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Cats and Holidays - Taking Your Cat To A Cattery

Going on holiday is always an exciting prospect, but for the cat owner, some prior planning will need to be made to ensure your cat is well cared for while you are away. You have three main options. Leave the cat at home and have a friend, neighbour or pet sitter come in and feed/play with the cat.

Have somebody house sit while you are away. Again, could be a friend, relative or there are now websites which hook up home owners with house sitters. Finally, there is the boarding cattery. All have advantages and disadvantages. This article will look at taking your cat to a boarding cattery, what is required and how to find the perfect boarding cattery so that your cat is happy and you can relax.

Choosing the right boarding cattery:

You will also need to choose the cattery you take them to quite carefully. First of all, you need to ensure that they are capable and responsible professionals running the facility. Secondly, you should try and find one with a good outdoor run, especially if your cat is used to heading outside regularly. Also, it’s important to make sure that the cattery has individual runs for each cat – you don’t want your pet to come home sick after coming into contact with lots of different, potentially ill, feline friends.

Word of mouth is always a good way to find a suitable boarding cattery. Ask friends, relatives, your veterinarian. See if it is possible to inspect the facility prior to boarding your cat.

  • Does the place look and smell clean?
  • How large are the cages?
  • Do the current cats look happy and content?
  • How much time is spent with the cat? Will the cat be played with, petted, groomed (if required)?
  • How long has the boarding cattery been operating?
  • What happens if your cat gets sick? Will they contact you?
  • Do they have an on-call veterinarian to treat sick cats?
  • Do they board dogs? If so, are they kept apart from the cats?
  • Can they provide you with any references or show you letters of thanks from happy customers?

What to do in an emergency:

Do you have a backup person who can make decisions on your behalf should you not be able to be contacted? Preferably somebody with knowledge of your cat and any medical history. Would you be comfortable with them making decisions on your behalf? Sometimes, especially if you are overseas or in a remote area, it will not be possible for the boarding cattery to contact you, which is why it is a good idea to have a backup person. Be sure to tell that person you are giving the boarding cattery your details and they have your authority to act on your behalf. It may also be a good idea to notify your veterinarian of this at the same time.

Transporting your cat:

First of all, you will need to ensure that whenever your cat gets transported they are comfortable and safe. The only way to do this is by choosing a good cat carrier. Include a few toys that will help them feel at home and keep them entertained if they are on a long trip. If possible, bring along your cat's favourite blanket or an old t-shirt of yours for him to keep while you are away. This helps remind him of home and can be of comfort to him.

Finally, you need to make sure that your cat is prepared. That means having all necessary vaccinations, treated for parasites (fleas and worms) and packaging up any medication or special food that you need to give to the staff at the cattery. Boarding catteries will not accept cats who have not been properly vaccinated. Be sure to provide specific instructions regarding any medicine that needs to be administered.

It is important to remember to provide the boarding cattery with a contact number of where you are staying, your mobile number, an emergency contact and your veterinarian.

If you follow these steps you should be able to take your cat to a cattery without any stress. If you have a dog these steps, such as getting a good dog carrier, are also likely to apply. By having your pet well cared for, you can truly relax while on holiday.

Further reading:

Travelling with cats   Boarding catteries