not know your neighbours
  • Your friends and family may not live nearby

2. Employing a Cat Sitter for short daily visits

Paying a reliable cat sitter to visit your home once or twice a day is a great way to ensure your fur baby is well cared for. Not only will they mind, feed, cuddle and play with your cat. They will also change the cat litter and send daily photos as part of the service. In general, each visit is at least 30 – 40 minutes. And extra services such as collecting the post and watering the plants can be asked for on request.


  • Individually tailored cat sitting service
  • Your cat stays at home
  • Free meet & greet beforehand
  • Your cat is being cared for by a cat lover
  • Professional and paid for agreement
  • You receive daily updates
  • Your cat sitter is insured
  • You can see the cat sitters reviews and recommendations
  • You’re charged per household, not per cat
  • The local cat sitter lives near you


  • It’s not free. But still cheaper than cat boarding
  • There may be no cat sitters in your area
  • Cat Sitters get fully booked over the holiday periods

3. Employing a House Sitter for over night stays

An over-night-stay cat sitting service is where cat sitters stay at your home. As a result, your kitty gets even more attention than just a daily visit. This is ideal for kittens, old cats or cats that need medication. It’s also a safe way for your home to look ‘lived-in’ while you’re away.


  • The same as above (hiring a cat sitter)
  • Your home looks lived in
  • Your cat won’t feel lonely
  • The cats routine is kept


  • The same as above (hiring a cat sitter)
  • Not everyone likes someone new living in their home

NOTE: You can easily find professional pet minding services online these days. However, they may not always be as passionate, local or bespoke as the cat sitting services offered through Cat in a Flat’s trusted cat sitting community.

Whichever solution you choose, we hope you have a lovely, relaxing time away.

You deserve it!