Cattery or friends & neighbours?(14 Posts)
We have a 5yo adopted cat, who's been with us about six months. He didn't have a traumatic start, he just had to be relocated because of owner's severe allergy. He took a while to settle and though he's not a real lap cat, he's very keen on company (when he wants it - he's still a cat after all) and is particularly attached to me. Follows me around, sits inches away when he can etc etc.
We've left him for 36 hrs before with a neighbour coming to feed him, but we're going for 5 nights before Easter, possibly 6, and apart from the fact that I don't know who I'd ask to do all that time, I'm concerned he'd be miserable/defect elsewhere if he was on his own that long.
Though he has access to the outside world via a cat flap, he's gone back to using a litter tray because he's very much bottom of the pecking order of local cats, and regularly gets jumped when he's, y'know, taking moment under a bush. We had to give him a litter tray again after weeks of finding poo behind the sofa, on the door mat etc. So it's not just a matter of feeding, we'd be asking friends/neighbours to de-litter every day or so too.
So I'm weighing up if it would be more traumatic for him to get dumped with strangers for a week so soon after being re-homed, or to be left in familiar surroundings but lonely.
All wisdom and experience very much appreciated!
Also just thought of pet sitters. But they seem same price as a cattery...
You could use friends for one or two visits a day topped up with visits from a professional cat feeder (IME they're mostly besotted cat-lovers who can be relied on to make a fuss of the cats) but yes it would probably cost as much as a cattery.
I would pay a pet sitter, much less hassle for them than a cattery.
I have found that the least traumatic experience for my cats is to have friends and neighbours come by. I usually get two or three to do it so it's not too much of a burden for anyone.
I have used a cattery before and the cats found it very stressful even though the lady who ran it was very kind and considerate towards their particular needs.
I have also used a pet sitter but the cats just hid from her so it seemed pointless to employ her cat friendly services.
I use the cash saved by asking friends to come by to get them a thank you gift.
Leave him in his own home, he will definitely be happier there. If you have a friend/neighbour who is happy to help then ask them, if not ask a pet sitter.
I have a sitter who comes for 20 minutes twice a day. She feeds him and plays with him. When I get back he spends a few days pining at the window at the times she normally comes so I know he enjoys it.
Cats sleep for something like 16 hours so as long as he gets some interaction and has stimulating toys, he'll probably be fine with visitors. Could never put mine in a cattery, he'd hate it
Having tried both, we'd never do a cattery again. We do have one abnormally anxious cat though.
Friends and neighbours is by far the better option. You can always offer to return the favour; we have a good few people we pet sit for at this stage so we never have to worry about leaving ours.
I ve had cats who have been fine in a chattery, but current one finds it v stressy and much prefers being left at home wth someone popping in twice a day. He then practically forces them on the sofa to give him a fuss. Is say leave him in his own space if you can. And have a look at feliway, helps cats stay settled.
Thanks all, had already started thinking of a mix of approaches as v unlikely to get 1 person/family, even neighbours (who work shifts and have kids) to be able to do that long in school hols but could prob do a couple of days.
Our cat is keen on company too and I was very worried about him being happy with someone popping in once or twice a day when we went away. I found a gorgeous countryside cattery where he gets plenty of attention from the staff, we get sent videos of him and he's always purring away! For short breaks he has a sleepover at our neighbours, their cat recently died and they adore having ours for the night.
Cats don't like being moved around. I think places are more important to them than people (in general- I am sure there are exceptions). Do you have a neighbour with a cat? You could trade favours. Or maybe you have a neighbour with a cat-loving teenager whom you could pay to visit your cat, with the parents keeping an eye on the whole situation.
We use a pet sitter (she's also a friend but I pay her going rate). I wouldn't want to ask friends or neighbours to deal with the litter tray, but I like the cats shut in when I am away from home. I've used catteries before - they vary a lot but some are really good - but to be honest I like having somebody coming to the house and it is much less disruptive for the cats. She also puts the radio on and off for them(!), puts lights on and off and moves curtains, and waters my plants.
Thanks all, found a friend who can do a couple of days and we're getting a sitter for the rest. I think that's the right thing to do, considering he's still changing his behaviour from time to time. In a good way - just started sitting on me properly for more than 5 minutes at a time . Although as he's bloody enormous and really quite heavy that's a mixed blessing...
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