When you first own a cat, there’s one aspect of life with a cat you may not have considered, but probably should have – going away without him or her. Although cats, like any other domestic animals, become parts of our family, there’s a few things they can’t do with you and that includes going on holiday.
Unless you book cat-friendly accommodation and are going somewhere domestically, you’ll have to find a solution that means your cat isn’t left home alone. There are two main options to choose from in this situation – find a cat sitter or take your cat to a cattery.
Cat Sitter vs Cattery – Which is Best?
As cats are incredibly territorial and like being in their own territory, if it’s entirely possible, having a cat sitter come to your house either daily to deal with your cat or to stay at your house while you’re away is best. Your cat doesn’t have to be disrupted from his or her normal routine, is in familiar surroundings and doesn’t need to feel stressed about being cooped-up in close vicinity to other cats.
However, if you don’t have reliable friends or relatives who live close, and don’t want to entrust your home and feline friend to a stranger, the only other option you have is to book your cat into a cattery.
Shop Around Different Catteries
It’s not ideal, but if you look with care and allow yourself enough time to shop around, you should be able to find a reputable cattery. As you probably know, there’s a lot of catteries out there that are not worth the time of day. Your cat may find it a struggle to get on well at a cattery regardless of how good a cattery it is or not. Finding a good one that understands the complexities of a cat’s psyche when it’s been taken away from its home territory is crucial though.
Cats and Stress
Cats can suffer terrible amounts of stress at catteries and although we are not suggesting you forgo that holiday or trip, you must think about the consequences and outcomes of whatever decision you make. Though, there are catteries out there that go the extra mile to alleviate the stress cats boarding with them might feel being temporary displaced from their home territory.
Things to Look For in a Cattery
There are some crucial things you should look for in a cattery therefore, when choosing the one that’s best for your cat. If your cat is even less sociable than the average feline, look for a place that offers each cat living there a separate and private living quarter for each cat. It may be that you need to pay extra money to keep your cat in its own room that gives them privacy and reduces the level of stress the feel because they can’t see that other cats are so close to them.
Will Your Cat Be Stimulated?
Cats obviously need stimulation and even if you are not akin to playing with yours regularly, he or she probably interacts with you and other members of your family/household daily. Ideally you should look for a cattery that has an adequate number of workers for the number of cats they board at any one time.
Is it Clean and Well-Maintained?
Look beyond the reception area. Although it’s good if it is a clean and well-organised place, the important parts of the cattery you want to inspect thoroughly is where the cats stay. Visit the cattery several times before deciding if it’s right for your cat. This means you can establish whether they are on the ball with cleaning and maintaining it.
You also need to remember that the point of contact you have with a cattery may be the manager and they may not actually oversee the day to day care of the cats boarding there. Particularly if it’s a big cattery. If that’s the case, make sure you get some time to ask the actual carers who will be looking after your cat.
As well as asking the normal stock questions, ask them how they’d deal with situations involving your cat, like if he or she wasn’t settling easily, wasn’t eating or drinking and other similar things. If they give you satisfactory answers and have contingency plans in place, you will feel a lot more confident about leaving your furry friend there.
A; catteries are different, so don’t be put off checking your cat into one. Follow the advice above and you may still be able to enjoy that holiday without worrying about your cat too much.