How to Find Cat-Friendly Accommodation
One of the best things about training your cat to walk on a leash and travel with you is taking them on holidays!
But how do you find where to stay with your cat?
Pet-friendly = cat-friendly?
Wouldn’t it be amazing if all we need to do is to use the pet-friendly category on our online searches?
But pet-friendly accommodation does not always mean cat-friendly. Why? Perhaps, because the notion that cats travel is still new.
It’s up to us catexplorers to show how well cats can travel.
There is this stereotype that cats scratch all the furniture, pull down the blinds – we could go on.
The reality is that this is only done by cats who are bored. Not cats who explore the world with their humans.
But as catexplorers, we need to remember that many people believe these stereotypes and worry about them (even if they are untrue). Owners, managers, hosts of hotels, motels and Air BnBs don’t want their properties destroyed.
It is up to us to put their minds at ease. To show them that this stereotype is not true. To share what gear we bring along to make sure this doesn’t happen. And to share how well our cats are trained.
But first, we need to find cat-friendly accommodation.
Where to find cat-friendly accommodation
There are some great options for cat-friendly accommodation, you just need to know where to look.
How to find pet-friendly accommodation
Most hotel booking sites like Booking.com, Expedia and even Google Maps are great tools to find pet-friendly accommodation. Typically, there is an option to click “pet-friendly” under amenities/facilities/more filters. This option comes up after you have done your initial search for location, dates & number of people.
Another option is to use sites like Air BnB. The pet-friendly option is under the “House Rules” section.
There are also some great dedicated sites to find pet-friendly accommodation like:
Bring Fido – available in multiple countries
Take Your Pet – Australia
That’s all great, but how do I know if they are cat-friendly?
There are a few ways to see if a pet-friendly accommodation is cat-friendly.
Most accommodation websites have the option for reviews. Read the reviews to see if anyone has mentioned staying with their pet, particularly indoors. Some pet-friendly accommodation only allows pets to stay outside, which is not ideal for cats!
Another option is to check the accommodation’s social media posts. Some may post pets in their room. Or check the location tag on Instagram for the hotel/motel. Chances are that other pet owners will have posted a photo of their pet while staying there.
There are some hotel chains that are cat-friendly. In the US, La Quinta, Red Roof Inn, Kimpton Hotels, & Holiday Inn are typically cat-friendly. We recommend calling ahead to make sure that the specific hotel you are visiting is cat-friendly.
Once you suspect that accommodation is cat-friendly, the next step is to call or email or message them on social media to confirm that they are cat-friendly.
Contacting the hotel before booking
While email may be a slower way of communicating with the hotel, it does provide you with a paper trail if you need it. If you are short on time, call the hotel, but make sure you follow up with an email confirming the discussion you had on the phone.
What to include in the email
We need to remember that owners of accommodation may be unaware about how cats can travel and they may believe the negative stereotype of cat wreaking havoc inside. And this is something they wouldn’t want happening on their properties.
It is up to us to put their mind at ease and to show that we and our cats will be responsible.
With this in mind, include these details in your email (or call or message) to the hotel/motel/Air BnB host:
You’ve noticed that their hotel/motel/Air BnB is pet-friendly
You travel with your cat
A line on how often you travel with your cat
That your cat is trained to walk on a harness and leash & clicker trained (if applicable)
That every time you travel and stay overnight, you come equipped with your cat’s gear, like kitty litter, mini scratching post, their blankets & beds and some spare sheets to cover furniture
Include links to social media accounts that show your cat travelling
Then ask if they are cat-friendly
And about any surcharge/fee for bringing pets.
Once you have booked your accommodation
Before heading off on your exciting holiday with your cat, make sure you pack all the essentials.
When you get to your accommodation
Once you have set up your cat’s kitty litter, food & beds look out for any breakables like vases or teapots. Place these in a place that your cat can’t reach, like a cupboard or a drawer. This is to give yourself the peace of mind that they won’t be broken.
Air BnBs might have a knife block out on the kitchen bench. It’s a great idea to place these and other sharp objects in a cupboard too.
If there is any nice furniture, like beautiful couches, it is a great idea to cover these with a sheet too. It just helps ensure that they won’t be damaged.
When it is time to go home
There is a high chance that your cat will be the first cat that has stayed at this hotel or at this Air BnB, so the host/management may use their experience with you to decide whether to allow other cats there.
With this in mind, we recommend trying to make the experience positive for them. If there is a broom or a vacuum, do a quick clean-up of the kitty litter or fur that may have spread.
And all those things you put away for safekeeping? Put them back where you found them.
And lastly, say a huge thank you to the hosts/managers for letting you stay with your cat. These businesses are incredible and we need to keep thanking them, and showing that we are grateful for them.
Please don’t sneak in your cat into non-cat-friendly accommodation
As pet-friendly accommodation may be difficult to find, it can be tempting to smuggle your cat into non-pet-friendly accommodation and keep a low profile. Please do not do this. The next guest may be severely allergic to cats and since your cat has been in the room, it could result in them having a severe allergic reaction with detrimental results.