For cats, there’s no place like home, so while you might be keen to go on holiday for a change of scenery, your pet would be happier staying behind. It can be difficult to decide what to do with your cat when you go away and your choice is likely to be based on your individual cat, your preferences and your budget.
A boarding cattery takes temporary care of cats in individual housing units that can be indoors or outdoors. Catteries tend to have lots of cats at a time so may not be suitable for particularly nervous cats. If your pet is comfortable being away from home and in unfamiliar surroundings then it could be a good option for you.
However, not all catteries operate to the same standards so before you book your pet in, visit the site and ask the owner lots of questions. If anything makes you feel uneasy, or if the owner cannot or will not answer any of your questions, walk away.
You will want to check that:
- Housing is secure and your cat won’t be able to escape
- The accommodation is clean and has some form of heating
- Cats are kept separate from each other and that there is space between the enclosures
- Food and water bowls are clean and litter trays are regularly emptied
- Staff can cope with any medical issues your cat might have
Speak to your vet or cat-owning friends for recommendations of catteries in your area and check out the reviews online too.
Cats tend to prefer to stay in their own homes so asking a friend or neighbour to regularly check on your pet and feed them while you are away is a good idea. If you don’t know anyone who is able to do this, you can use the services of a pet sitter.
A pet sitter is someone who looks after your pet in your own home, which has the added benefit of not leaving your property empty while you are on holiday. Depending on your pet’s individual needs you can book a pet sitter to visit your home regularly throughout the day to feed your cat, play with them and clean their litter tray, or if your cat needs more attention a pet sitter could stay overnight in your home.
Ask your vet or cat-owning friends for recommendations of pet sitters in your local area and check out reviews online too. There are a number of pet sitting agencies and using one of these can give you peace of mind knowing that certain checks have already been carried out on sitters.
You should never go on holiday without making arrangements for your cat to be cared for. Experts recommend that you shouldn’t leave any cat home alone for more than two days, even if they have access to the outdoors and plenty of food and water.
Accidents and illness can occur at any time which could cause your pet to suffer unnecessarily in your absence. What would happen if your cat tipped their water bowl over on the first day or got into a fight and came home bleeding? Don’t take any risks and make sure your cat will be provided for while you’re away.
Arranging care for your pet as early as possible will give you the best chance of finding a good match for their needs. Getting it right will mean a stress-free holiday for you and a better chance of returning home to a happy pet.