CATS ADVICE & LINKS
A CATTERY & HINTS ON TAKING YOUR CAT TO A CATTERY
hope these tips are of use, after running a Cattery for
several years we recognise re-occurring problems which
could easily be resolved with some thought. However these
are purely our own views which are offered as guidance
only. Hopefully you and puss will have a pleasant experience
at the Cattery of your choice. If you have any comments
or questions you are welcome to contact us.
Catteries vary a great deal depending on when they were
built , the style of construction, location, the people
running it etc. and finding the right one for you can
take some searching.
We hope the information below will help you to find one
with a bit more ease. We would strongly suggest that you
locate a Cattery before you actually need it, taking time
to research thoroughly, as good Catteries get booked up
well in advance and ideally you would want to book up
as soon as you get dates for holidays etc some months
beforehand to avoid disappointment. Also all Catteries
require to see up to date vaccination cards (ie within
12 months of date of boarding) as part of their licensing
agreement. If your cat has not been vaccinated within
this time period you will need to take it to the vet.
To start afresh the vaccination for cat flu and enteritis
(feline leukaemia etc not needed for boarding purposes)
takes 5 weeks to take effect, 2 injections 3 weeks apart
then 2 more weeks to give full protection.
The ideal way to board a cat is in a Cattery rather than
a Kennels & Cattery where noise from barking dogs
can be particularly upsetting for cats even those cats
used to having dogs at home. These can be found in Yellow
Pages/Thompson Directories, also by asking a local vet
or by asking friends about the facilities they use.
Make a list of a few potential Catteries. We strongly
suggest where possible you visit and look around, you
should never have to make an exact appointment as a good
Cattery will welcome viewers during their opening hours,
telephone sometime beforehand to check these times.
There are several points which need to be looked at:
Should be a good size run area incorporating an enclosed
housing area with free access between the two, clean,
odour free, good source of natural light and ventilation,
roofed to keep dry, secure (if wire used must be strong
and unbroken)with good bolts on pen doors and secure safety
corridor to provide secondary protection against escape.
Ideally providing an interesting view for puss stimulation.
Adjoining pens should have a solid barrier between them,
known as sneeze barriers, to prevent any risk of cross-infection
which may be transparent or a minimum 2 foot gap.
Should look happy & content, taking an interest in
surroundings and in the people walking about. Each pen
should have some basic details about the occupant on display.
Grooming should be carried out as required.
Ask about feeding, a good Cattery should feed your cat,
within reason, how it is fed at home with the brand and
frequency, ie generally twice a day but more often for
kittens/elderly cats. Heating must be provided in winter
which may/may not be included in the daily charge.
Check what happens if your cat falls ill whilst boarding.
Veterinary insurance maybe included in price or be an
optional extra. Which vet do they use or do they use the
customers own vet? Medications should be administered
but always discuss with the proprietor (especially with
injections for conditions such as diabetes) that they
are happy to do it.
Should be welcoming, take an interest in you and ask questions
about your cat. You should be invited to look around the
facilities and have explained how the cats are cared
for. Check that when you take/collect your cat that you
are able to go to the pen with it rather than hand it
over in the office therefore helping it to settle in and
so you feel happier in yourself seeing where puss is staying.
Ask exactly what is included in the price, some Catteries
will have some form of written information. You may be
charged extra for some things ie heating, insurance, special
diets/fresh foods.You may be required to pay a deposit.
Do not worry about booking there and then, check out other
places, then contact the Cattery you have chosen. You
may have a form to fill in or if not write down as much
information about your cat as you can to give them. It
is a good idea to write and confirm the dates you are
taking and collecting the cat and get return confirmation.
Check if you can leave your cat carrier some Catteries
may ask you to take it away.
Please note : The advice here is offered purely as a guidance
by ourselves, on things to consider when looking for a
Cattery. All Catteries must be licensed with the local
District Council for which they are inspected. To obtain
their licence (which must be displayed) they have to meet
the minimum criteria set by the councils guidelines
and have therefore been passed fit to care for cats. A
list of licensed Catteries should be available from the
Local Council although they will not be able to recommend
any particular one.
ON TAKING PUSS TO A CATTERY
Here are some tips on ways of making you and your cats
Cattery experience more enjoyable.
Plan well ahead (see How to choose a Cattery) where possible.
Check your vaccination cards to make sure the cat has
been vaccinated within 12 months. Should it be due for
a booster make sure this is done.
If you have misplaced the card contact your vet for a
replacement. Make sure that you take the card with you
to the cattery. Check the opening times of the Cattery.
Transporting your cat:
Take your cat in a strong suitable carrier, cardboard
and makeshift ones are not secure enough and it is extremely
dangerous (as well as invalidating car insurance) to have
a cat loose in the car. If your cat gets upset in a carrier
try covering a wire one with a blanket(leaving ventilation),
or having it on the passenger seat next to you. It is
much better for a cat to be secure and miaowing than unsafe
and a distraction.
Put newspaper rather than bedding in the carrier just
in case puss has an accident - the blanket you have taken
to sleep on and be a comfort to him is no good in the
wash. If puss tends to go toilet/vomit when in the car
make sure the carrier has a solid base, and if there is
more than 1 cat put in separate carriers so they do not
soil each other.
Where possible keep your cat in the previous night and
take it to the Cattery in the morning, thus preventing
"the missing cat". If a cat is prone to vomiting/toileting
do not feed for several hours before transporting, tell
the Cattery who should feed it once settled.
When booking your cat in give the dates you want the cat
to go in/be collected which are not always the days you
go/come back. Allow plenty of travelling time to collect
your cat within opening hours. Many people book their
cat in until the day after they arrive back to allow for
delays in planes/ferries etc. Alternatively have a friend
or relative that can collect the cat if you get delayed
as in busy times the Cattery will generally have the pen
booked out for the next day and may not necessarily be
able to accommodate extra time.
Health and medication:
Always inform the Cattery of any health problems your
cat may have had or is prone to. If medication is to be
administered tell them beforehand. Write down the dose,
frequency and name of medication as sometimes this can
be difficult to read off bottles and therefore avoids
confusion. If on long term tablets make sure you take
extra ones to the exact number needed. If puss has been
unwell get them checked out by a vet as they may not be
accepted for boarding if not fit, as long as puss is not
infectious it should not be a problem for antibiotics
etc to be given.
Tell the Cattery what food you generally feed your cat.
Hopefully they will feed as you do, if you change it between
booking/boarding or since your last visit tell them beforehand.
Bits & Pieces:
It is a nice idea to take something familiar along especially
for puss first time. Bedding, not too big and reasonable/cleanish
condition (not necessarily washed as its nice to
have some smell on it) which could be cat bed, blanket
or clothing such as old jumper is generally welcomed,
as are a few favourite toys.
Cats temperament & habits:
Tell the Cattery what your cat is like generally at home
in itself, with you, other people and other cats or if
been to a Cattery before, how it got on. This helps them
understand the needs of each particular puss and treat
them accordingly. The cattery will also appreciate knowing
any habits good or bad that puss has to make it easier
to look after it, eg if they wee over edge of litter tray
or make lots of mess they may use a covered litter tray,
how they react to grooming etc.
Chat - The Cat Rescue Resource. UK shelters,
cats seeking homes & more: www.catchat.org
Cats Protection: www.cats.org.uk
Wyvern Cat Club: www.wyverncatclub.co.uk
Worcester & District Cats Protection: www.worcestercats.org.uk
Council of Cat Fancy (GCCF): Information on Pedigree
Cats - welfare, breed clubs, buying a kitten, catshows
Gorgeous Guineas: A general information site about Guinea