Happy cat, happy owner

While we love to holiday in far-away destinations, cats prefer to stay at home. But responsible owners don’t leave velvet paws completely to their own devices. One possibility is to enlist the help of a neighbour, friend or relative and if that’s not an option? Then kitty gets to go on holiday too: in a boarding cattery or cat hotel. The experts from Maxi Zoo have a few tips of things that holiday-makers should think about in advance.

Feline friendly

Animal lovers are usually happy to recommend good catteries, so if you are looking for feline-friendly accommodation, the best thing to do is to ask cat owners in your area. Your vet, animal welfare agency and naturally your local pet specialty store should be able to help as well. There are also Internet platforms where you can search for holiday lodgings for your cat by postcode.

What should a boarding cattery or cat hotel provide? Apart from a few basic things, this depends on the individual cat. If your pet is very people-oriented and affectionate, they need familial accommodation with personal care. If they don’t agree with other cats, or only to a limited degree, the cattery should have several rooms or groups, or the option to stay in a single room. If it is important to you that your feline is fed as they are accustomed to, their holiday carer should respect this and be able to cater to your wishes.

Good catteries are also characterised by the following:

  • There are ample things to do and room to move – ideally a secure outdoor enclosure, climbing trees, something to scratch, caves, different levels to lie on, set play and feeding times etc.
  • Each guest has its own litter tray.
  • The cattery ensures that your pet is immunised, wormed and free of fleas.
  • Cat quarters are cleaned daily.
  • Veterinary advice is sought if your pet unexpectedly falls ill.
  • Ideally, drop by (unannounced) and have a look for yourself. It is also a good idea to send your pet for a trial weekend before the big holiday. This allows you to sound out the cattery so that you can start your holiday worry-free. It is very important to plan everything in advance as good catteries are often booked out very quickly, especially in peak season.

And by the way, is your cat micro-chipped? If not, we recommend you get them micro-chipped and registered. If they go missing while you are on holiday, www.fido.ie  for example, offer a free lost and found database that is searched daily by Gardaí, vets, animal shelters, pet clubs and members of the public.