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Cyndi was kicked out of this hotel during Hurricane Harvey…because she’d brought her cats with her.
Cyndi Lombardi is a 69-year-old resident of Sugar Land, Texas.
When Hurricane Harvey struck, she, like so many others, had to flee from her home. She hit the road with only a few important possessions, including her two cats.
After a harrowing night spent navigating around impassable roads, driving on the median, and even getting a flat tire, Cyndi stopped to spend the night at a Holiday Inn in Wharton, Texas. Wharton is just over 40 miles away from Sugar Land, but because of the struggles involved in the journey, the trip took hours.
After Cyndi finally checked into the room, the manager spotted something: a carrier containing two cats. That’s when Cyndi was suddenly told that she was being evicted and would be charged a $500 fine.
It’s important to note the response to this woman’s experience:
The vice president of IGH, the corporation behind all Holiday Inn hotels, reached out personally to Ms. Lombardi and offered her upgraded rooms, free stays, and reward points in compensation for the way that she was treated that night. When she requested a donation to an animal rescue group instead, he made a $1,000 donation to Mutts n Meows, the charity of her choice.
Cyndi said, “I thought that was very kind and generous. I’m so glad that something good came from my horrible experience.”
Don’t you want to travel with your cat without worrying about finding cat-friendly hotels?
Especially if your kitty is a hardy adventurer, traveling with your cat can be an awesome experience. Instead of missing your cat during a long road trip, you’ll be able to snuggle with them at night. You’ll be able to enjoy a vacation without wondering how your cat is being treated at a boarding facility. And of course, if you’re relocating, you’ll need to bring your cat with you.
But finding cat-friendly hotels can be a challenge, especially if you’re a spontaneous traveler, or, like in Cyndi’s case, unexpectedly forced to evacuate.
That’s why it’s such a good idea to know what your options are beforehand. Being prepared can help make traveling with your cat a fun, enriching, and relaxing experience.
The #1 Best Tool for Finding a Cat-Friendly Hotel
The best tool I have found for finding pet-friendly hotels is this cat hotel finder on PetsWelcome.com. You can narrow your search to include hotels that accept cats, dogs, or both. Another nice feature is that you can choose to search for hotels along a specified route, meaning that you can easily plan the entirety of your trip. Watch out when using it on a phone, though – the last time that I checked, the mobile version of this site was glitchy.
Tips for Choosing a Hotel
You can also search for pet-friendly hotels on Trivago, but that doesn’t guarantee that the hotel accepts pets for no additional cost. Additionally, some hotels only accept certain types of pets. This means that your cat might not be accepted at a hotel that only allows dogs in the rooms.
If possible, you should always check with the specific hotel in advance to make sure that you understand their policies. Even the most cat-friendly hotel chains may not always accept pets, and those locations that do may have varied policies.
The Top 4 Best Cat-Friendly Hotel Chains
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
While not every Four Seasons hotel accepts cats, the ones that do deliver an extraordinary experience that’s typically free of additional charge. They accept cats and small dogs, to whom they offer pet-specific amenities like treats, absorbent pads, water bowls, and their own beds.
Remember: it’s important to contact your intended destination to gain clarity on their unique policies. Four Seasons may restrict pet lodging based on size, so your cat’s weight might be prohibitive at some locations.
This is another hotel chain that offers an unusually pawesome experience for pets. Kimpton accepts cats, dogs, birds, and reptiles at no additional cost – and may even include a fish bowl in the room. The rooms offer food, water bowls, mats, and beds, along with pet-specific door hangers so that you can ensure that room service won’t disturb your cat when they’re in the room alone. Kimpton currently operates 66 boutique hotels in 35 cities throughout the United States.
This hotel chain operates over 1,600 pet-friendly hotels. While some locations do charge fees for pets in the room, these fees aren’t in excess of $20. But watch out: not all locations accept cats. While some locations will accommodate cats and other pets, Best Western typically only accepts up to two dogs.
Red Roof Inn
Pets are accepted at virtually all 500+ Red Roof Inn locations for absolutely no fees. Red Roof Inn makes their pet-friendliness a major part of their branding. Only one pet is permitted per room and it’s important to double-check that your location is one that accepts pets – currently, only three prohibit them, due to local ordinances.