When I was growing up, I always had a dog.  My family had dogs when I was born and had a dog when I moved out 18 years later.  Somehow, when my daughter came along, it seemed as though we needed a cat.

I have no major complaints with him in general.  He doesn't scratch things, or pee anywhere other than his litter box, so as far as cats go I'd give him a grade A.  There are a couple of problems that cat owners have to deal with regardless of how great their cat is:

  • Many (if not most) rentals do not allow cats - even the ones who allow dogs
  • Traveling with a cat is terrible

I just logged on to the apartment section of Billings` craigslist and it was showing 864 ads.  I checked the "Cats OK" box and that number dropped to 430.  That gives you an idea, but in reality, it's likely much worse than that. When I was looking for a place a few years ago, I had about six places to choose from unless I wanted to just try and sneak him in.  I get it. A bad cat can cause a lot of damage to carpets, wood floors, cabinets, etc.  Of course this means that many of the places that do allow cats are already in pretty bad shape.

Once you've actually found a place and gotten settled in, you might want to actually take a trip someday.  Herein lies issue number two.  Most cats do not like to travel and even if they did, why would you want to take a cat on vacation?  I've had to travel with my cat when moving and it was a terrible experience for both of us.  Dealing with bowls, litter box/litter, cat carrier, pet friendly hotels, etc. is nothing I hope to repeat anytime soon.

I don't have a solution for making Billings` property management companies less racist against cats, but I can tell you that there is boarding available.  I'm traveling for the holidays and managed to pawn the cat management duties onto a family member at the last minute, but my original plan (and the one I'll probably need next time) was to put him up at Animal Lodge.  They don't seem to get quite the volume of cats as they do dogs, but they are equipped to deal with them.  Just wanted to put this out there as an option for anybody facing the same challenge.

If you've already got travel plans for the holidays but haven't arranged any pet care, you can still grab a deal for Animal Lodge on seize the deal.  The auction is for a $300 gift certificate which can go toward lodging or grooming.  Opening bid is $120, so if you know you need it, get it on the cheap.