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COSY CATS ADVICE & LINKS

CHOOSING A CATTERY & HINTS ON TAKING YOUR CAT TO A CATTERY
We 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.



CHOOSING A CATTERY
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:

Accommodation:
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.

Cats:
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.

Care:
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.

Proprietors:
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 cat’s 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.

Prices:
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 council’s 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.



HINTS ON TAKING PUSS TO A CATTERY
Here are some tips on ways of making you and your cat’s Cattery experience more enjoyable.

Planning:
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.

Timing:
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.

Food:
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 it’s 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.



LINKS !

Cat 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
Governing Council of Cat Fancy (GCCF): Information on Pedigree Cats - welfare, breed clubs, buying a kitten, catshows etc: http://www.gccfcats.org
Gorgeous Guineas: A general information site about Guinea Pigs: www.gorgeousguineas.com

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