It’s natural to worry about your cat or cats when you go on vacation. Should you get the neighbor to pop in and feed them, hire a sitter or choose a cattery? If you decide that a cattery is the best environment for them, you might be concerned about how they’ll get on. But if you choose a respectable place, they’ll know just how to keep your kitty happy while you’re away. However, before you take them to their very own hotel, you need to prepare them for their stay. You’ll need to do a few things at your vet’s, as well as preparing them psychologically for their trip. Before you check them in, don’t forget to complete these tasks.
Neuter Your Male Cat
Many catteries and cat kennels will not accept male cats over six months of age who are “intact”. The reason for this is that un-neutered boys are more likely to carry and pass on infections. Not every cattery will have this rule, but many do, and some will ask that female cats are spayed too. If you’re planning to board your kitty in a cattery, check the rules about neutering well in advance. The operation is very quick and simple for boys, but you’ll still need to give them time to heal.
Get Their Vaccination Boosters
All catteries will ask you to make sure your cat’s vaccinations are up to date and may ask to see vet’s records too. Your cat needs to be vaccinated for cat flu and feline enteritis to protect the other cats around them. And, of course, it will protect them from contracting any illnesses too. If your cat’s vaccinations are out of date, you may need to start again with an initial round. If not, just ensure they have had their yearly booster a few weeks before they need to stay in the cattery. You can take the opportunity to have a health check at the same time.
Give Them Flea and Worm Treatments
You’ll also need to protect your cat against worms and fleas. Although you can buy tablets over the counter, it may be better to get a prescription from your vet. Worming for cats can be difficult when they’re reluctant to eat a pill. But your vet can give you a treatment like Advocate, which combines both worm and flea treatments in a spot-on liquid. It’s much easier to dab it on the back of your kitty’s neck than to try and get them to swallow a tablet. It’s important to make sure they’re protected against all kinds of worms, and not just one or two types.
Prepare Them for Travel and a New Environment
You are probably worrying more about your cat’s stress than they will. They might be a bit uncomfortable at first, but it’s likely they’ll settle in quickly. To help them along, get them ready for the journey and stay. Leave out their carrier so they can explore it and feel more comfortable with getting inside. You can also take something they love to the cattery, such as their bed or a favorite toy, so they have something to remind them of home.
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions before you book your cat into a cattery. It’s understandable if you want to know about everything from food to medical attention.