Prep your cat for a cattery or cat sitter

The downside of a holiday is having to leave your cat behind. If you’re going away, here’s how you can prep your cat for a holiday at the cattery or a staycation...

Going on holiday and leaving kitty behind? Here’s how you can prep your cat for a stay at the cattery, or a staycation with a pet sitter.

The holidays are fast approaching and, depending on your plans, you might need to leave your cat behind while you visit family or friends, or enjoy some rest and relaxation away from home. Something that cat lovers often find challenging, however, is what to do with your kitty over this time.

You could book them into a local cattery, or it may suit your cat better to be left at home and have a friend check in on them or have a pet sitter look after them while you’re away.

Once you’ve made your decision and arranged how they’ll be looked after while you’re away, how do you prepare your cat?

If they’re going to a cattery

The first step is to book the cattery; the earlier the better, as there’s more chance there will be space at one that’s local and that your cat may already be familiar with. If this is the first time you’re taking your cat to a particular cattery, do some research into the facility to make sure it's run well.

If you can, visit the cattery in advance to meet the staff and observe the cats that are currently being boarded. This will help you feel more comfortable leaving your cat there while you’re away.

Once your cat is booked in and it’s time to take them to their holiday cattery, there are a few things you can do to make their stay more comfortable.

  • Get them used to their carrier ahead of time. Ideas are to pop in their favourite bed, toy, or treats so it’s seen as a retreat rather than a threat.
  • Make sure the cat stays inside your home the night before; cats seem to know something’s up and have a knack for disappearing at the wrong time.
  • Bring along a favourite toy or blanket that smells like you, so they feel more at home.
  • If they’re a picky eater or require a special diet, take this along with you and let the staff know.
  • If they require any medication or special treatment due to age or illness, be sure to let the cattery know ahead of time and bring their medication along.
  • Bring along their proof of vaccinations and leave details of your vet just in case anything goes wrong.

If you’re leaving them at home

Your cat may be fine to be left to its own devices for a day or two with plenty of water and food. However, any longer than this and you should arrange for someone to cat-sit, or at least check in on them daily to make sure they’re safe, happy, and healthy and still have plenty of food and water.

Your cat will no doubt appreciate the company and someone to play with while you’re away.

These days, pet lovers are no longer limited to a friendly neighbour or family member who’s happy to pop around to your place to check on your cat now and then. While these are still great options, you can now use pet-sitting services like Pawshake to find someone to cat-sit. You may even prefer a house-sitter you can find through Kiwi House Sitters, who can look after your cat as well as the house and garden while you’re away on holiday.

If you are bringing in someone unfamiliar to look after your cat in your absence, try and arrange a meeting beforehand so your cat can meet their temporary carer and you can make sure they’re a good match.

Once you’re arranged a suitable sitter, let them know about any quirks your cat may have, their feeding regimen, the medication they're on, and details of your vet in the event something goes wrong. This way, they will be fully prepared to give your kitty the best possible care.

Regardless of whether you take your cat to a cattery, or you arrange for someone to look after them in your own home, the best way to prepare your kitty is to have everything arranged as far in advance as possible. This means that you and your cat are not stressed on the day and you can both start your holiday happy and relaxed.