Leaving your cat behind should not be an occasion for hand wringing if you are confident about his care. As such, choosing a boarding cattery is important to ensure you and your cat remain anxiety-free despite the separation.
You must begin looking for feline housing even before you actually need it. This is to ensure that you get a spot and book well ahead of time. And also you will not miss these 4 critical conditions in determining the suitability of your cat’s accommodations.
Will your cat be warm and comfortable?
The cattery must have the following at the very minimum:
- A heater that is safe for indoor use to make sure they are warm and relaxed
- Individual pens with a cosy bed for a good night’s sleep.
- Units that are spacious(at least 6ft. by 4ft.), clean, and well-built. It should only house a single cat or cats under the same owner.
- Cat pens should contain a shelf and a scratching post for sharpening claws.
- A functional smoke alarm or heat detector
Some catteries have an outdoor run that is safely enclosed. It includes a flap that will let the cat in and out. Outdoor runs provide enough ventilation to remove smells and allow cats to breathe in fresh air.
Will your cat be safe from health issues?
Boarding catteries house lots of cats, which means the chances of viral and bacterial diseases spreading are relatively high. You would not want to return home to a sick cat. Check the following to make sure that does not happen:
- a) Check whether the cat units are separated by either a wide gap or a solid barrier (or “sneeze barrier”). It is important that cats are not able to touch each other while in their respective units.
b) See whether the cattery proprietor imposes a strict hand washing practice in between the handling of cats. This is done to avoid the spread of diseases.
c) Find out if the pen assigned to your cat is clean. Also, check if the litter trays in other occupied cattery units are cleaned and food and fresh water are provided.
d) Observe whether there is enough ventilation. This will help prevent the spread of airborne illnesses.
If your cat has not been inoculated against enteritis and cat flu, have him vaccinated 5 weeks beforehand. Both diseases are contagious, hence, the need to protect your feline pet against them.
If your cat already had the initial inoculations, he should have booster shots once yearly. Schedule his annual maintenance shot at least a week before bringing him to a boarding cattery.
Do they ask you the right questions?
You’ve found a good cattery if:
- The owner asks about your cat’s diet and preferred litter type to ensure continuity in the cat’s routine.
- The staff insistently ask about your cat’s vaccination and his vaccination records. This ensures your pet will not potentially catch a disease from other feline tenants.
- They ask about pet insurance and the contact information of the veterinarian, in case of an emergency.
If the cattery asks all these, it means they follow a strict protocol that cat owners must comply before they receive your cat.
Is the cattery licensed?
You can search for licensed catteries in your area using an online directory or through recommendations by friends. If you are making an onsite visit to one, you can ask to view the boarding cattery’s licence.
One Last Tip in Choosing a Boarding Cattery
Take note of the number of staff the cattery has and the staff-to-cat ratio. This will allow you to learn whether there are enough people to care for all the cats. Exceptional boarding catteries may even monitor your feline friend’s potty behaviour and diet. This is a very commendable proactive approach to ensuring that your cat is healthy. It also allows the staff to spot warning signs of health issues and address them early on.
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