Summer is the perfect time for a warm weather getaway. If you’re planning to take your cat on the road with you, you’ll probably need overnight accommodations—and finding cat friendly rentals can be tricky. Here are some practical tips to help make your summer travel less stressful for both you and your pet.
Researching Cat Friendly Hotel Options
If you go online, you’ll find a wide array of hotels, motels, and B&Bs advertising that they are pet friendly. To find the best accommodations, it’s helpful to make some inquiries before booking a room. Here are some questions to ask:
- Many hotels that advertise as pet friendly cater mainly to dogs, so it’s wise to call ahead and ask whether they accept cats too.
- Most pet friendly hotels and B&Bs have strict rules regarding pets and overnight stays, so ask about pet rules before you book.
- Traveling with more than one cat? Ask in advance if the accommodations have a pet limit per room.
- Accommodations with pets often involve a pet deposit and extra fees. To avoid a shock at checkout, ask about the hotel’s total costs and deposit return policies before you book.
- Size limits don’t usually apply to cats, but if you’re traveling with a large-breed cat such as a Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat), you may want to notify the hotel or B&B in advance.
- Inquire about cat friendly accommodations—such as a water bowl, pet bed or litter pan
Doing some research now can save you a world of hassles later—and may save you money too!
What makes a hotel cat (pet) friendly?
With millions of Americans traveling with their pets, some hotels, motels, and B&Bs have discovered a profitable market niche offering pet friendly accommodations. While this means that they do allow pets, there are often limits and restrictions.
For example, some motels reserve a row of ground-level accommodations for pet owners, so they can easily walk their animals without having to negotiate stairs or elevators. Some facilities place their pet friendly cabins in more secluded areas to minimize noise. Some pet friendly rentals also offer extras, like treats and toys.
If this is your first time traveling with your cat, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make a list of the essential items your cat will need on the trip—such as food, bowls, a litter pan, and a carrier with a comfortable blanket or towel. Now consider some of the less obvious things your pet may need:
- Bring your pet’s medical information with you in case you’re forced to seek veterinary care while away from home.
- Be sure your pet is outfitted with an identification tag or microchip. If you and your pet become separated, a chip is the easiest way to improve the odds of being reunited with your pet.
- If your pet takes any prescribed medications, be sure to have an ample supply with you, along with your vet’s contact info.
- If your pet is accustomed to moist food, you may want to bring a can opener.
- Some pet owners bring play items, such as cat toys or a scratching post to help their cat feel more at home on the road.
- Consider any items that may be unavailable on the road or at your destination.
- Planning to walk your cat? Be sure you have a harness and leash and that the harness is fitted properly to your pet.
Check for Potential Hazards
When you arrive at your motel, you’ll probably be eager to unpack and relax. But before you release your pet from its carrier, inspect the room for any potential hazards or problems. Things to look for include: loose or unplugged wires or cords, drawstrings or other potential strangulation hazards, rodent traps, rodent poison, or even medications dropped by previous guests.
Also be sure there are no easy escape routes. A skittish cat often will look for a place to hide, so be sure your pet can’t escape the room if it becomes frightened.
Since under the bed is a favorite hiding place, give that area a quick inspection for possible hazards before opening your pet’s carrier.
Once you’ve secured the room, you can release your pet. Be sure your cat always has access to water, food, and clean litter, especially if you plan to be sightseeing during the day.
Editor’s Note: Taking a road trip with your feline companion? Here are tips for reducing stress while traveling with cats in cars.
Hotels Known for Hosting Cats
With so many vacationers traveling with their pets, some hospitality chains have embraced pet friendly policies and openly welcome cats. Here are a few examples to help you find the purr-fect accommodations for you and your pet.
Loews Hotels. Loews offers accommodations in US cities from Chicago to Miami, New Orleans, and Hollywood. The chain even offers scratching posts on request and provides “Pet in Room” signage to alert staff to the presence of a pet.
Best Western. A national hotel chain, Best Western offers affordable cat friendly accommodations at 1600 locations in the US, Canada, and the Caribbean. Popular pet friendly destinations include Best Westerns in San Diego, Orlando, and Charleston.
Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Luxury accommodations for you and your cat can be found at Four Seasons hotels, with welcome amenities including food bowls and an in-room dining menu for your pet. Consistent with the Four Seasons’ luxury brand, pet-sitting is available, so your pet will not be alone while you see the sights.
Comfort Inn & Suites. Comfort Inn offers pet friendly rooms with no added fee for up to two cats. Book online and use the “pet friendly” filter to select among rooms with other amenities (such as pool access, continental breakfast, or free internet).
Motel 6. If you’re traveling on a budget, don’t forget Motel 6. The chain’s 1400+ locations offer pet friendly rooms, with many charging no deposit for one or two cats. Inquire at individual locations for restrictions.
Drury Hotels. Located in 26 states throughout the US, Drury hotels allow pets and have a detailed FAQ page on their site to explain daily charges and rules.
Your pet’s health and comfort come first. We hope these tips help you and your pet have a relaxing hassle-free adventure together. If you have any questions, or if your pet has special health needs, contact your vet in advance. They can advise you on the best ways to keep your cat healthy and safe while traveling. And always check the policies on cats and overnight stays to ensure there are no special restrictions.