Disturbing your cat’s regular routine by taking them to a cattery will certainly cause your pet some stress. Being prepared and knowing you have placed your cat in the best boarding environment possible will enable you to have a worry-free holiday.
When you’re first in the market for choosing a cattery it can be quite overwhelming. Although informative, ads in places like the Yellow Pages will give you information but little idea on the quality of a setup. Your friends and vet can often recommend a place, and using a review site like Pet Guide to look for a cattery is a great way to start your search. However, nothing beats visiting the premises yourself. Only you know the standards you and your cat expect.
There are several things to look for in a cattery but before you make an inspection visit have a list of questions you’d like answered. If a proprietor won’t let you visit for an inspection, go elsewhere. When visiting, make sure the place seems clean and tidy, that the cats boarding there are relaxed and content. Most of all trust your instincts.
Tips For Choosing A Cattery
Indoors or outdoors
Although an indoor cattery may seem cosy, much like being at home, there can be an increased risk of viruses spreading between the boarders. Most cats enjoy access outside so outside catteries are often better than their name suggests. At an outdoor cattery you tend to have an enclosed insulated sleeping area with an outdoor run which is usually covered in some way to give shelter from the elements.
Do consider the area the cattery is located, especially if your pet is nervous. Are they close to a main road, construction area or other situation with a lot of noise and traffic? Are there boarding kennels also on the property? Strange barking dogs close by can set many cats on edge and cause unnecessary stress.
Make sure the sleeping areas are dry, insulated and can be heated if the weather requires. The runs should allow a cat adequate exercise; have an interesting view, shelter and some toys to play with. A raised shelf as a sunbathing spot will always get two paws up from a feline connoisseur. Access to areas by ramps and ladders may look stimulating but if your cat is elderly it may struggle to get around. Make sure the environment won’t ask any more, physically, than what your cat usually attempts at home.
Each cage should be separated by a solid barrier such as glass or Perspex. This acts as a sneeze barrier and prevents cross-infection and disease being spread. Cages should open into an enclosed safety passage preventing the risk of cats escaping when their door is opened.
Does the cattery a fire alarm and/or a sprinkler system? Is there someone on site or nearby outside normal hours?
Your cattery will ask for up-to-date vaccinations for your cat and you will need to check on the protocol required by your chosen boarding cattery as sometimes they will differ. They should also ask for eating habits including special diets, medical and behavioral issues and whether your cat will need a groom. It is useful to write this down for the cattery staff along with the name and contact details of your vet.
Also be sure to supply you contact details during your holiday and if this is impractical leave the details of a friend or relative who can act on your behalf. Be sure everyone is aware of your wishes should anything untoward occur. This is especially important if you are leaving a chronically ill or elderly pet.
Remember that a good cattery will be booked up well in advance so make your bookings and preparations with plenty of time to spare especially if you need to board during pressure times like school, summer and seasonal holidays. The most important thing, though, is that you visit the cattery before you book it and are satisfied that it is an appropriate place for your pet.