Pet Boarding and Daycare Magazine
How to Retain Quality Pet Care Staff
5 Cat Lodging Myths
Cater to your cat guests with catios
A Feline Family Affair
July / August 2023
vol 13 • ed 4

Barkleigh Productions, Inc.


Rebecca Shipman

Art Director

Laura Pennington


Brandi Aurelio


Carlee Kubistek


Luke Dumberth


Todd Shelly


Gwen Shelly


Adam Lohr


James Severs


Karin Grottola


Cassidy Ryman


Evan Gummo

General: (717) 691-3388


(717) 691-3388 (ext. 225)


(717) 691-3388 (ext. 224)
Copyright July 2023. Pet Boarding & Daycare is published bimonthly by Barkleigh Productions, Inc, 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. Postmaster: Send change of address to Pet Boarding & Daycare c/o Barkleigh Productions, Inc., 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. Editorial offices: 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. (717) 691–3388 FAX (717) 691–3381 Email:
How To Retain
Quality Pet Care Staff
by Laura Laaman
Pet care is heavily dependent on quality employees. And just like at a human hotel, one person alone cannot perform all the tasks needed to deliver quality care to numerous guests. In contrast, human hotels don’t deliver food two to three times per day, walk guests to the bathroom three or more times per day, weigh them (thank goodness) or tuck them in at night. And the more you charge, the higher the quality of pet and customer service is required.

Unfortunately, finding and keeping good employees is no easy task in this service industry segment. The hiring world has undergone massive changes during and after the pandemic. Job-seeker priorities have changed and the competition to find quality employees is fiercer than ever. And, not having the right employees can be incredibly costly to your business…

Start Planning Now for the Holiday Boarding Rush typographic title centered around an illustrative artwork frame of many dogs located in the middle
By Dana Kreutzer
Uppercase letter S dropcap in green ummer is a period of three months when pet resorts across America witness a steady stream of reservations as customers set off on extended trips abroad or weekend getaways. Amidst this flurry of activity, taking time away to plan for the forthcoming fall and winter holiday season can seem impossible.

Allow me to share a secret with you: The major players in the pet industry devote significant time and resources to plan for the holiday season, often several months in advance. They establish ambitious financial targets, ready their businesses to handle a surge in customer demand and develop a strategy to maintain their signature five-star customer service.

To achieve success during the holiday season, you must make the time to strategize by following these proven tips…

Cat Bathing Basics
By Lexie Goldsmith
Photos By Lexie Goldsmith
Cats are known as being clean animals. But when they are self-grooming, what are they actually doing? They are using the barbs of their tongue to move around the oils (sebum) in the coat and remove dead skin and coat.

Unfortunately though, the tongue can only do so much, because it cannot remove much coat or comb the coat properly to prevent matting. It also helps move and spread around allergens, such as Fel-D that causes human allergies, and adds salivary crystals and fecal matter into the coat.

Why do we bathe cats?
Bathing and blow-drying helps to remove the dead undercoat (awn hairs), excess oils, dandruff, salivary crystals, fecal matter, allergens and dander. It also helps to prevent matting. Matting is caused by the buildup of the undercoat, oils and dead skin, which is why bathing a cat is so important. Other reasons to bathe cats are to remove odors, external poisons and bad skin.
Illustration of black cat leaping
"A Feline Family Affair:"
"Pricing Services for Multi-Cat Families"
Illustration of orange cat laying down
By Deborah Hansen
Boarding feline family units can be tricky. Some kitties are soulmates, others have a love-hate relationship and then there are those that will quarrel if they are in the same room. When you have a new feline family at your boarding facility, it is difficult to know how they will act during their stay with you. This can make it tricky to book their spaces and give the owner an estimated cost for their cats’ stay.

The first thing to consider when entertaining the idea of boarding a feline family together is the size and setup of your cat enclosures. While many of us dream of having a walk-in room with plenty of levels and hiding places for each feline unit, this is simply not the reality for most of us. If your facility has smaller and more basic enclosures, fewer felines will be able to be boarded in each unit. Taking into account the size and layout of your feline boarding enclosures will be the starting point to establishing how your business handles boarding feline family groups together.

Five Cat Lodging Myths
By Suzanne Locker
What’s so hard about caring for a pet that sleeps most of the day, doesn’t have to be taken outside to potty, requires very little space, doesn’t want to get to know you and doesn’t bark? Cat care is a piece of cake…right?

Although these statements are mostly accurate, in a lodging center, they may not apply. These commonly repeated cat behaviors are frequently the reasons that people choose to have cat lodging in their centers, but are not necessarily always true. So, let’s debunk some myths!

