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Cattery anxiety - new cat owner

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by fbloke, Jun 1, 2010.


  1. fbloke

    fbloke PetForums Newbie

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    Hello all,

    This is my first post on the forum and it concerns our first ever cat, Mingus. He is a 3 year old from the rescue centre and is very loving and well behaved. He has bonded to me very strongly because I've been off of work ever since we adopted him and he's used to me being around. We're off on holiday soon and we will be putting him in our local cattery for a week. It's way more distressing than I thought it would be. I have concerns about him thinking he's been abandoned, being imprisoned where he currently roams free and getting into a grief state because he thinks we're gone forever. So, how irrational am I being? Do cats have some kind of emotional mechanism where they simply go into survival mode and just concern themselves with food and sleep for the week they're in the cattery? Is there any way I can give him some kind of anchor to home that lets him know we'll be back, like a piece of my clothing?

    Any reassurance or insights you can offer would be gratefully received.

    Thanks,

    Mike.
     
  2. groundhogdaze

    groundhogdaze PetForums Member

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    I was the same as you but having visited the cattery where we're leaving our cat I'm a lot more settled. They have told us we can bring in her blanket and any other comforter she needs. She will have a heated bed, cat tree and scratching posts and her own large enclosure as well as having her normal food and not the stuff they supply so it's far from being like a normal cramped cat shelter or RSPCA cage.

    We can't leave her at home with a cat minder as she can be very nervous and I'd be terrified she got out and done a runner because she was scared. The best alternative for us is the cattery - just shop around for the one with the best facilities. It's not ideal I know but the alternative - for us at least - is a non starter.
     
  3. vivienne

    vivienne PetForums Junior

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    Hi I worked in a boarding cattery for 7 years and found many first time cattery users to be anxious.
    Do visit the cattery and see how you feel not just about the accomodation but the owners and staff. I adore cats and so did the owners of the cattery I worked in, we really did try to give the cats love as well as board and lodging.
    Some people would actually be in tears when they left their cat for the first time. Most cats accept being in a cattery with no problem in 7 years we only had one "unhappy" pair.
    The same tearful owners would be releived and occasionally a bit put out on their return to find that their cat had not pined away in their absence and often gave them no more than a cursory glance from their bed where they were dozing contentedly! (As if saying " Oh so your back are you")
    Try to find a cattery by reccomendation from a friend or neighbour.
    That is how we got most of our new business. If people are happy with you they will return again and again and be happy to reccomend you.
    Many of the cats I cared for were regulars are became old friends and I still think of some of them now.
     
  4. fabsec54

    fabsec54 PetForums Newbie

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    Our cat Flossie is very timid and we were also anxious about leaving her in a cattery, we needn't have worried. She has now changed to a Cat's Country Club and she couldn't be happier, she can have either a garden view from her pen or a meadow view. The only thing she seems to become stressed about is the journey to and from the cattery, once she is there/back home she is fine.:D
     
  5. Themis

    Themis PetForums Senior

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    I am putting my 2 in a Cattery in just over a week and I'm really nervous too!

    Mine are indoor Cats and I'm nervous that they will be scared by seeing other Cats in neighbouring pens. On the flipside they get to see out into a Chicken Coop which I'm sure they will love!

    The lady who runs my Cattery seemed really nice, she knew all of the Cat's by name. She also has Cat's of her own so that made me feel reassured that she is a Cat lover and not just out to make money.
     
  6. Janee

    Janee PetForums VIP

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    What we tend to do is make sure that we include an old t-shirt or something (not washed) with our scent on it with the cat as part of its bedding. Toys of course and any blanket.

    It is good to visit the cattery before you commit so that you know how your cat is going to be looked after and accommodated.

    I also take all insurance and vet documents incuding microchip details so that the cattery knows that if vet attention is necessary there is no problem.
     
  7. fbloke

    fbloke PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you all so much for your replies - very helpful and reassuring. We have visited our local cattery and it's superb, lovely garden setting, very clean and secure and I've met both owners who are clearly sensitive, cat loving people who have had a lot of success in life and are now doing what they love.

    I've booked Mingus in for one night there next week so that he gets used to the surroundings and also gets reassurance when I pick him up next day. I'm looking to make an association in his brain of cattery-nice place-go home afterwards.

    One last question for any experts in feline neurology out there - do cats experience time in the same way we do? I'm all upset about leaving him for a week, but will it seem like a week to a cat who sleeps 80% of the time?

    Thanks, Mike.
     
  8. Maiisiku

    Maiisiku Banned

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    I'm not sure I can answer the nurology question. But I left Bailey at home over the weekend and came back once a day to feed her and let her run around and have some love. My landlord was fixing the floorboards so she was in the diningroom. She had obviously missed me and was stressed by the whole thing. I wish I could have put her in a cattery but with such short notice that landlords give it wasn't possible. I'm sure he'll be fine.
     
  9. JoWDC

    JoWDC PetForums VIP

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    Hi and welcome to PF.

    I know what you are going through. The first time i took our two to the cattery (last year), i took my Mum with me (OH was at work) so i had some support. I think some of it is our separation anxiety rather than theirs. I took their blanket and scratching post so they had some home comforts.

    The worst thing was coming back to an empty house - i put it off for about an hour until i had to go home. OH told me not to be silly, even though he missed them too & we had a good break. & when we picked them up Patch moaned at us the whole way home.:D

    They are going to a new cats only cattery this year - for two weeks this time. & i hope they like it as much as i did when i went to visit.

    Good luck with your cattery visit. On Mingus's night away go out and enjoy yourself. Just don't sit in your empty house and pine for him - he wouldn't want that. & don't forget, we are all here for support if you need us.
     
  10. fbloke

    fbloke PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks to everyone for the advice and support - much appreciated. I've booked him in for a trial overnighter next week and I'll let you know how I got on.

    Mike.
     
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