You’ve book your tickets for that dream vacation, and now all you need to do is find someone to watch your cats. Many people prefer to hire a family member or professional pet sitter to take care of their cat at home. But if this isn’t an option for you, consider using a cattery to board your cat.
It is ok to board your cat in a cattery. Professional cat boarding facilities provide bright and airy cat condos for your kitty and constant care for their needs. Make sure to investigate the cattery in person, if possible, and get a feel for the place. Though boarding your cat can be stressful for them at first, cats usually settle easily into a routine.
Here some things that you should consider before you choose a cattery for your cat sitting needs.
Is Boarding Stressful for Cats?
Cats thrive on routine and don’t like change. And boarding can be stressful for cats in the beginning as they get used to the new routine. But there are some things you can do to help your cat get comfortable in their temporary home.
- Bring familiar bedding or a scratching post that your cat loves to use.
- Provide an article of clothing with your smell that will help them feel at home.
- Bring your cat’s regular food from home if necessary.
- Provide any normal treats your cat is accustomed to receiving.
- Provide their food and water dishes.
- Bring your cat’s regular litter to do their business as cats are sensitive to texture and even that slight change can be too stressful for them. Only do this if the cattery is ok with it.
Make sure the cattery you choose
- Keeps dog kennels separate from the cat space as the extra barking can add to the stress.
- Has high places for cats to climb on in their kitty condos.
- Has interesting plants and aquariums scattered around to keep your cat entertained.
- Has a regular feeding and cleaning routine.
- Provides the same kind of food you feed your cat at home, otherwise, you need to provide that.
- Has a reliable vet on hand in case of emergencies.
- Will provide personal attention to your cat on a regular basis.
If your cat hasn’t settled into their new home-away-from-home after a couple days, or has a history of being high-strung, consider natural calming supplements such as catnip or catnip spray. As a last resort, talk to your vet about medication that can help reduce their anxiety.
Will My Cat Be Ok in the Cattery?
Professional catteries typically house visiting cats in cat condos set up for each cat, with about ten inches of spacing in between each condo to provide privacy and sanitary conditions. Even though cats can get stressed out over a change in their routine, catteries are accustomed to helping cats settle in and feel comfortable in the new space. With the right staff and set up, your cat will be ok in a cattery.
Many catteries will let you house up to three cats from the same household in the same condo. They may offer different types of packages that include a window view and cuddle time for your away-from-home kitty.
Cattery staff may keep charts on your cat’s bowel movements and general well-being to stay alert to any changes.
Check with your vet to see if they recommend a cattery. It is especially beneficial if your cat has some health concerns or needs medical treatments on a regular basis and your vet is connected with that cattery. This may also give you peace of mind because you have a professional who is familiar with your cat’s health history and special needs.
Things to Look for in a Good Cattery
Before you decide on a cattery, make sure to do your research. Examine their website and ratings on Google or Yelp. Check the cattery out in person to get a feel for the environment and general well-being of the animal care. If your state requires catteries to be licensed, is their license displayed prominently? If there aren’t stringent licensing laws in your state, make sure the cattery has clean and sanitized spaces. In order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases or parasites like fleas.
- Securely built cat condos, with no holes, that comfortably accommodate one cat.
- A safety area that keeps the cat contained if they escape, similar to an airlock on a ship.
- Temperature controlled climate to keep your cat cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
- Space dividers that separate cats from different households to prevent disease.
- Room to move. Your cat needs elbow room to move around and get enough exercise.
- Extra Amenities to make your cat’s stay extra special, such as interactive play time and rooms with a view.
- Special accommodations forcats that may need medication treatments on a regular basis, or ground level units and ramps if they have physical disabilities.
- Contact information in case of questions. Is there someone you can contact at the cattery who can give you updated information on your cat’s well-being?
How Clean is a Cattery?
It can be daunting when you have several cats from different households in one space. Which is why catteries undergo rigorous cleaning, on a regular basis, to keep their kitty condos free of cat diseases and parasites.
A professional cattery has requirements in place for incoming cats that include up to date vaccinations and annual booster shots. They should also be able to explain their sanitization process, which includes having staff wash their hands before handling cats from different households.
When you visit a cattery, it should smell clean and free from cat litter odor. Staff should remove any uneaten wet food and clean water dishes frequently.
How Long Can You Leave a Cat in the Cattery?
How long you leave a cat in the cattery depends on your needs. Most catteries board cats for less than a month, depending on the length of your trip. These are considered short-term boarding facilities. It also depends on your budget and what you feel comfortable spending.
If you intend on leaving your cat in the cattery for longer than two weeks, consider an upgraded package for your cat’s well-being. This may include
- Extra treats
- An outdoor run
- More interactive play with staff
- A kitty condo with windows
But if you need to leave your cat with a boarding facility for longer than a month, consider looking into long-term boarding facilities that provide more one-on-one care and attention. This type of cattery is useful if you find yourself taking frequent trips for work or are in the middle of moving.
In these situations, using the same cattery is beneficial because your cat is familiar and comfortable with their surroundings.
It is ok to board your cat at a professional cattery. They’ll be ok there because proper, licensed catteries have to maintain high standards of cleanliness and care for their pets. How long you leave them in the cattery depends on your needs and the length of your trip. But as long as you’ve done your research and prepared your cat for their stay, they will be ok.
Even though boarding a cat at a cattery can be stressful to them, cats typically settle into their new routine within a couple of days and will be fine after that.
By following all of these steps, you can have the peace of mind knowing that while you are away, your cat is being cared for by professionals.