In a cat’s home environment, it may sleep 12-18 hours a day, and stats show that 40% may sleep as long as 20 hours. This is taken in incremental periods during the day; aka, cat naps. However, the busyness of the center may be overly stimulating for some cats—especially first-time guests. Whether it’s barking dogs or rock music, a loud environment can trigger anxiety. Unless the cat lives with dogs or teenagers, these noises can prevent the cat from getting healthy sleep time. If possible, locate the cat area away from dogs, make sure it’s well insulated and have calming music playing. For safety and sound deadening, always keep the door closed.

view from inside a "catio" of a black cat with green eyes crouching
distant view of a catio structure made of colorful fences with an orange cat sitting inside
distant view of a catio structure made of colorful fences with an orange cat sitting inside
By Cynthia Chomos
Photos By Catio Spaces
W ith their natural desire to experience the outdoors where they can express their hunting, stalking and roaming instincts, cats can pose a dilemma for owners who want to keep them safe. One solution that can satisfy both the cat’s yearning for fresh air and stimulation and the owner’s wish to provide their feline friend with a long and happy life is a catio! “Catios,” or cat patios, enable a healthy outdoor lifestyle where cats enjoy fresh air, exercise, bird-watching and sunbathing.

A catio can also be a great addition to a cat boarding facility because they offer a competitive edge and an amenity that promises an enhanced experience for your clients. They are designed to keep cats safe and happy in a stress-free environment, with access to exercise, entertainment and basic needs, which are great selling points for your cat clientele. Cats enjoy the freedom of moving from the cozy familiarity of the indoors to a secure and stimulating outdoor environment.

Profile of Success
The Cat Chalet title; cat sleeping on a chair; inside The Cat Chalet; lady smiling with a black cat on her shoulder
The Cat Chalet title; cat sleeping on a chair
inside The Cat Chalet; lady smiling with a black cat on her shoulder
By Kathy Hosler

Photos by The Cat Chalet Reno

“For many years, I knew that cat boarding was an untapped market,” says Susan Cesarini, owner of The Cat Chalet Reno. “Cats are a very underserved community.”

Susan was a pioneer in the national cat boarding movement, and she owned and operated one of the first cat-exclusive boarding resorts in the nation. In addition to her many years of cat boarding experience, Susan is a Certified Feline Master Groomer (CFMG), and has an extensive background in cat rescue. In 2007, Susan formed the non-profit Feline Rescue of Northern Nevada.

Her expertise is not limited to domestic cats—she likes the “big” cats, too. Susan is an African Lion Researcher and has volunteered her services in Africa. She also does consulting for those interested in opening a cats-only facility.

Recently, Susan opened her new facility, The Cat Chalet Reno, a luxury cats-only resort. However, it’s more than a business to Susan. It was built to fulfill her passion for providing cat owners with a comfortable, enjoyable and safe place to leave their furry family members.

Think Tank
"6 Email Marketing Tips to Boost Your Brand"
By Fernando Camacho
Email marketing is a purrfect way to reach out to your customers and keep them engaged with your brand. Just like a cat on the hunt, email campaigns require careful planning and execution to make sure they catch your audience’s attention and encourage them to take action. But first, you have to make sure you understand the basics of why and how to utilize email marketing campaigns to help you stand out. Here are six tips to get you on your way to building your brand and drawing in a loyal clientele:
1 Be a curious kitten.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but in email marketing, it’s the key to success. Be curious about your audience’s needs and interests, and tailor your emails to address them. Just like a kitten, be playful and experiment with different types of content to see what works best.
Animal Health
Top Medical
For Feline Boarding
orange tabby cat wearing stethoscope with illustrated band aids around
By Kate Boatright, VMD

eline behavior and health are very different from that of dogs. This article outlines six important feline-specific health facts that you should be aware of to maximize the health of the cats in your facility’s care.

1. Vaccinations should be required for boarding cats.
Three vaccinations are available for cats in the United States. The Rabies vaccination and Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP) vaccination are considered essential and should be required for boarding. The third, Feline Leukemia, is a lifestyle vaccination that is not necessary for all cats.

Just like in dogs, Rabies vaccination is required by law for cats in many states. It is a deadly virus that is transmitted through bite wounds of infected animals and can infect humans. There are two different types of feline rabies vaccination, and their duration of protection is either one or three years.

FVRCP protects against three highly contagious feline viruses. Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus cause upper respiratory infections and Panleukopenia is the feline version of parvovirus, which can cause life-threatening gastrointestinal disease and bone marrow suppression. All boarding cats should be up to date on this vaccination, which is usually given every three years, though some one-year vaccines are available.

New Products
puzzler treat dispensing cat toy
Internationally trusted pet food brand Vitakraft® announces the launch of a brand-new Vitakraft Puzzler Treat Dispensing Toy. The wobbling puzzle toy dispenses treats as a reward for the cat’s hard work. With its bowl shape and tilt stopper, the refillable new Puzzler Treat Dispensing Toy stimulates the cat’s natural instincts in a safe and rewarding way, and the promise of a treat keeps the cat entertained for long periods. The bowl is filled with a handful of treats, which the cat forages around for with its paw as the toy wobbles.
cat cave
Karma Cat eco-friendly ombre Caves are a perfect size and shape for cats, and some small dog breeds, to sleep, hide, and play in with the comfort of natural lanolin oil to keep their paws and fur healthy and supple. The caves are handcrafted by women artisans in Nepal, fusing comfort, durability, and design with environmentally sustainable production and socially conscious business practices. The ombre cave is approximately 20” long x 14” wide x 10” high and is roomy for pets up to 12 lbs. and cozy for those up to 16 lbs.
Wisdom and grace verse psalm 34:13
Pet Boarding and Daycare Magazine logo
Thanks for reading our July/August 2023 issue!