Going on a holiday is something everyone looks forward to, but you’ll be able to enjoy your holiday a lot more if you know that all your loved ones are safe and sound – and that includes your feline friends.
Anyone that loves their cat understands that it’s pretty difficult to allow someone else to take care of your fur babies, even if it means you can go on holidays. You worry about what time it is likely to get fed, and that there’ll be no one around for morning scratches or night-time cuddles.
To allay all these concerns and get the maximum possible enjoyment out of your holiday, you need to do your research. You need to make sure that you find cat boarding facilities that both you and your cat are happy with. In fact, if you do enough research, you may even find boarding that is so good, it turns into a vacation for your cat too!
Catteries should offer a lot more than a cage and a feed once a day. It is important to consider factors from your kitty’s point of view, not just what humans would like. Everyone wants their pet to receive the best possible care, so here are a few things you should look for.
Light and Visibility
Humans and animals both need natural light for physical and mental well-being. Cats, however, also enjoy little nooks and corners to lie where they can feel safe and secure, especially in an unfamiliar environment. Just think about those times when you need some quiet time. You prefer a darkened bedroom or the sofa. Cats need some of that time too!
This is very important for the well-being of your cat. The optimal temperature range is 22-25 degrees Celsius. It’s a good idea to visit the cattery before you book your cat in. Take notice of the temperature and ask what temperature they keep the room at.
Your cat deserves so much more than just a box. Cats need their own space, to sleep and rest. Cats prefer an area from which they can survey their environment while in the security of their own territory. They will feel more at home faster in a smaller space where they only need to ‘guard’ one entrance (the other three being secure walls). It is also important that the cages do not face each other as this can be very unnerving for shy cats.
A simple cage just won’t cut it for your beloved kitty cat. It’s also important to ask if the cats have an exercise area. This provides safe interaction for those cats that enjoy the company of other cats. A play area with scratching posts and toys can also bring lots of enjoyment to the cats’ day.
Sharing a litter tray is very unhygienic – your cat could be exposed to diseases that another cat may have picked up. Secondly, your cat deserves to poo and pee in privacy.
As mentioned before, cats enjoy their privacy and that includes during toilet time. It is also worth asking how often the litter trays are cleaned. This can give you a good idea of the level of cleanliness of the cattery.
Cats are individual when it comes to sleeping arrangements. Some cats enjoy lounging on the carpet in the middle of the room while others would prefer to curl up in their small doughnut bed. You need to replicate the conditions of your home as much as possible to minimise distress. Ask the cattery if there are choices of bedding and if you can leave bedding or toys as comforters for your pet.
Vaccinations and Worming
If the operator of the cattery doesn’t ask for proof of your cat’s vaccinations, this should be a warning sign. Any professional cattery would ask for vaccination certificates and when the cats or kittens were last given an all-wormer, it should be right on top of their list of priorities. The cat flu (F3) vaccination should be given annually to all cats to provide the best chance of keeping your (in italics) cat healthy. An All Wormer prevention should also be given within the last 3 months prior to their stay.
Another reason it’s a good idea to see the cattery before you book your cat in, is that it gives you the chance to see the other cats living at the facilities. If they are purring and comfortable resting without a care in the world, then it’s obviously a fantastic cattery. Think about what sort of an environment your individual cat prefers and only choose a cattery that can provide this.
Hopefully you feed your cat quality food (if you would like more advice about the right food to feed your cat please speak to a vet). As such, you need to make sure that your cat is getting the same or better quality food at the cattery.
If you’re going to a stand-alone cattery, ask to see the food they provide cats with. You also need to make sure that they are willing to cater to any allergies or other dietary requirements your cat may have. You should also have a look at the food bowls inside the cattery to make sure they are cleaned regularly.
High quality facilities with expert staff do get booked up in advance. Our advice is to start early, find a good cattery, and have your cat booked in right away so you and your cat both have a nice, relaxing holiday.