Cats and Hotels

You’ve driven several hours and you’ve finally reached your hotel. Time to unpack, let Fluffy stretch her legs while you hit the sack for some shut-eye, right?

Wrong. Traveling precautions don’t end once you reach your hotel. You’ve entered an unknown space and it may contain things that have the potential to harm your cat. Always remember to check out the following items/spaces…..

What you can’t see can harm her
Look under the beds. Remember all the ‘interesting’ things that you’ve found under beds over the years? What if your cat should find them? But more dangerous than articles of clothing and cans are:
*** Rat poison/bug bait – some hotel put traps under the beds to keep the vermin population down. 
*** Pills – potentially poisonous
*** String/pins/plastic wrappers – all have the potential to choke your cat

Don’t be fooled by beds that have a platform, either. Sometimes they are not completely against the wall and if there is a few inches of space, you can be sure that Fluffy will find her way into it. Then there’s the mattress – if there is a hole or tear in the under-mattress material, Fluffy will find her way through it and into the box springs!

Look around the lavatory/bath fixtures for holes. Some hotels are not completely finished around these areas. Should your cat find a hole, he can potentially make his way into it and in behind the dry wall – where you may or may not be able to retrieve him from!

Check for loose tiles on the floor and walls, doors to electrical boxes, heating/air conditioning units – all could contain edges or material that could harm your cat.

Don’t forget to take a good look at the carpets for soil – especially if you’re showing a white or light cat. She may not be so white in the morning!

Make sure that toilets have their lids down so that Fluffy doesn’t take an unintentional bath. Put a small trash can in the seat if it’s a toilet that doesn’t have a lid.

Do inspect your hotel room to make sure that there are not any “extra guests” who might like to come home with you. Fleas have always been an issue in hotel rooms. Placing your cat’s tent on a desk or table can help keep her from unwanted company (fleas can only jump 3′ high), but you’ll still have to make sure that they don’t get in your things. Bedbugs are a more recent nuisance, and can be found in even the nicest hotels. Here is a great article for inspecting for and dealing with bedbugs in hotels.

A Room With Quite a View

Check the windows! Hotel staff have been know to open the windows to air out the room, and if there’s a screen in the window it may have a hole in it!

Once the room has been secured, your job of Chief Security Officer isn’t done. Be careful when you enter or leave a room – especially if it opens directly to the outside. Sometimes cats try to bolt out of a room; other times they may slip unnoticed between your legs. Exhibitors have found other exhibitors’ cats wandering around hallways, and cats have been lost to the outside. If you’re leaving the room, sometimes it’s best to put your cat in a tent or in the bathroom until you return. Another trick is to have a toy with you and throw it across the room when you leave or enter so the cat will run to the toy and not the door.

Feeling a bit nervous about letting Fluffy run around the room now? You should. In fact, probably the best thing to do is to actually place Fluffy in a tent/cage overnight or when you go out to dinner and to supervise her when you are in the room.

More and more clubs are facing difficulties finding hotels that will accept exhibitors with cats for their shows. Often these are hotels that usually do not accept pets, but with whom the club has made special arrangements with just for their show…..only to be told afterward ‘never again.’ Why? Because the actions of a few disrespectful and ill-mannered exhibitors paints all exhibitors with the ‘nasty cat person’ brush and these hotels then refuse to allow all exhibitors to return.

Don’t contribute to this problem and this image. Treat your hotel room better than you would your own room at home.

  • When you leave for the day or at the end of your stay, sweep up all stray litter and cat hair. Bag (and tie closed) all soiled litter and empty food cans. 
  • Do NOT dump soiled litter down the toilet – it will clog it up. 
  • Spritz some air freshener so that the room smells fresh if necessary (especially if you have male cats with you).
  • The bathtub is for bathing – period. Not for litterboxes or any other purpose.
  • Do not let your cat use the wallpaper, draperies, or furniture as a scratching post.
  • Should your cat have an accident, clean it up as best as possible. Many exhibitors carry cleaning solution (Simple Solution for example ) just for this purpose. Do report it to housekeeping so that they can attend to the problem.