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Should I take my cat on holiday?

Should I take my cat on holiday?

Taking your cat with you on holiday may seem like a great idea – but would likely cause a lot of unnecessary distress for your furry friend.

Cats are very territorial and therefore feel most secure in familiar surroundings. Put simply, they’re homebodies.

Petplan takes a look into how your cat can be cared for, so that both of you can relax and enjoy your breaks!

Ask a cat-loving friend to care for your cat

In a perfect world, cats are best left in their home with someone to care for them while you’re away on holiday.

Cats feel more secure at home. They have established routines, and favourite places to nap, while also being used to the specific smells and sounds.

If you have the option, ask a cat-loving friend or neighbour to care for your cat while you’re away.

Along with feeding and changing any litter trays, these visits will provide your cat with some interaction.

Your cat can enjoy their usual routine, with your absence being the only difference from their routine.

Consider a pet sitter

Alternatively, you can hire a professional pet sitter who can feed your cat and socialise with them or even stay in your home while you are away.

The advantage is that your cat is left in their home whilst also benefiting from regular company.

If you do go with this option, always make all the necessary checks to ensure you leave your cat with someone who is trusted.

Things to consider when choosing a pet sitter include…

  • Do they come from a reputable company? Read reviews and ask to be put in touch with customers – it’s important to leave your cat with someone trustworthy.
  • Do they have insurance? So that if anything was to go wrong in your home you and they are covered.
  • Do they get along with your pet? Some cats may be weary of strangers and the new smells they bring into the home, so it’s a good idea to invite a pet sitter round for a meet-and-greet prior to your departure. Let the sitter feed your pet a treat to help with a positive introduction.

Find a caring cattery

Although home care is ideal, it is not always possible. The next best option is to board them at a facility that can provide great care.

If your cat has a calm and friendly nature, a cattery is a great option. This is a cheaper option than cat sitters and can provide a reliable, professional standard of care for your cat.

However, the standards can vary so make sure you do your research before choosing one for your kitty.

Again, it’s a good idea to read reviews and talk to customers who have used the cattery previously to make sure it is reputable and trusted.

It is also advised you visit in advance to make sure it is suitable for your feline friend.

A few things to keep in mind when visiting include…

  • Is it a calm environment? It’s advisable to use a cattery that doesn’t have dog kennels as the noise of barking dogs can be stressful for cats.
  • Does the cattery require your cat to be fully vaccinated? If not avoid! Vaccinations are vital for cats going into a cattery because of the presence of lots of cats and therefore possible viruses.
  • Is the area big enough so that your cat has enough space to eat, go to the toilet and run around? Cats should be in individual runs and must not be able to come into contact with other cats. Of course cats from the same household can be penned together.
  • Does the pen have a ‘safety corridor’ outside it? Cats are great escape artists and can easily slip past someone opening the door to feed or clean.
  • How often are the cat’s checked on and have interaction with staff.
  • Is it kept clean and tidy?
  • What type of units does the cattery have? Are they indoor, outside or a mix of both? Most cats would like the opportunity for fresh air, so a cat flap from indoors to an outside secure pen is ideal.
  • Is there a vet on call for emergencies?
  • Is there someone on site at all times?

International Cat Care have a list of approved catteries that have been visited by the charity and checked against a standard of care to ensure the cattery meets a high quality of accommodation and care.

Keep an eye on your pet

You can now also buy pet monitoring kits such as the Petplan and Panasonic Smart Home Pet Monitoring Kit which can be used in addition to having a pet sitter or carer visit your cat whilst you are away.

This kit includes an indoor camera with temperature sensor and night vision, a smart plug, door sensor and an SD card to record and share what your pets get up to when you're not around. It even allows you to turn on a lamp, radio or heater via your smartphone or tablet to help keep them content.

This can provide additional peace of mind whilst you are away, allowing you to check your feline friend is safe and well.

To find out more visit www.petplan.co.uk/petkit/

And remember…

Whoever is looking after your cat while you’re away, you and the carer will need to be clear about your pet’s requirements.

It can be hard leaving your favourite furry family member behind, but responsible and loving care is available out there – and it’s far kinder to your cat than taking them with you.

Who looks after your cat while you’re away? Have you got any other advice? Let us know in the comments…

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