When you go on vacation or leave town for work, whom do you trust to take care of your cat? If you are lucky, you have a friend or family member who can stop in on him, or even take your cat into their home for the duration of your leave. If you do not have someone you can trust, however, you may need to take your cat to a boarding facility – called a cattery – for care.
Before you sign your cat over into someone else’s hands, you should take the time to select the right cattery. Below you will find some helpful tips for choosing a cattery, as well as tips for identifying boarding facilities that you should avoid.
Tips for Choosing a Cattery
If you have never boarded your cat before, you may have no idea even where to begin in looking for a cattery. One place you can start is by asking your cat-owning friends and family for recommendations. You can also try asking your veterinarian for suggestions. If these options do not turn up any good results, try looking in the phone book or perform an online search.
Once you have a few options, you should take the time to contact each of them and visit the most promising in person to determine which one is the best option for your cat. When you call the cattery, make sure you speak to either the owner or the person who is in charge of caring for the cats, and ask them questions regarding the conditions in which the cats are kept and how much attention they receive.
Weed out any catteries that do not provide you with satisfactory answers to your questions, and then pay a visit to those that remain on your list. When you visit the cattery, keep the following things in mind:
- There are two options for catteries – indoor or outdoor – but even outdoor catteries should allow the cats to come indoors when they want to.
- The cats should be kept in separate enclosures for sleeping and exercise.
- The enclosures in which the cats are kept should be clean, dry, and well ventilated – having access to an outdoor run will help with ventilation.
- Care should be taken to prevent the cats from coming into physical contact with each other – there should be no shared runs.
- Make sure there are plenty of toys available for the cats to play with, so they do not get bored.
Warning Signs to Look For
When you are surveying your options for different catteries, look for these warning signs:
- The cattery’s website (if it has one) provides very little information.
- When you call to speak to the owner or manager, they are not able to provide satisfactory answers to your questions, or they refuse to answer them entirely.
- When you visit the facility, it appears dirty or unsafe.
- The cattery does not ask about your cat’s medical records (to make sure he is up to date on vaccinations).
- The owners or manager asks for up-front payment (a deposit is acceptable, but you should not pay for services until you return).
- Cats are not kept in individual cages or they do not have enough space for exercise.
- The cattery is entirely outdoors with no shelter from weather – this is especially troubling in the winter.
If you have to leave home without your cat, you want to know that he is being well cared for in your absence. By taking the time to select a cattery for your cat carefully, you can rest assured that he is in good hands while you are away.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian.