Cats are better to not have their collars on at the cattery
If you want to make a stay at the cattery happier for your cat here are some tips from a Veterinary behaviourist Francesca Riccomini
1. Familiarity breeds content
The common mistake is to hide the carrier until the last moment. It doesnt take long for bright cats to realize that its bad news when they see the carrier! This situation can be avoided by making the carrier a permanent fixture in your home. If it becomes a safe retreat for when your cat is spooked, or somewhere he likes to sleep, hed be happier to go in it. You could place tasty little treats inside for him to Find, or feed him his favourite meals in there. In preparation for the journey, briefly shut your cat in and carry him around the house and garden, then into the street. Afterwards, let him out inside to engage him in a favourite game or give him an extra special meal. Do this on a regular basis over a period of time so your cat becomes quite relaxed when he is inside his carrier. When you travel with him in the car, cover the carrier with a familiar-smelling cloth to shield him, but be careful to avoid restricting the airflow!
2. Pack his belongings,not just yours A few simple familiar things that smell of home are far more use to an unsettled cat than new ones. Plan to take an old cat bed, a towel and/or a blanket that your cat has really made his own. Dont worry about washing them before he goes as its really important they retain reminders of home. Hiding is the feline strategy of choice in uncertain situations, so when deciding which of his favourite beds to take opt for the enclosed, igloo-style if possible. If your cat only uses your bed or a chair, make a point of placing an old towel or small blanket on the area for several weeks before you go away. Even better, make this two so you that you can take one for immediate use and have one in a sealed plastic bag (freezer bags with zips are ideal) for when the other needs washing.
3. Old Favourites are best A cardboard box is great for cats who need to hide, so get organized ahead, giving your cat plenty of time to establish ownership. After all, there are hiding beds in the cats pen it wont smell of him. Cats need a choice of options. The box not only provides a refuge, but also somewhere to play. With that in mind, take along some of his favourite toys. Simple and prey-like toys, cardboard tubes and screwed-up balls of paper or foil are ideal as it wont matter if theyre soiled or lost.
4. Scent can reassure On the subject of familiarity and odours, you are also part of the picture. Just because you are miles away, your mutual bond doesnt have to be broken. Your scent can help your cat cope better with the unfamiliar surroundings and routine, especially on the first stay with us. A useful trick is to place an old sheet in your bed or laundry basket so it picks up your scent. Tear it into pieces then store these individually in plastic bags. Then while they are staying here the cat can have a fresh one given each day.It could make a huge difference to his morale and his reaction to you when you return.
5. Good communication Provide details of your cats dietary preferences at the time of booking. If he is on a prescription diet or you feel the need you will have to take the food here yourself.Tell us which type of water container he prefers as dehydration can be a problem, particularly in hot weather and especially for older cats. If he will only drink water out of special bowl or glass please bring it with you.Take along sufficient medication for the stay, plus a few extra days in case youre delayed. Ensure that we have the correct instructions for administration.
6. Please dont say goodbye
Tough as it can be to leave a treasured pet, even in the most caring and experienced hands, tearful farewells are likely to make the parting much harder. Pop his carrier inside his pen, install his belongings, let him out then quietly leave without a fuss.Have a great holiday and return relaxed. When you come to the cattery to be reunited with your cat, dont make the mistake of letting your excited attention overwhelm him. Careful, low-key journeys and a no fuss homecoming with a prompt return to normal are what cats need most.
Kittys Holiday list
· Strips of sheet
· Cardboard box
· Favourite toys
· Prescription diet (if on one)
· Notes/medication if needed
The above information is to help in your cats stay with us but please feel under no obligation to provide anything with your cat if that is your wish. Everything will be provided for your cat. Please note that the cattery cannot take responsibility for belonging left at the cattery.