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Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by jasperthecat, Jun 11, 2018.
Ps: look for a cattery where cats look relaxed
Holidays ? ...........what are they .
With 9 dogs holidays were out of the question and although our daughter was brought up with dogs we would never have felt totally happy leaving her in charge of them.
A few years back she turned the tables on us ,she was off to the TT races on the Isle of Man and needed a horse sitter ,we were given written instructions of what needed to be done and in what order , she even phoned to check at least twice a day to check her horse was okay .
So fast forward to now , one cat and still I don't trust anyone else to look after him as I feel he deserves so holidays.................just a memory
We had a bit of a nightmare with our cat-sitter recently. He's our gardener , loves the cat and has cat-sat before, checking on her , letting her out in the morning but back in at night , and declining any payment ! Last time we went to visit my son for the weekend it was all set up, instructions and key given , food left for the Friday , we got back on the Sunday night to find none of the food I'd left out eaten , no empty packs in the bin and poor little puss meowing her head off at the door . She'd been outside all weekend with no food !
It turned out the cat-sitter had had a health scare on the Friday and completely forgotten the arrangement - he was mortified !
Of course we felt terrible too, but after 3 pouches of food over 2hours puss was happy again and not suffered any after effects - she had a pond full of water to drink from and an outdoor igloo for shelter.
This made us reconsider our cat care provision, we've ruled out a cattery because she's such a home-bird, never wanders from the garden, and is not up to date with vaccs. At 19 years old I don't feel inclined to restart a vaccs programme. Our gardener has said he would look after her again but we'll make sure to phone or text him with reminders !
I muse admit, mine didn't flinch when we were at the vets and 3 loud dogs were barking. I was more scared than she was!
I always get nervous because I worry my cat will be scared, and I look at him he looks ok!
He is nervous because we are at the vet but the fact that dogs arrive doesn't change anything for him.
I think Biggles would be ok with dogs barking, as the shelter he was in, you can always hear the dogs. For a cat not used to it, it could be stressful.
In general he is not bothered by loud noises, music, fireworks etc. when we had fireworks nearby us, he trotted to the window to investigate.
When I moved house two years ago I asked for cattery recommendations on here. Due to distance (and trusting the recommendations) I didn’t visit first. When I took the cats in (they are indoors only, and shared a pen) I was horrified! Trouble was it was holiday season so I was stuck with them. I spent the whole three days convincing myself that the cats would be fine, but I hated it.
The cattery was also a kennels and all that could be heard was endless howling and barking. All the cat pens were outside and looked old and tatty, and the staff were not inspiring! Bruno came home with stress-induced IBD and hasn’t been right since :-(. He is on daily steroids which will probably shorten his life.
As soon as I moved I determined to find a better way (as my job requires occasional overnight stays). I found a great vet and one of their senior nurses does cat sitting, so for the first time in seven years I had a holiday last month! She also looks after my hamster and rabbit, and throws in free claw clipping .
@Blaise in Surrey
That is my biggest worry that stress could bring about an illness.
The place I found that I plan to visit, has cameras, looks nice from photos and are supposed to have staff that will play with the cats. The camera reassures me as I can check in on him that way.
@Summercat Just visit the cattery and ask for seeing the kitchen, ask questions about what they do when a cat is ill, if they have a quarantine pen, do they cover vet costs if something arrived while he was on their care. Ask how many people look after the cats and how many cats they have at the same time, if they spend time with them, how often they feed them / change the litter trays and clean the pens. Make sure there is a sneeze barrier / no communal area (although mine let the cats in the corridor - one by one - when cleaning the pen...), make sure they will feed him his usual food if you bring it (they normally all do), if he needs medicine will they charge extra for giving it to them... Make sure it is well ventillated, hot enough in winter (how do they heat the place?) and fresh in summer (do they have an outside area?), check if there is enough space in the pen.
Try to have a general feel for the place, keep in mind there will always be something but weigh the pros and cons and see what you think is acceptable. Check you are comfortable with the staff and trust them, if they talk about cats with love then it's a good thing I think!
Personally, the fact the place looked cleaned and the cats couldn't see each other was important to me.
When you bring your cat there, take his toys and beds etc (ask if this is ok beforehands) and a list of special things to do for your cat. For instance, I asked them to use his own bowls and to leave his food in a plastic tub / not in the can when refrigerated. They followed what I asked
PS: When a cattery doesn't give you an appointment for the visit, it's always good. It means they have nothing to hide (the opposite doesn't mean they do, they might also be busy... but it gives you an idea of the cattery).
Regarding the price, some catteries give you a discount if you bring your own food (it won't be much because they would probably feed your cat some cheap food if you didn't bring yours) but be careful, bank holidays are usually more expensive (mine charges twice!).
