Our cats would of course love it if we never left them and were around 24/7 to cater to their whims. Unfortunately, work and holidays mean we often have to leave our felines for a few days and taking the cat to a local cattery is sometimes the only option for owners who do not have readily available cat sitters to call on.
With a little forethought you can ensure your cats stay away from home is as stress-free as possible. Read on to find out how to choose the very best quality of care for your cat and also how to prepare everything in advance to make the transition from home to cattery as seamless as possible.
Choosing the right cattery
Take your time when choosing a cattery and make sure you visit the ones on your shortlist beforehand so you can be reassured that the setup is suitable for your pet. A well run cattery will ensure your cat has all her daily needs met and should oblige in providing your cat with the same meals at the same frequency she has at home. They will also groom your cat as needed and provide some social or playtime for them each day.
The current feline residents should look healthy and relaxed and the enclosures should be clean, large and well ventilated with an interesting view or some stimulating toys or climbing frames available. Pens should have private runs and a full-height solid wall between them to act as a sneeze barrier that will prevent the spread of any infection.
Most cats are better off at a ‘cats only’ cattery as opposed to a mixed kennel facility with dogs. Constant barking is not relaxing for anyone, let alone a cat away from home trying to settle into a new environment. Try the Feline Advisory Board’s listings of approved Catteries for centres which will offer guaranteed top notch care. Personal recommendations from cat owning friends or your local vet surgery is also a good way to find a quality cattery.
If your cat is likely to make frequent visits to the cattery over their lifetime, it’s wise to get them used to the process as early as possible and when they are still young enough to take things in their stride.
It is absolutely essential that your cat’s vaccinations are all up to date before you book in as a cattery cannot accept a cat without proof of this from your veterinarian. For the journey to the cattery you will need a secure plastic, metal or nylon cat carrier. You must secure your cat in the car as a loose pet can cause a distraction while driving.
Take some familiar items with your cat as having the scent of home around will help them settle into their pen much quicker. A well-used cat bed, their favourite toys and an item of your clothing are ideal. If your cat is of a sensitive nature you may also want to spray her carrier and other items with Feliway spray. Feliway mimics a pheromone cats produce naturally when they are at peace in their surroundings, and helps your cat to feel calm and content.