Whether you’re planning a two week holiday or a long weekend break, you’ll need to make arrangements for your cat whilst you’re away.
There are lots of options and which one you go with depends very much on your own circumstances and your cat’s personality and preferences. The following ideas should help you decide on what’s right for you.
One advantage of a cattery is that your cat will have somebody experienced keeping an eye on him. Many catteries are happy for you to call and check how your cats doing and some will even provide email and photo updates or even a live webcam link for ultimate peace of mind! Catteries vary between basic accommodation to high end luxury “cat hotels” which of course cost a lot more. It really depends on your own budget which cattery you decide to go for but do try to arrange to visit it first and make sure you’re happy with it before booking. The main downside to using a cattery is that, although some cats take it in their stride, others become stressed being out of their normal environment. If your cat has never been in a cattery before, I would strongly advise a “trial run” of a night or two to see how your cats react to it.
Having a friend or relative stay in your home provides care for your cat in their own territory and also security in terms of your house not being unoccupied. It’s not always easy to find friends or family able to do this, so some people hire professional house sitters. If you are considering this make sure you obtain references and ask to see copies of their professional insurance, to give you peace of mind. You should also of course make sure they are experienced in caring for cats but these days most house sitters are also pet sitters. House sitters can be expensive but it does mean the cat has more company than someone just popping in.
Neighbour Or Friend
If you have a neighbour you trust, you could ask them to look in on your cats each day, feeding and topping up their water for you and maybe giving them a bit of attention. If you’re just going away for a couple of nights, this is probably the cheapest, and easiest option. Your cats will probably sleep most of the time while you’re away and they get to stay in their home environment, although the downside is that, unless your friend is knowledgeable about cats, they might not be able to spot signs of illness in your cat so make sure you leave an emergency number and ask them to call if they have any concerns, even minor ones. Also make sure your friend knows where your vet is, just in case.
Using a pet sitter who makes one or more visits daily is a cheaper option than a cattery but still means someone experienced is caring for your cats, with the advantage that the cats are able to stay in their home. Again, obtain references and do some background checks before appointing someone, to ensure you’re happy with them having access to your home.
Where To Look
Your local vet is a great source of information in terms of catteries, house and pet sitters and will likely have a list of contacts. Veterinary nurses sometimes work freelance as pet sitters, giving you the confidence that a trained professional is visiting your cat, so it’s always good to ask your local vet for their recommendations and contacts.