Planning a trip with your cat can be a headache. There are so many things you need to consider, including a pet-friendly lodge where you and your furry friend can comfortably spend a few nights.
So, do hotels allow cats? The answer could be either yes or no.
For some reason, not all hotels are cat-friendly, and searching for the right hotel can be overwhelming, especially if you are traveling for the first time with your cat. You now need to consider not only comfort, location, amenities, and cost, but also whether the place allows cats. Thorough research is important if you want to find the perfect hotel for both you and your pet.
Why some hotels do not allow cats
Searching for a hotel that allows cats can be daunting. First, you might find some hotels that are “pet-friendly”, only to find out that they allow dogs, but not cats. Some cat owners might feel discriminated against, but surely there must be a reason these hotels cannot allow our little furballs in?
After a little research, here are some of the common reasons some hotels do not allow cats:
- Cats can scratch or claw hotel furniture and bedding. This behavior should not be a surprise, since cats love to stretch out and sharpen their claws, especially when bored or stressed.
- Loud meowing and yowling from a clingy cat can disturb other guests in the next room. Siamese cats, for example, are naturally louder than other cat breeds.
- Male cats that are not neutered can spray due to their highly territorial instincts. These markings will leave unsavoury odors on the hotel furniture or carpet and can be challenging to remove. This is why some pet-friendly establishments might require a neuter certificate before allowing your pet inside.
- Cat urine smells really bad and can be extremely tough to remove. Many hotels will be worried about the discomfort of other guests in case your cat messes indoors.
- Some people are allergic to cats. Not all hotel guests are cat-lovers and, from a business perspective, accommodating cats would mean compromising the comfort of other guests.
- Some hotels are worried about rabies or flea infestations in their hotel rooms.
- Cats can shed, leaving loose fur on the carpet and furniture.
Hotel chains that allow cats
If you are planning to travel with your fur baby, there are several hotel chains that will happily welcome your four-legged friend. Some will charge a small or not-so-small pet fee, while other pet-friendly hotels allow cats to stay free of charge.
We have listed below some of the popular hotel brands that allow cats. Before booking a room, make sure that you contact management to confirm any changes in their policies.
1. Kimpton Hotels
The Kimpton Hotel is widely known to be one of the most pet-friendly hotels in the USA, Mexico, and Canada. Their friendly hotel staff welcome pets of any breed or size. The most interesting part is that they do not charge you an extra fee for bringing your pet. If you are looking for pet-friendly establishments such as parks, boutiques, or groomers, the hotel can recommend a list to help you out.
2. Super 8
Super 8 is a giant hotel chain comprising more than 2,000 hotels around the world. Most of their branches welcome cats and dogs at a fee of $5 to $20 per night. However, not all of their locations accept pets, so before making a reservation, remember to call the hotel to find out their pet policies.
The Radisson is another comfy place you will want to check out if you are travelling with your fur baby. However, this hotel chain does not have a standardized policy, so their pet policy might vary from location to location and it would be safest to contact the hotel before making a reservation.
Depending on the location, the hotel generally requires a clean-up fee of $25 per stay when bringing your pet in. Moreover, only pets weighing under 40 pounds are allowed to stay.
4. Red Roof Inns
The Red Roof Inn boasts about 580 hotel branches throughout Japan, USA, and Brazil that welcome cats to stay free of charge. However, keep in mind that they can only allow one cat per room. According to their pet policy, you need to ensure that your cat is well-behaved and under your control during your stay. Owners are also not allowed to leave their pets alone in the room for an extended period of time.
Courtyard by Marriott is another popular hotel brand you could consider on your next vacation with your fluffy friend. This famous hotel chain has around 1,500 pet-friendly locations throughout the U.S., making it an easy option for guests traveling with their cats.
Marriott staff are also willing to direct you to nearby pet supplies, pet-friendly parks, and shops whenever you need them. The hotel truly cares not just for their human guests’ well-being but also that of their four-legged guests. Depending on the location, Marriott typically requires an additional pet fee of $50 to $100 per stay. Note that only designated branches accept pets, so phone ahead to find out.
6. Motel 6
If you are looking for an affordable night’s stay with Fluffy, then you should consider Motel 6. The hotel chain has around 1,400 branches in the U.S. and Canada, and all of their locations welcome cats. Aside from being budget-friendly, Motel 6 does not add any extra charge for bringing your pet with you, and every room can accommodate up to two pets as long as you do not leave them inside unattended.
7. Affinia Hotels
The Affinia Hotel chain is a popular go-to for fur parents who want to pamper their fur babies during their vacation. The famous hotel offers guests a VIPaws Program at a $150 fee, of which $10 is donated to the Humane Society. At this price, your cat can enjoy a comfy pet bed, a delicious bowl of food, toys, and fresh drinking water during your stay. They even provide you with a door hanger for your room to let the hotel staff know that your cat is inside.
