If you’re a cat owner, there may be occasions when you want to take a break, but need to take your car along for the ride.
Whether you cannot find a cat sitter, or cannot be away from your little one for too long, you may need to prepare yourself for sharing your hotel room with your cat.
If you haven’t stayed in a hotel with your cat before, it’s important to be well prepared for the occasion, as hotel stays with your pet can get stressful.
Additionally, it can be hard to find hotels that are cat friendly, especially if you don’t travel that often.
If any of the above points sound familiar, don’t worry. We’ve listed the best tips on sharing a hotel with your cat below.
This post will cover all you need to know about the process, keeping your cat safe, and ensuring that you and your pet have a great time away.
We’ve also listed some examples of cat-friendly hotels below, making it a lot easier for you to plan your journey.
Keep reading to find out more about sharing in a hotel with a cat!
Table of Contents:
Tips On Sharing A Hotel With Your Cat
1. Planning Your Route And Cat-Friendly Room
If you are taking a trip with your pet, the process of planning your trip is more important compared to when you’re traveling without your cat.
This involves finding a cat-friendly hotel, which can be difficult to find, depending on your location.
Always do a lot of research before you set off, and note down the names of a few pet-friendly hotels in case you have to change hotels.
A good idea is to chart out your planned route, then locate hotels that are 90 minutes or less away from each other. This will ensure that you don’t have to travel too far in case of any unexpected circumstances.
2. Double Check Your Hotel’s Policies
You may find hotels that claim that they are pet friendly, but this doesn’t always mean that they welcome cats!
In most cases, the term ‘pet friendly’ usually means ‘dog friendly’. It’s always best to call and check with your hotel to check if they specifically permit cats.
You want to avoid traveling a long way to your hotel, just to be turned away at the door if they don’t allow cats.
Take this time to ask the hotel about their pet charges. A lot of hotels and lodging companies charge extra costs for pet residents.
Some may not charge any fees, but others are a lot more expensive compared to others in the location.
Always double-check before booking, to avoid any unwelcome surprises later on.
3. Adapt Your Pet To Various Locations
It’s important to make sure your cat can handle staying in new locations away from home for long periods.
You don’t need to stay with your cat in a hotel before your holiday, but try exposing them to new areas outside of your house before the trip.
For instance, have your cat stay at a friend’s house for the afternoon. Once the cat is used to this, you can try leaving them at the same place for a night.
This is also a good idea for those that plan on using pet kennels while they are away.
4. Arrive At Your Hotel Earlier Instead Of Later
If possible, aim to arrive at your hotel earlier instead of later in the evening. Your cat will be more likely to be comfortable with driving during daylight instead of in darkness.
Additionally, arriving earlier means that your cat can adapt to their new environment before settling down for bed.
This means that you’ll have a bit of time to play with them, allowing them to use up any excess energy and increasing your chances of getting a good night’s rest.
5. Check Your Room!
Make sure you check your hotel room before letting your cat out of its carrier. Go over the room to make sure it’s free from any potential hazards.
Examples include cords or wires, plants, loose curtain threads, spilled medication from previous lodgers, mouse traps, or insect poison.
Always look under the bed, even if there appears to be limited space, as well as behind furniture and the headboard.
It’s also a good idea to become familiar with any possible hiding areas. Cats are astute and can easily find well-hidden spots.
Find any of these areas and block them off, as this will prevent your cat from getting lost or stuck in the room.
Some common hiding areas that aren’t easily noticed are found beneath the beds. Hotel beds are usually settled on solid block frames.
These appear as though you cannot get underneath them, but there are often spaces between the box spring and bed frame, which a cat can sneak through.
If a cat does find these spaces, it may slide through them, though you may not be able to see where it traveled.
This isn’t just stressful for you, the under-bed area can be full of dirt and dust, which can be disastrous for your pet.
You can use spare hotel pillows to block off these areas, which can stop your cat from traveling through. If you don’t have many pillows, contact the hotel’s front desk to request more.
6. Cat Proof Your Room!
Following on from the above, once you’ve removed any potential hazards, cat-proof any areas which your pet may damage during the trip.
If your cat is partial to scratching furniture, take some scratch pads that your pet can use. These are easily found online or at larger pet stores, but even pieces of simple corrugated cardboard work well.
Make sure you cut your cat’s nails before leaving, so if they scratch any areas in the hotel room, the damage won’t be excessive.
You can also try using biter sprays to prevent them from chewing up any furniture. These will give an unappealing taste to any areas you spray them on, deterring your cat from biting them.
Some pet owners use couch covers which act as a shield against any potential damage.
Blankets also work well for this purpose, but you may be able to find thicker options online which are specifically designed for this purpose.
