Understanding what makes a good cattery will help you look for the right things in a cattery near you.
Then you just need to book well in advance. Most good catteries are often booked up very early.
You can then go on your well-earned holiday, with a clear conscience; knowing that you will come home to a happy and healthy cat.
So, what are the things you should look for when choosing a cattery?
Be sure your cat won’t escape
This goes without saying, but some cats do escape if the cattery is not built, maintained or managed in the correct fashion.
After all, your cat is probably missing you!
The cattery should have individual cat units, which are securely built, and maintained to make sure there are no holes or gaps which a cat can escape through.
The cattery should also have a safety corridor, or area outside the cats unit. This should work a bit like an airlock. Cats can dash past someone opening the enclosure when bringing food, or cleaning, so this area is important to prevent that.
Be sure your cat will be warm and comfortable
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, there are different cattery ‘types’
Some are entirely outdoors, some have chalets with outdoor runs, and some are in between.
You may want your cat to stay indoors, but it can be healthier and happier for it to have an outdoor run (in a safely enclosed area)
This enables your cat to get some fresh air if it wants to – don’t forget, even if your cat is an ‘indoor’ cat – the enclosure at a cattery is likely to be smaller than your home, so it may get a bit stuffy if inside all the time.
Inside their unit should be heated, just in case it gets cold.
Be sure your cat won’t catch a disease
When a lot of cats are together, there’s a higher risk of viral or bacterial infections spreading.
The most effective way to prevent this is to ensure your cat has their vaccinations up to date.
Also, ensure the cattery asks to see their vaccination card – this will mean all cats have been vaccinated.
There’s a few other steps a cattery can take, for example:
Make sure the cats enclosures are clean and disinfected.
The cattery should not smell, and litter tray should be cleaned with regularity.
Any food that is uneaten (particularly wet food) should be removed, and water bowls should be cleaned, and filled with clean water regularly.
Avoid communal runs
Occasionally, catteries offer communal runs of areas where cats can share a large open space, with other space (not from the same household)
While this sounds lovely and social – where the cat will have new friends they can run and play with, this isn’t what the majority of cats want. Importantly, shared spaces allow cats to share litter trays and food / water bowls, potentially spreading disease.
Make sure your cat won’t be stressed
If your cat isn’t used to living with dogs, a cattery that is shared with a dog boarding kennel may not be the right choice.
Most catteries will let owners bring familiar toys or bedding to help your cat feel at home, because they smell familiar.
Also, a scratch-post from home can help them relax.
Remember, cats prefer high places, so make sure the cattery has enclosures that have high shelves for the cat to sit on (most do)
Your cat must be loved
For the majority of us, our cats are important members of the family and we want them to be cared for with the same consideration that we give them.
This is entirely down to the people caring for the cats and the enthusiasm and dedication they give to their job.
If you look at the best catteries you’ll recognise that the people involved love cats and each one is important to them. There’s attention to detail and knowledge behind that care which comes from their love of cats.
It’s important you meet the people that will be looking after your cat!