If you are going away on holidays, there are several options for your cat. You can have a house-sitter look after your house as well as your cat, which results in the least amount of disruption to your cat’s routine, or someone can visit your cat once or twice a day to feed and play with them, and check on their welfare. The other option is boarding your cat at a cattery.

How do I choose a cattery?

Consider a cattery recommended by friends or your veterinarian. If possible, visit the premises before sending your cat so you can be satisfied that it will provide the environment that you would wish for your pet. You could even send him for a short stay to see how he is when he returns – whether he settles quickly back into his normal routine, and whether he has lost weight or is in a poor condition. Some catteries will allow you to send your cat’s favourite food with her, and even a familiar blanket or toy.

What requirements do catteries have?

Since cat flu is very contagious, it is mandatory to have your cat vaccinated against cat flu. If your cat’s vaccinations are not up to date, consult your veterinarian to check if your cat will require a booster a few weeks later.

My cat came back from the cattery with cat flu, even though they were vaccinated.

Vaccinations are not a guarantee against catching disease, but equip your cat with the antibodies required to fight the virus, so that the disease is less serious and doesn’t last as long. Also, many cats that have recovered from cat flu continue to harbour the virus without showing signs of illness. These are called carrier cats and can start shedding the virus in times of stress, such as boarding. Therefore, even the most stringent vaccination requirements and quarantine facilities in a cattery will not guarantee that your cat will not be exposed to cat flu while it is boarding.