Don’t forget about your feline friend when you jet off on holidays.
Use a boarding cattery or vet
A boarding cattery is a facility that looks after a number of cats when their owners cannot. There are catteries in all major cities and towns, and many vet clinics also offer cat boarding services.
The main advantage of boarding your cat with a vet is that there are experienced medical staff on hand should she become ill. A potential downside is that the enclosures in many vet clinics are on the small side, and your cat may not appreciate spending lots of time in a confined space. Consider using Feliway to help make your cat feel safe.
Boarding catteries tend to offer larger quarters, as well as extras like enclosed outdoor play areas, though costs are likely to rise along with the degree of luxury.
Petbarn offers hotel services for cats with free pet collection from selected locations in Sydney and Melbourne.
Use a professional cat-sitter
The next best thing to you being at home is hiring a professional pet minder, or cat-sitter, to either stay with your kitty for the duration of your holiday, or visit every day.
The great thing about having someone care for your cat in your own home is that she won’t be stressed out by being taken away from her usual environment. This makes it a particularly worthwhile option for senior felines, or cats with special needs.
Ask friends, fellow cat owners or your vet for recommendations. Your chosen pet minder should be able to provide references, proof of public liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and specific information about how much time they will spend with your cat.
Ask a friend
If cost is a factor, consider asking a trusted friend, neighbour or family member to mind your cat while you’re away. Ideally, ask someone who is able to stay at your place and maintain your cat’s normal diet and routine, as many felines don’t cope well when taken out of their home environment.
If your cat will need to go to a different house, check that it’s escape proof and take lots of home comforts to help her settle in, such as familiar toys or a crate or cat carrier she can retreat to if she’s feeling overwhelmed.
It’s important to be confident that your friend or relative is reliable. If you’re going to spend your holiday worrying about your cat’s welfare, you might be better off paying a professional pet minder instead.