Going on holiday? What happens to your cat?

As we approach the summer months, you'll no doubt be starting to think about booking your summer holiday. But while you’re jetting off into the sunset, what happens to your beloved pet?

Cats Protection would not recommend anyone taking their cat on holiday with them, as it can become very stressed by travelling and disorientated in a new environment without the familiar smells of their home territory.

So really that leaves two options: arrange for a trusted cat sitter to look after your cat, or book a stay in a cattery for your pet for the duration of your holiday.

Booking a cat sitter

A pet sitter is a service in which someone will call in regularly to feed your cat and spend some time with it. A trusted friend, neighbour or family member is ideal.  Alternatively, some pet sitter services will arrange for someone to live in your house while you’re away.

Checking into a cattery

If you book your cat to stay in a boarding cattery while you’re on holiday, make sure you organise it well in advance and that your cat’s vaccinations are up to date.
here are plenty of catteries to choose from and it can be overwhelming to find a suitable one. We always recommend inspecting a cattery prior to making a decision.
When you visit, check:

The cattery is licensed by the local authority – you can ask to see the licence

  • There are double doors or a ‘safety corridor’ which prevent any cat that has got out of his pen from escaping 
  • Cats from different households are not housed together and cannot come into direct contact
  • Each unit is insulated, easily cleanable and has some form of heating
  • Pens gave gaps between them so that cats cannot go nose-to-nose
  • The pens, litter trays and food or water bowls are clean and tidy and there isn’t an unpleasant smell 
  • The cattery insists that all cats are up to date with their vaccinations
  • The cattery is happy and comfortable to administer any ongoing medication if your cat requires it 

For more information read the Foreign travel and cats page on our website and our Moving house cat care essential guide.

Continuity can be helpful when taking your cat to a cattery, so ask the cattery about taking familiar food, cat litter and something that smells familiar from home; and ensure it has somewhere to hide in its pen.