The holidays are fast approaching, perhaps you’re thinking of taking the family to Bali or Hamilton Island or taking a few days leave to watch Roger Federer compete at the Australian Open Tennis in January. Before you get out the credit card, who will look after your cat while you are away? Cat boarding is one option. Choosing a cattery carefully is important for your cat’s well-being and to give you peace of mind while you’re wine tasting in Western Australia.
Cat Vet Dr Kim Kendall, Chatswood Cat Palace in Sydney shares her top tips for choosing a cattery for your feline friend.
Dr Kim’s tips for choosing a cattery for cat boarding
- No smell – a good cattery will have no smell when you arrive
- Clean food, water bowls and enclosure. These should be clean(ish) – cats often poop or pee just when a newcomer is being shown through!
High-quality food – we only provide premium food for the duration of the stay
- No view of other cats – cats MUST NOT be able to see each other (they can cope with sound and smell but not the sight of unfamiliar cats)
- The cats should look relaxed – not scrunched in the corner or in their litter tray in their cabana
- Cat cabana furniture – the individual cabana (cage) should have a box to hide in and a shelf to jump up onto. The shelf provides some height, which offers the cat a more natural and familiar environment from which to survey its temporary territory.
- Space – 0.5m distance between all three main elements – bed, food and litter, which is vital if a cat is to feel as comfortable as possible
- The same cabana – the cat should stay in the same cabana throughout their stay
- Vaccination is a requirement for cat boarding at the Chatswood Cat Palace, however, some very good catteries do not insist.
- Cat ‘gyms’ – I don’t like ‘gyms’ where the cat is taken out of their cage and placed in an enclosure to ‘exercise’ – young Burmese cats are fine but I find it just upsets most cats.
- Cat wandering around – I don’t like cats being ‘let out to wander around’ either. Staff should interact with cats while they are in their cages.
Dr Kim’s number one rule for keeping cats calm ‘when not at home’ – is to provide a hiding place, a safe sleeping space with minimum noise and smell.
More about cat cabanas at the Chatswood Cat Palace.