7. Prioritize Your Cat’s Comfort
It may be hard for your cat to adapt to new settings and scenarios, like an Airbnb room or a hotel room.
Trying to make the room more homely can help your cat feel more comfortable and less stressed in that environment.
Pack your pet’s favorite blanket or bed, along with a scratcher and a few toys to help them feel at ease. A scratcher will also be useful to prevent them from scratching on the room’s furnishings.
Leave your pet’s carrier in plain view too, as this gives them a safe location to hide if they feel like it.
8. Train Your Cat To Respond To Your Call
If you have the time, try to train your pet to come to you when you call their name. This can be a very useful tip if your cat is prone to finding hiding spaces.
If you don’t know where they are, or cannot reach them if they are hiding under the bed, you can call them and have them come to you!
If your cat isn’t trained like this yet, you may be able to shake a treat bag to persuade them to emerge from its hiding spot.
9. Use The Do Not Disturb Sign
After your pet has become comfortable with the hotel room, always put the Do Not Disturb sign on your doorknob.
You won’t want housekeeping or any other visitors to enter the room if you’re not present. Unknown people can scare your pet and may leave your room door open, so your cat may escape.
Housekeeping may not be able to give you fresh towels or make your bed each day, but your cat’s safety and comfort are more important.
If you need clean towels or more supplies, you can phone the front desk and have them delivered while you’re still in the room.
It’s also a good idea to use another sign which tells hotel staff there is a cat within the room. People can easily skip Do Not Disturb signs, an additional sign is much harder to miss.
A few cat-friendly hotels may have a pet sign available, but if not, you can make one yourself with a pen and paper.
10. Deciding When To Leave Your Cat
Deciding if you should or shouldn’t leave your cat alone in the hotel room depends on your comfort level and circumstances.
If you have a nervous pet, it’s best not to leave them alone until they are at ease. If this isn’t the case, you should be fine, provided that you leave the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door handle.
If you don’t want to leave your cat alone, but cannot take them with you, you can choose to leave them in the bathroom, or keep them in their carrier.
If you want to leave them in the carrier, it’s best to use a bigger carrier so your pet is comfortable. Make sure there is enough room for them to move around, as well as space for a litter box.
If you do leave them in the hotel bathroom, give them their favorite toys, a blanket, and their litter box to prevent them from stressing out.
Always look at the hotel’s rules before leaving them in the room. Some establishments don’t permit pets to be left unattended.
Don’t leave your cat alone if they normally cry or howl when they are stressed or left unattended.
Nobody wants to stay in a hotel with noisy neighbors next door, or loud guests roaming through the halls. Loud pets are just as annoying as inconsiderate humans.
Avoid disturbing any hotel guests and prevent any other visitors from complaining about your cat.
11. Tidy Up After Your Kitty!
Housekeeping may be able to clean your room when you leave, but they aren’t there to clean up your pet’s mess.
Leaving a litter mess and an unclean litter box behind is a definite no-no. Cat-friendly hotels are already in short supply, so we don’t want to make the existing ones change their mind about the rules.
Being considerate and tidy will help hotels become more comfortable with pets, encouraging current establishments to become pet friendly in the process.
Every time you take a trip with your kitty, make sure that you pack the essentials. This includes a travel litter box, a large trash bag, plastic bags, a hand broom, and a litter box scoop.
Make sure that you scoop the litter box contents into a plastic bag, then tie it properly before tossing it in the trash.
Before you check out of the hotel, transfer the litter box into a larger trash bag and toss it in the larger dumpster. Remember to check the bathroom and pick up any leftover litter that you can see.
This process should be common etiquette, but it’s amazing how so many people can forget to carry out these steps.
12. Travel Litter Box Advice
You can purchase smaller litter boxes which are great for occasional breaks with your cat. These boxes can be fastened shut, allowing you to carry them between your car and the hotel room.
It’s best to avoid using the smaller, single-use boxes which are included with pre-packed litter. These brands aren’t usually high quality, so they may be inefficient at absorbing the odors.
Litter can also make a big difference to your cat’s mannerisms. Your pet will have to adapt to a lot of changes on this trip, so don’t make litter one of these.
It’s best to use the same litter brand which you do at home. Your cat will be used to the smells and will know that the litter box is theirs.
Remember to show your pet where the litter box is in the room, as it may take some time before they start to remember where it is.
13. Remember To Tip!
It’s usually customary to tip the hotel’s housekeeping staff, but this is even more important when you’re sharing your room with a pet!
There’s a good chance that your pet will leave some mess behind, even if you follow the steps above to clean up after your cat.
This may be extra cat hair on the floor or some drifting litter in the corner, which the housekeeping staff will have to take care of.
