No responsible cat owner gets a feline with the intention of spending too much time apart from them. However, life is full of curve balls and there may be occasions that arise where you need to find temporary care for your furbaby. This could be for many different reasons, from a family vacation or business trips to a stay in hospital, or even having someone to stay in your home who is allergic to cats. Regardless of why you need to find alternative care, you are almost certainly considering a boarding facility – aka a cattery – to look after your kitty when you can’t.
Catteries are a perfect option for those owners who do not want to place the immense responsibility of caring for their pet on the shoulders of friends, family or colleagues. Instead, they can send their furbaby on a little vacation of her very own! Most boarding facilities are designed specifically to keep your cat as safe, healthy and content as possible – something which you need to feel reassured of when you leave your kitty in their care. Nevertheless, you will still undoubtedly worry until your favorite furball is home with your once more.
To help take some of the stress out of boarding your cat, here are our top 5 tips for keeping her healthy and happy while she is away.
Do your research into the boarding facility before you book
Not all catteries were created equal, and while they present themselves in a certain way online, it is essential that you do careful research into your chosen boarding facility and visit in person to ensure that you are choosing a service that offers the best possible care for your cat. When you go to look around the premises, carefully assess the cleanliness of the conditions and the type of accommodation provided. Cats from different households should never be allowed to mix, so check that this is the case at the cattery you visit. Be sure to ask any questions that you have, and check out reviews of the service online.
Sometimes the need to board our pets arises unexpectedly, and this can mean that the pressure is on to find a cattery that we feel will provide great care for our cats. For this reason, we recommend that you identify a couple of boarding facilities soon after getting your feline, so that you know where you will contact if the need for temporary care arises.
Make sure she is up to date with her preventative healthcare
A population of cats in the same location is a recipe for the spread of disease, and all it takes in one sick cat to infect the entire cattery if the animals staying there are not sufficiently protected. One of the best ways to ensure that your kitty stays healthy while she stays in boarding is to ensure that all of her preventative medications, such as vaccinations and flea/tick treatments are all up to date. If she hasn’t had vaccination boosters in the last 12 months, your vet may recommend updating these, and an early prevention testing service will help to reassure you that your cat is in the best possible health and not vulnerable to disease before she goes into boarding.
Ensure continuity with her food
You should never change your pet’s food suddenly, as doing so can cause digestive problems as well as intolerance to the new product. Most boarding facilities offer a variety of different brands and types of cat food, but if you don’t see the one that your feline prefers listed, you should enquire with your facility if you are able to provide your own. This will also help your cat, who is probably a little anxious about her new situation, to feel a little calmer and should ensure that she eats.
Bring comforts from home
Cats have a wonderfully strong sense of smell. Leaving something with your scent on can have a calming effect for your kitty while you are separated. Her favorite blanket or bed, toys and even her own climbing tree can all help her to settle in and feel reassured that you haven’t forgotten her.
Ensure her medical needs are taken care of
If leaving your pet wasn’t stressful enough, it can be particularly hard to do if your kitty is suffering from a medical condition that requires her to be given daily medication. Fortunately, any good cattery will have staff who are trained to be able to successfully deliver a wide range of medications, from shots to pills. Some also have a standing arrangement with a nearby veterinarian so that there is always someone on standby should our kitty become unwell.
Don’t forget that you will need to provide the medication itself, as well as give clear and concise information about the dosage and frequency with which it should be given. Please do not hesitate to contact us at Stewart Animal Clinic in Warrior, Alabama.