So, you’ve gone away for a lovely family holiday and unfortunately, were unable to take you cat along for the trip. This is a scenario that most pet owners must face several times in their life. As we are quite protective of our domestic animals and see them as much a part of the family as our spouses or partners and children, it is never easy making the decision to go somewhere for a week or longer without them.
When you do have to though, unless you have friends or family that live close by or that don’t mind housesitting and cat sitting while you are away, you must use a cattery.
Now, although there is a lot of stigma attached to catteries, it’s very often unfair. There are several catteries out there that are not the best place to leave your cats while you holiday, but to say all catteries are bad would be a sweeping generalisation.
Caution When Choosing the Best Cattery for Your Cat
Therefore, the recommendation is, if you must use the services of a cattery, make sure you shop around before booking your cat a place to stay. Although this might take a lot longer than you imagined, the peace of mind you will have when you are flying off to that far flung corner of the world or on the train or in the car and heading to Skegness will make it all worth it.
Why its Important To be Careful
Why do you need to be so cautious with choosing the right cattery for your cat? Cats are infamous for being territorial and although they are very independent, they do not like being taken out of their comfort zone. Their comfort zone is their local, central territory. Sure, they may travel outside their marked territory when they are exploring or hunting, but they are always able to return to it. When you put your cat into a cattery, you are taking them away from their territory and putting them somewhere strange and unfamiliar and it can cause them stress.
When Your Cat Comes Home
If you manage to find a good cattery and it seems as if your cat will have a nice time there, you still need to prepare yourself for some unsettled behaviour when they come back home. Even if you have had daily updates of how your cat has been getting on and they’ve had a nice time at the cattery, it will still take its toll on them.
Don’t Be Alarmed If They Acted Differently for a While
when you bring your cat home, you may notice that he or she is not quite acting normally. this is fine, but you should monitor it carefully. Remember that they’ve been in a strange new environment, probably took a while to adjust to it (if they ever did) and now must re-familiarise themselves with their home territory. It may be that they are not interested in eating or socialising and keep themselves hidden away or look very guarded.
Get Back into a Routine
The best thing you can do, regardless of how your cat reacts, is to get back to a normal routine as quickly as possible. Rather than changing your behaviour or overcompensating because they are acting differently, keep things as normal as possible. As independent as they are, as we noted earlier, they are also creatures of habit and will benefit from structure. Most importantly, they just need time to be left alone. You cat need to explore his home territory and settle on his terms.
Obviously, you should keep a close eye on your cat. Look out for any tell-tale signs that all is not well, but do it subtly and don’t go overboard if it takes them a while to act themselves again. There are no hard and fast rules for this or a specific number of days you should expect your cat to return to his or her old happy-go-lucky, independent and fierce create self.
However, if it is taking more than a week or two, and you are concerned, you should speak to your vet and maybe even take your cat in to be examined. In most cases though, cats go to catteries and come back as healthy and well-adjusted as they left. So, when you take your cat home from their cattery stay, keep in mind the advice above and your cat will be fine.