Be a decent hotel guest and give the housekeepers a decent tip.
14. Give Your Cat Enough Attention
Remember to give your cat some attention once you settle into your hotel room. The journey may have been long, which would have left your cat understimulated for a while.
Giving your cat some new toys works well, as they can release any excess energy they have collected during the day.
As mentioned earlier, this will help them settle down so they can get a better night’s sleep.
15. Leave The Blinds Open
If your cat often looks out of the window, leaving the blinds open in your hotel room lets them be amused with the sights outside.
This is also a good idea if you plan on leaving your cat alone. They’ll be able to entertain themselves instead of going haywire in the room.
Leaving the blinds open might not work in some hotel rooms, but if there aren’t any bright lights available, or if you’re waking up early in the morning, this can help keep your cat at peace during the day.
16. Give Them Enough Water
If you have been traveling for a while, your kitty may have not been drinking enough during the journey. If this is the case, you may need to encourage them to drink.
One way of doing this is by switching to wet food, or adding some chicken pieces to a bowl of water.
This ensures that they have met their hydration needs and eaten enough food to keep them nourished throughout the day too.
It can be hard to find hotel rooms that permit cats, so we’ve come up with a list of pet-friendly hotels.
Pet policies can differ between locations, so remember to call ahead first and check that your cat is allowed.
No Fee Cat-Friendly Hotels
Red Roof Inn: Pet-friendly chain which permits cats. No additional fees are charged, though some areas limit how many pets are allowed in a room.
Aloft Hotels: The number of pets permitted in each room differs in each location. Pets are also provided with a bed and bowl.
Motel 6: All spots allow cats and are pet-friendly, though only two pets are permitted per room.
Kimpton Hotels: All spots are pet friendly and do not have a limit on the number of pets. They also provide several facilities for animals, like water bowls, food, and a list of pet-friendly parks and restaurants in the vicinity.
Cat-Friendly Hotels With Extra Fees
Extended Stay America: All spots allow cats, though they have a limit of two pets per room.
They charge a $25 tax each day and a cleaning fee for each pet for the primary six nights. Every day after this has a $10 fee for each pet.
La Quinta Inn: Most spots permit cats and are pet friendly. Pet charges may be required upon check-in, though the price varies with each location. In most cases, this will be $20 each night, the most being $40 per room.
Drury Hotels: Cats are permitted in every location, unless the local state laws dictate otherwise. There is a $40 pet fee per room each day, as well as tax.
Residence Inn by Marriott: Cats are permitted, though the charges and policies will differ with each location.
AC Hotel: All spots permit pets, though the charges range from $25 to $150 depending on the location.
Four Seasons: Every location permits cats and is pet-friendly. The hotel provides additional facilities, like beds, water bowls, and food. The charges and pet policies will depend on the location.
Loews Hotels: All spots permit cats. The hotel provides premium room service menus for dogs and cats, including litter boxes, water bowls, pet placemats, and special bedding.
Delta Hotel: All spots are pet-friendly, though the charges differ depending on the location.
Sheraton Hotels: Most spots permit cats and are pet-friendly. The pet charges differ depending on the location and you will need to sign a waiver beforehand.
Some Hotels May Be Cat Friendly – Extra Fees Charged
Westin: Some locations are pet friendly and allow cats, though not all. Charges differ between locations.
Best Western: A lot of locations approve pets, as well as cats, but approval is needed beforehand. Call ahead to check and be prepared for pet fees of up to $150 each week.
Each guest with a pet also needs to pay a refundable damage deposit of up to $150 for each stay.
Hilton Hotels: Some spots are cat friendly, but not all. The charges and pet policies will differ between locations.
Ritz Carlton: Some areas permit pets, though some only permit dogs, not cats. The fees and policies differ between locations.
Courtyard Marriott: Pet charges and policies differ between locations.
Comfort Inn: Pet charges and policies vary with each location.
These sites do carry pet-friendly rentals, but you will need to find these by using the ‘Pet Friendly’ filter option. Remember to double-check with the host beforehand, as some only permit dogs.
Some places may charge extra pet fees, but not all, so make sure you check this again before you book.
Now you should be more clued up on what to expect when you share a hotel room with your cat! That’s much better than going camping with your cat, right?
Remember to be courteous and clean up after your kitty, as well as leave a decent tip for the housekeeping staff after your stay.
Give your cat some toys and familiar items, like a blanket or cushion, to help them adapt to its new environment.
If you do plan on leaving your cat alone, put the Do Not Disturb sign on the door to prevent anyone from spooking your pet, as well as accidentally letting your cat escape.
Remember to give them enough playtime and keep them well-hydrated during your stay!