So it’s finally time for that long-awaited staycation! Your bags are packed, your hotel’s booked, but wait… what about the cat? Have no fear- this article has been written to advise you on exactly how to choose the perfect cattery, so your little fluff-ball can enjoy their vay-cay just as much as you!
Cattery and kennels
There are a huge range of establishments that are able to look after your cat when you go on holiday, which means you’ve got a lot of different options to choose from. For instance, there are cat-only catteries, mixed cat and dog kennels, and even luxurious five-star cat hotels and the range of choice can sometimes be a bit overwhelming…
So to make things simpler, here’s a list of important things to look out for when you’re selecting a place for your moggie to stay:
- Make sure your cat has their own room. Cats generally don’t like to share, and especially not with strangers! It’s really important that your cat has their own private space and, if possible, it’s best that your furball can’t even see other cats, as even this could stress them out! Look for a cattery with screened off rooms, and try to avoid catteries with any communal spaces, as this can lead to stress and even fighting.
- Peace and quiet. Cats like noise levels to be low, and find loud noises scary. Therefore, it’s best to select a cattery that’s for cats only so there are no barking dogs nearby!
- Sneeze-barriers. Screens are not only important for privacy, but cat rooms made of clear Perspex can also act as a ‘sneeze-barrier’ which will help to reduce the spread of any infectious diseases that may be present in the cattery.
- Vaccination checks. Always make sure that you select a cattery that asks for proof of your cat’s vaccinations which include: Feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus (cat flu), Feline infectious enteritis and Feline leukaemia virus.
If your cattery is not checking vaccination records, you may find that they are allowing unvaccinated cats to stay, which can greatly increase the chance of your own moggie catching a nasty infectious disease.
- Cleaning and disinfection. It’s super important that you select a cattery that has a regular and thorough cleaning schedule using a cat-safe disinfectant. Not only is this important for basic hygiene- so that your moggie can feel happy and comfortable- it’s also important to help prevent then from catching any nasty illnesses from previous occupants.
- Places to jump and hide. Your cat has to feel safe and secure during their stay in order to be able to relax. Cat rooms with lots of different levels and hidey-holes are ideal as moggies like to have the option to be up high, and hide when they want to. A good cattery will also provide your cat with lots of fresh, soft blankets and towels to snuggle up in, as well as cat-safe toys to play with such as balls, soft toys and scratching posts. And most catteries will also allow you to bring blankets and toys from home as these will be familiar to your cat, and help them to feel at home.
- Lots of food choices. It’s also a good idea to select a cattery with lots of different food options. This is because, while it’s best to bring your cat’s normal food with them to the cattery (as it’s something you know they will eat), it’s also important that the cattery has lots of backup choices if your moggie goes off their normal food or is feeling fussy.
- Good cattery staff are essential! Attentive, observant staff are crucial in order for your moggie to be properly looked after during their stay. It’s important that your cat is monitored regularly for any signs of illness and this includes checking how much they’ve eaten, their activity levels and what their poo and wee looks like. It’s also worth noting that, although it’s good for cattery staff to keep a close eye on your pet, it can be a fine balance, as too much monitoring may stress your cat out and prevent them from being able to fully relax. But don’t fret as most experienced cattery staff should be able to read your cat’s body language in order to gauge exactly how much attention they need to feel comfortable and at home.
How to find a good cattery
In order to find a good cattery, you can start by typing, ‘Cattery near me’ or, ‘Cat hotel near me’ into google or another search engine. This should bring up a list of catteries and cat hotels nearby or in the local area along with their ratings and reviews as well as access to the cattery website. And make sure you really do your research and refer to the check-list above to make sure the cattery you select has all the essentials your moggie will need.
If you’re still unsure which cattery to pick, it’s worth asking your local vets or pet shop if there is a cattery or cat hotel they would recommend. Some vets even have their own catteries or boarding facilities on site!
Pet sitter service
There are also a range of cat sitter services available. This involves pet sitter employees visiting your home to look after you cat while your on holiday. A cat sitter will check-in on your moggie, feed them, interact and play with them, and many cat sitter services will also be able to administer simple medications.
This service enables your cat to stay in the comfort of their own home while you’re on holiday which most moggies will prefer. However, most cat sitters will visit once daily, which means that your cat will only be monitored for this short period of time throughout the day. So, if your cat tends to stray when your not around, or needs more regular monitoring, cat sitting probably won’t be the best option for them.
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