Worried about leaving your cat when you go on holiday? Find out what to do with your cat when you go away
Deciding who will look after your cat while you’re on holiday is an important decision, but as long as you prepare in advance and do your research, finding the perfect cat holiday care is simple and will give you peace of mind when you leave your beloved kitty behind.
While it might be tempting to try and find a cat-friendly holiday and take your feline friend with you, most cats find travel quite stressful and there’s an increased risk of them going missing in an unfamiliar environment.
Instead, follow our top tips for finding cat care at home when you go on holiday...
1. Decide what’s best for your cat
Every cat is unique, so a certain type of cat holiday care might suit your cat more than another. The two main options are booking them into a cattery or finding a cat sitter (either a professional or a friend, family member or neighbour) to come and look after them at home. Cats are happiest in their familiar environment and thrive on predictable routine, so will usually find having a cat sitter visit them at home the least stressful option, particularly if they are a nervous cat. However, if you think your cat will be happy in a cattery environment then you can look into this option instead.
2. Do your research
Whether you opt for a cat-sitter or cattery, take the time to research the cat holiday care options near you. Asking friends, family and neighbours for recommendations is good place to start and read reviews online to see what other cat owners think of the services provided in your local area.
3. Meet in advance
It’s a good idea to meet with the person who will be looking after your cat while you’re on holiday to check you’ll be happy with the care they provide. If you’re using a cattery, ask to visit the facilities where your cat will be staying so you can check that they look safe and clean. If you’re booking a cat sitter, invite them to your home to meet you and your cat in advance, so you can make sure you all get along ok.
4. Ask lots of questions
Before you book your cat holiday care, make sure to ask plenty of questions to ensure you’re happy with the care that will be provided. For cat sitters, ask what times of day they will be able to visit and how long they will be able to spend with your cat, plus make sure they know what to do if your cat becomes unwell or goes missing. For a cattery, ask to see their licence and check what measures are in place to prevent cats escaping and keep cats sperate to prevent stress and the transmission of diseases. If your cat requires any specific medication you’ll also need to check they can administer this safely.
5. Book in advance
Once you’ve found a cattery or cat sitter you’re happy with, make sure you check their availability before you book your holiday. Some can get booked up quite far in advance so try to give them plenty of notice if you can.
6. Leave detailed instructions
When you leave your cat to go on holiday, make sure you provide the cattery or cat sitter with plenty of information to help them care for your cat. Let them know what food your cat eats, how they like to be stroked and what toys they like to play with. Most importantly, make sure they know how to contact you in case of an emergency and the details of your cat’s vet. We’ve put together a handy checklist you can give to your cat sitter or the cattery with all the important information they’ll need. Find the cat sitter checklist.
7. Leave something that smells of you
Cats rely heavily on scent to understand the world around them, so when you go away, leave your cat with something that smells of you, such as a t-shirt or blanket. The familiar smell will help them to settle into their new environment or routine while you’re gone and provide them some comfort if they’re missing their favourite human. You could also use a plug-in pheromone diffuser, such as Feliway®, to help your cat cope with any stress while you are away.