Boarding your cat in a cattery while you go on holidays can be made easier if you plan ahead. There are a few simple things to keep in mind that can make the whole experience much easier for you and your beloved furry feline.
Most cats only see their carrier when they need to take a trip to the Vet for annual check-ups, vaccinations or if they are unwell and may associate the trip as an unpleasant experience. It is a good idea to bring the carrier out about 1 week before boarding and place it in an area where the cat spends a lot of time. with the door open. Placing cat treats or even feeding your cat in the carrier will help them to associate a pleasant experience inside the carrier. Some cats may feel so comfortable they are happy to sleep in the carrier which makes it easier on both of you.
Although a good cattery will have bedding and scratching posts etc. familiar smells is very important to help the guest feel more comfortable and relaxed. Bedding is always one of the best items to take along to the cattery when boarding but please be mindful to ensure that t has been vacuumed and as hair free as possible but not washed, as it is the familiar smells that will comfort the cat.
Feliway (synthetic pheromone) spray is great for cats that may suffer anxiety or stress. Spray the inside of the carrier before you place your cat inside and also a few sprays on a towel popped over the top of the carrier may also help. Some cats also respond well to catnip so a sprig of that inside the carrier can help too.
Plan ahead and take your time
Preparing your cat for boarding is often done in a last minute rush and your cat will sense this from your body language, so give yourself plenty of time and don’t leave til the last minute! Consider taking your cat to the cattery the day or night before you leave if you think you will be pushed for time on the day you leave for your trip.
Cat boarding doesn’t have to be stressful especially if you have a good relationship with the cattery and staff. More often than not you will find that your cat will be comfortable with familiar faces and smells at the cattery and will enjoy the experience of feeling safe and secure within the surroundings.
You know your cat better than anyone so give the cattery staff as much information about your cat as possible eg. likes, dislikes, temperament, personality traits. this all helps for a more relaxed stay.
Food is most important as cats can be very sensitive to dietary changes. Most catteries will carry a variety of wet and dry foods but it is always best to check what they do or don’t supply eg. Vet Prescriptions foods.
So now you have your furry feline all sorted for their next trip to the cattery, but what do you want from cat boarding establishments to help make your time away more relaxed? That’s a question for another blog…..