So! You’ve booked your annual vacation and now you need to ensure your cat is purrfectly happy in his favorite feline hotel.Here’s how to ensure your pet is as comfortable and healthy in the cattery as you are in your five star resort.
Passing the test
A good cattery should check several boxes. First, ask the proprietor if you can look around. Go elsewhere if they refuse or seem unfriendly. Once inside, check your cat will have heated and individual sleeping accommodation. (Only cats from the same household should be boarded together). Ask whether canines board there too. If your cat gets stressed at the sight, smell or sound of dogs you may want to consider another option.
Some catteries have indoor accommodation only while others provide an outdoor run. Most cats prefer access to fresh air. Adequate ventilation also means the spread of bacteria and viruses is kept to a minimum.
Look for a safety passage that encloses the entrances to each cat’s quarters – a handy measure for those with Houdini-like tendencies.
Finally, check the arrangements should your cat become sick. A good cattery will ask you to sign an authorization for veterinary treatment, a form which gives the proprietor permission to call a vet if your cat is ill.
Double-check your cat has been vaccinated against upper respiratory tract disease (cat flu) and feline infectious enteritis, a must to limit any risk of cross-infection within the cattery. Reputable catteries require proof of these vaccinations and some want evidence of protection against leukemia too.
You will also need to worm and apply a flea treatment to your cat before taking him to the cattery. If the staff spot any of the little critters in your pet’s coat, you may be charged extra for administration of flea treatments. Make sure you’ve cleaned and disinfected your cat’s carrying box beforehand as well.
List any necessary medication or dietary requirements. Most catteries provide veterinary or therapeutic diets but enquire about this when booking; otherwise take your cat’s usual food. If your cat is long-haired, ask whether grooming is included in the price or for an extra charge.
Many catteries provide beds and bedding but you may wish to pack your pet’s favorite blanket and toy/s to help him settle in more quickly. Ask whether a scratching post is provided too.
It’s a good idea to de-flea your cat again once he is home. You may find your cat readjusts to his usual routine straight away. If he’s an outdoor cat, this means he may be chomping at the bit to scent his turf and see which other cats have been on his patch in his absence. This could put him at risk of picking up infestations.
Wash any bedding, blankets or toys you took to the cattery. The last thing you want is for your pet to be bringing home another animal’s fleas!
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