I thought I would share our experience with the cattery and our 4 very, very timid (only when it comes to strangers, different environments etc. with us they are good as gold). One of our cats is a little wilder than the other 3 - they were stray cats before we took them on.
We had to visit family over Christmas last in Germany for 2 weeks and sadly do not have family or friends who could have taken care of the cats here. So we had to put the cats in a cattery. We googled before, read reviews and called a few as well. We are extremely lucky to have a really nice cattery near us. The lady would talk to us on the phone for about an hour and also offered to come visit the cattery beforehand as well. (One really good indicator of a good cattery, in my opinion) It was definitely good to see how the cats were kept, treated etc.
With our cats being how they are, we were super nervous and stressed about putting them in a cattery though. We thought that they may end up not eating, being way too stressed and extremely unhappy. But the lady from the cattery assured us that she was very confident that she has never met a cat she couldn't get to eat something (special yummy treats etc.)
It was really nice because our cattery has a facebook page and she also uploaded pictures (she always does of her guest furbabies) of the cats and we had peace of mind when we saw them. It's definitely nice if the cattery offers updates on your cat(s).
The day we got the cats back they looked well fed, behaved completely normal and were just completely happy at home. Even with their anxious nature they were okay at the cattery and afterwards - so no trauma here!
I think a lot depends on the cattery itself, is it clean, safe, loving etc. So it is very important to get some reviews, check out social media profiles (if they have any) and definitely visiting the cattery beforehand to form an opinion and have some peace of mind. Our cattery also offered "home petsitting" but with four outdoor cats (and some neighbour cats) we couldn't guarantee that the cats would be there every time someone came over so we decided the cattery itself would be the better option.
So having found *THE* cattery for us I definitely have peace of mind when it comes to holidays.
Thanks all for the cattery tips and reassurance.
It just so happened a friend of my OH who used to live on the street the cattery is on came by today.
He didn't know the cattery but in telling about our trip my OH mentioned the one I was going to see is on the same street.
He offered as he still lives nearby but not as close to pop in once or twice to see how Biggles is getting on, which is very kind of him.
They have a cat also and it is his screensaver on his phone, so a fellow cat lover.
The cattery was nice. Quite small. They allow specific care messages posted on the glass doors, so I saw cats who eat wet, cats who are allowed out in the open area for exercise posted. The person who showed me around said they encourage items from home to make the cats more comfortable.
There wasn't anything I could see that was concerning and he offered to answer any more questions if I have any. I took the agreement home and I am to send it to him if we decide to book, which I plan to.
A cattery is not home but I think Biggles would be better somewhere where he is not as isolated with someone just popping in. He is very social.
@Summercat The cattery I have used offered me a pen close to the kitchen so my cat would see people walking all the time. Perhaps you can ask if they have a pen which is less isolated. The good thing about booking early is that you can choose
I don't go away often, but when I do, I use a pet sitter to live in with them while I'm away.
We viewed 3 catteries today.
One just didn't have the facility's we were looking for. One wasn't an option because the owner while nice and obviously good at her job deeply disapproved of raw food and we don't want to change their diet (they eat a little raw mixed with lily's kitchen) for one week - she ran a nice (and popular) cattery but we had what can best be described as a 'spirited debate' and as we left it was obvious that this wasn't the option for us - nice cattery though. The third was lovely and we loved the lady who runs it, if the fluffs could well check in for a week
The price for a family pen with 3 cats is a lot! I suppose for many cats this includes food etc but we will be sending out own food, treats etc.
@Smuge have you asked if there is a discount when you bring your food?
I think there are no miracles, good catteries are quite expensive this is something to keep in mind when budgeting holidays... it's frustrating I know, I am thinking of shortening my Christmas holiday because with the Christmas rates it comes costly very quickly.
I take my boy to a cattery. Thankfully he's a very chilled cat and adapted quickly to the cattery environment, was very relaxed and happy when I picked him up from his first stay (which was just under a week) and settled back in at home very quickly. I also chose a cattery carefully and was able to visit it beforehand so could establish it was very clean and spacious and the owners really care for their cats.
I take Bronn to a cattery, he whinges a bit on the journey, but he’s fine when he gets there.
Bagpuss goes into the cattery. He doesn't mind it. We have a fabulous cattery and I don't worry at all.
Last time I went on holiday and left a pet I fretted so much I've never tried again, and that was 15 years ago. Strangely though, I am always cat sitting for friends and I know I should trust them to look after her, but as she is used to going outdoors I couldn't in all conscience ask them to take that sort of responsibility for her. It wouldn't be fair to either party.