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Is my cat happy at home, or should I use cat boarding?

Many cat owners ask if their cat should stay in their own home or be cared for in a cattery while they’re away on holidays.

It makes it harder to decide when both options seem to have merit.

But it ultimately comes down to your cat, your preference and the options available to you.

Catteries can come in all shapes and sizes, with some offering a peaceful home-like environment, whereas others encourage sharing with other feline friends or a mixture of both. They also may have different levels of staffing and personal attention.

On the other hand, a cat sitter will come to your home to spend time with your cat in their own environment, feed them and give them cuddles. You can get cat sitters who pop in daily or hire house/pet sitters who stay at your house while you’re away.

Let’s explore your options for looking after your cat while you’re away.

Is it better for your cat to stay home or be placed in a cattery?

You’ve probably noticed that your cat is a creature of habit and is super comfortable in your home environment. Honestly, if your fur baby is like most cats, it probably runs the household, sleeping where it likes and getting attention whenever needed!

In this regard, most experts recommend that you keep your cat in its own environment if possible.

Your home environment is also preferable if your cat is:

  • Difficult to transport

  • Scared or nervous about an unfamiliar activity or people

  • Nervous (or fierce) around other cats

  • Older with any compromised immunity

Does your cat sleep most of the day? Take note of their most active times and ask your cat sitter to visit during that time (if they’re available). Your cat can be fed, have a play and lots of cuddles before settling back down for another long nap.

What if I can’t find a cat sitter? Will a cattery be ok?

If you can’t find a cat sitter (whether a friend, family member or a professional pet minder), research the local catteries. Go and visit them and see how the cats are behaving. Do they look ‘happy’ and well cared for?

Most catteries will be run at a high standard, with strict protocols for caring for your cat.

One thing to consider is the number of cats they have in the cattery and how much attention your cat will receive.

Some cats don’t mind a solitary life in a cattery, preferring to be left alone to sleep the days away. Other cats crave human attention and will want extra cuddles during the day. And some cats love the company of other cats and enjoy being in a communal play area.

You know your cat best, so make sure you find a cattery that suits your fur baby.

Top questions to ask a cattery owner

If you decide to check out your local catteries, here are the top questions you should ask:

  • Where will my cat be staying – can you show me?

  • What do you feed my cat, or do I provide my own food?

  • How often do you change litter trays, and will my cat need to share them?

  • What climate control do you use (is it heated all night in winter and cool all day in summer)?

  • How often are the enclosures cleaned, and are the chemicals safe for my cat?

  • How experienced are the staff members, and how long have they been working there?

  • If my cat becomes sick, what do you do?

  • If staff are only in attendance for a few hours, who looks after my cat, or how do you know if there’s an emergency?

  • Will I receive updates on my cat’s welfare during its stay?

Other top tips:

  • Ask your vet for recommendations

  • Visit at their opening time so you can genuinely see the hygiene standards

  • Read reviews from past customers (other pet owners will be brutally honest when it comes to the care of their fur baby)

Top questions to ask a cat sitter

If you’re looking for a local cat sitter, here are the top questions you should ask:

  • Will you stay at my place, or do you visit during the day?

  • If you visit, how long do you stay with my cat?

  • If you’re staying at my house, do you have a police check?

  • What happens if my cat becomes sick while I’m away – will you take my cat to the vet?

  • What’s your experience with cats – fellow owner, animal care degree, etc.?

  • Are you insured and an accredited sitter?

  • Are you ok with changing cat litter and following my feeding schedule?

  • Will I receive updates on my cat’s welfare when you visit?

Other top tips:

  • Ask your vet, family or friends for recommendations

  • Read reviews from past customers

  • Trust your gut instincts

Would you like a local cat sitter to look after your cat while you’re away?

I have been a local Glen Iris pet minder & dog walker for many years. As an accredited and fully insured pet minder, I’m trusted by multiple families to look after their fur babies while they’re away.

As a lover of all animals, I can pop in to feed your fish, birds, rabbits, cats, dogs etc., when you’re not home.

You’ll come home to a happy cat who’s been kept well fed, given clean water, and had plenty of cuddles while you’ve been away. And you’ll also love that you won’t come home to a stinky litter tray; I’ll take care of that too!

Here’s a reminder of my services (I will be away from 23rd October to 13 November 2022 for a break).

If you’ve had any experiences with cat sitting or a cattery, I’d love for you to comment below.

Until next time, pat your fur babies for me.


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