Putting your cat in a cattery can be a stressful experience for both owner and pet. Here’s some helpful advice to make your pet’s cattery experience at a place like Cottage Kennels & Cattery more enjoyable.
Transporting your cat to the cattery
It’s a sensible tactic to keep your cat inside on the day she’s due to go into the cattery. This removes the risk of ‘disappearing kitty’ syndrome just when you need to get her safely installed in her travelling carrier.
Travelling can be a frightening and stressful experience for your cat. You can make it less so by investing in a purpose-built, strong cat carrier in which to transport your pet. Cardboard carriers are not ideal, as a determined cat can easily escape from one. A petrified pussy performing the ‘wall of death’ around the inside of your car is not only extremely dangerous; it can also invalidate your insurance if you were to have an accident as a result of the distraction.
Use old newspaper to line the carrier rather than fabric bedding, as it’s quite common for cats to relieve themselves when stressed. For this reason, a carrier with a solid floor is preferable to a wire one. If you have more than one cat to transport, use separate carriers to avoid contamination if one soils itself whilst in transit. It’s a good idea to take a pack of baby wipes with you to clean up any accidents and if necessary to wipe down a soggy moggy when you reach your destination.
If you’re concerned that your cat might vomit whilst en route to the cattery, avoid feeding her for at least two hours before you leave. Remember to ask the cattery staff to make sure that your cat has food available when she’s settled in.
If your cat has health issues and requires medication, write down all necessary instructions in a notebook, clearly labelled with your cat’s details, for cattery staff to refer to during her stay. Include the dose, frequency and full name of the medication to be given, as these details can easily be rubbed off the dispensing label on a bottle and confusion can occur. Work out how many tablets your cat will need during her stay and count them out to make sure you have enough. Include a few extra ones just in case your return is delayed or any are lost.
If you cat is taken ill shortly before she’s due to go into the cattery, give them a call to discuss whether or not your pet can still be admitted rather than just chancing it and turning up on the day in the hope that there won’t be a problem.
Check that the cattery will be able to provide your cat’s usual food for the duration of her stay, and remember to tell them if your requirements have changed since her last visit. A sudden change in diet could upset your cat’s digestion, leaving her vulnerable to illness and stress.
If your cat needs a special veterinary-prescribed diet, be prepared to take an adequate supply with you to the cattery as they probably won’t provide specialist foods.
A few home comforts can help your cat settle-in to her temporary holiday home. Take a small piece of clean bedding that’s familiar to her and a few of her favourite toys.