The Affinia Hotel chain includes the following:
- Shelburne Hotel and Suites
- Fifty Hotel and Suites
- Gardens Suites Hotel
8. Best Western
Best Western is among the largest pet-friendly hotels located in Canada, USA, and the Caribbean. They have more than 2,000 properties that allow almost any kind of pets, including cats and dogs. The pet fee per stay varies between $30 per day to $150 per week, depending on the location. So, if you are considering this chain as your next destination with your pet, contact their staff to reserve a pet-friendly room.
Travelodge is one of the largest hotel brands from the UK. This hotel chain, owned by Endell Group Holdings, operates in several countries including Australia, USA, UK, Ireland, and Spain. Depending on the location, most Travelodge hotels welcome pet guests in their rooms. However, pet policies may vary from one hotel to another, so be sure to contact them before booking a room.
10. La Quinta Inn and Suites
La Quinta Inn and Suites comprises 800 different locations throughout the United States, with the majority of the hotels accepting cats at a fee of $20 to $40 per night. If you are bringing a service animal, the hotel will not charge a fee.
However, not all of their franchised hotels accept pets. Make sure to check their website or contact them ahead to find out their pet policies.
Tips for staying in a hotel with your cat
Prior to packing your bag for a road trip with your cat, make sure that you have prepared everything you need on the journey. After finding a hotel to spend the night with your furry companion, there are several other things you need to keep in mind to make your stay less chaotic and overall a pleasant experience.
We have gathered below some of the tips every cat owner should know before heading off:
1. Know your hotel’s pet policy before booking
Some hotels labelled pet-friendly might actually mean dog-friendly, turning away guests with cats. This can be very frustrating, and you do not want to experience this hassle on-site. Check the hotel’s website and try to contact them beforehand to clarify whether they allow cats.
Moreover, it is also important to check their pet fees. While some cat-friendly hotels can host your feline without extra charge, other lodgings may cost you extra per stay. Knowing these costs before booking will help you approximate your billing at the end of your stay.
2. Check the room for anything hazardous
This might include plants, wires or cords, or narrow gaps between furniture which make a perfect hideout for curious cats. Before letting your cat out from his carrier, make sure that the place is comfortable and safe for himt. Check under the bed for any narrow spaces that your cat can squeeze into. At the end of the day, you do not want your furry companion to get stuck in dusty, hard-to-reach areas. As much as possible, cover these holes and narrow gaps with pillows to keep your cat from slipping through the open spots.
3. Make your cat comfortable
A stressed feline can make your trip problematic for both of you. Since cats are territorial animals, it is only normal for them to react negatively to new places. They might meow a lot, scratch the hotel carpet and furniture, or hide under the bed throughout your stay.
So, before letting your cat out of his carrier, it is advisable to gradually introduce him to the room. Make sure that you show him the litter box, his bed, and his toys. You could also bring his favorite scratching post to protect the hotel’s carpet and furniture from his sharp claws.
If the whole travel experience is making your feline anxious, use a pheromone product such as Feliway’s pheromone diffuser or calming spray. These products release a synthetic scent known to help calm your cat in stressful situations.
4. Put up a pet door sign
A “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door is often overlooked and may not clearly warn the hotel staff that you have a cat inside. If possible, request a pet door sign to notify housekeepers or other people before they knock and enter your hotel room. Strangers might frighten your cat and cause him to dash out of the door in fear.
The only downside of this sign is that your room might not be cleaned daily while you are away. You are also not likely to get clean bedding and towels. But, at the end of the day, your cat’s safety matters the most. Moreover, you can call the front desk to have your clean towels delivered when you are inside, instead of letting them in while you are not around.
5. Do not leave your cat’s mess behind
Every responsible pet owner knows this rule. Before checking out, make sure that you have not left your cat’s mess and dirty litter box behind. Although pet-friendly hotels have their own housekeeping to clean your room, showing courtesy to the hotel by cleaning up some of the mess will help encourage other hotels to allow pets.
Always pack a portable litter box, litter scoop, and a handful of trash bags so that cleaning your cat’s mess later on will be a breeze. Scoop the poop out and seal it in a plastic bag before putting it in the trash. It is also a good idea to sweep up some of the loose fur and leftover litter on the floor to lessen the mess in the room.
Things to know before checking in
Here are some additional tips to make your hotel stay an enjoyable experience for you and your cat:
- Always ask the hotel whether they provide pet supplies for your cat or whether you need to bring your own.
- Inquire as to whether documents such as vaccination and health certificates are required before your pet is admitted.
- Know the areas that are off-limits for your pet.
- Make sure that you are in control of your cat and that he will not bother other hotel guests.
- Do not let your cat claw the bedding, carpet, curtains, or other hotel furniture.
- Transport your cat using a carrier. Make sure that you also have a harness and leash on hand.
- Make sure your cat is well-behaved and does not make loud noises that might disturb other guests.
The bottom line
Finding the right hotel to stay with your furry friend can be challenging. Since not all hotels are cat-friendly, you need to make inquiries regarding your chosen hotel’s pet policies to avoid any frustrations and inconvenience on-site.
Thankfully, more and more hotels and lodges are opening their doors to our furry companions. With more options available, you can enjoy your vacations and adventures without leaving your four-legged friend behind.
Image: istockphoto.com / Yelizaveta Tomashevska