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Holidays - Cattery v cat sitter v ??

(33 Posts)
Badgerlady Tue 13-Jan-15 09:19:35

Just wondering what arrangements fellow MN cat owners make for their cats when you go away.

We have two kittens, now 4 months old. We are going away in early February for five days. Original plan was for DSS (23) to move in for that time. However, he is now going away for work that week so and I need to make other arrangements for the cats. I've been going round in circles about the options!

When I had cats previously, I had a neighbour with teenage children that I knew very well and I would pay them to come in a twice a day. The cat was an adult. Where I live now neighbours work very long hours and I don't know them that well (I've never seen them in daylight and am nursing a secret theory that they may be vampires grin). Other family live too far away to pop in on a daily basis.

So my options seem to be (1) a cattery or (2) cat sitter to come to the house.

There are local catterys who would house them together. They seem to have reasonable reviews and I would go and look at them before committing. Kittens are fully vaccinated and neutered.


There is a local cat sitter who would come over for 30 minutes twice a day. I'm meeting him on Friday. He has provided details of various local vets who can provide a reference/assurance that he is who he says he is! (which I obviously check out).

The rates for each are comparable.

I'm leaning towards cat sitter as they then won't have to go to strange place.

So, what do you all do when you go away? Have a missed an obvious option? Any questions I should ask the cat sitter/cattery?

(badger lady - who has probably overthought this massively!)

shuan Tue 13-Jan-15 14:28:06

I am so glad you have posted this as I am currently thinking through the options for my new rescue cat. We don't go away until the summer but I need to make a plan of what I will do.

shovetheholly Tue 13-Jan-15 15:06:32

Personally - and this is just a personal take, I don't believe there are rights and wrongs in general - I'd go for the cat sitter. Neither of my cats enjoy going to strange places, and they would find a cattery quite stressful. With a sitter they can be in their own space, which is more familiar and reassuring. They will soon get used to someone coming in to feed them.

We are lucky in the sense that we have a reciprocal arrangement with lovely neighbours who also have a cat that needs care when they are away! It is good if you can get something like this in place because if you regularly feed a cat you have a kind of bond with it. I keep an eye out for their cat while they are out at work and would be able to get hold of them straight away if there were any problems. I know they do the same back!

chockbic Tue 13-Jan-15 15:09:00

Less stressful for the two of them to go in the cattery.

For one cat or kitten, a cat sitter no doubt.

RubbishMantra Tue 13-Jan-15 17:25:23

I've always been lucky enough to have a friend to come and stay to take care of mine when I'm away. (She's their god-mother, so she has to grin)

If that wasn't possible though, I'd prefer to have a cat-sitter to visit than put them in a cattery.

Hurr1cane Tue 13-Jan-15 17:32:37

I personally hate catteries and could never put any of my 4 rescues in one. In fact I accumulated the first one because she was really old and I saw her in a rescue centre and cattery in the rescue bit and I couldn't leave her in cat prison at her old age blush I'm a bit soft though.

Cat sitters all the way for us.

givemushypeasachance Tue 13-Jan-15 23:25:54

I tend to think it somewhat depends on the cat - some cats are pretty gregarious and seem to get on okay in catteries and you see them fussing around the owners/staff and looking very chilled out and pretty content in their often very plush beds with heat lamps and being waited on with 'breakfast in bed' and treats! (I think it sounds great personally...). But then other cats are very home territory linked, or spend most of their time outdoors, or just generally don't like change and disruption and seem to sulk or get depressed the whole time they're in a cattery. One of my friends cats went on a bit of a hunger strike and got constipated over the four days she was in a cattery, as example.

It's nice to know where your cat is when you're away, in a cattery at least they're definitely there and will be seen daily if there are any health issues. But if it makes them miserable and they'd be happier at home even with just someone looking in once or twice a day, then that may be better for all concerned. I tend to lean towards cat sitters for mine - but I have an arrangement with friends and we look after each others' cats. Though mine don't like other people and hide anyway so it wouldn't make much difference if it was friends or strangers!

DramaAlpaca Tue 13-Jan-15 23:30:17

I always get a cat sitter - a friend or a relative pops in once or twice a day. I couldn't put my two in a cattery, they'd find it very stressful.

Badgerlady Wed 14-Jan-15 06:52:51

Thank you so much for your responses - really helpful.

Sparklingbrook Wed 14-Jan-15 07:02:07

Cattery for me. I have to know she is ok and safe. Her routine at home would not suit a cat sitter unless they actually lived in and I don't know anyone I trust enough to do that or who she would be happy with.

myrtleWilson Wed 14-Jan-15 07:06:13

Ours are house cats and we've used a cattery in the past but they get very anxious when the cat boxes come out so now we use a lovely cat sitting service who come twice a day. Service posts pictures on f/b so we can see. Cats much more chilled as in own environment...

msrisotto Wed 14-Jan-15 07:07:23

I agree that it depends on the cat. My sisters cat was awful for peeing everywhere, but after she got back from the cattery, she was good for a while, I really think she liked it. However, I wouldn't put my cat in one, I went to look at a couple locally and they do look like tiny prison sitter all the way for me personally.

Sparklingbrook Wed 14-Jan-15 07:13:44

The neighbours have a cat sitter and every time they arrive the cat goes missing and reappears when the neighbours get get back from holiday. sad

justabigdisco Wed 14-Jan-15 07:20:47

If we're away for the weekend then we get someone in to feed them. Any longer and they go in the cattery.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 14-Jan-15 07:28:29

Same here, cat sitter or friend for weekends, cattery for longer holidays for our two.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 14-Jan-15 07:30:11

Also depends where we are going, if it's sonewhere we can get back from in an emergency then cat sitter, but if we're too far away I prefer them in the cattery not out on the streets.

middleagedbread Wed 14-Jan-15 07:40:52

I am lucky enough to use a wonderful cattery for my two. My neighbour looks after them if it is a weekend but anything longer and I book them in to the cattery. They have a heated indoor area with sheepskin beds and a larger outside area with a chair and high shelf. They have an outlook over the garden and it is quiet and peaceful.

However, when I bring them home they are unsettled for a few hours and I think it is because they have to re-establish their territory inside and out, so this is a negative. The positive is that when they are at the cattery I know they are safe and I can enjoy my holiday.

Re: cat sitters, I would not like strangers in my house personally.

Lunastarfish Wed 14-Jan-15 07:42:22

I use to put my cat in the cattery at my vets. My vet told me not too because he found it too stressful. I now have a cat sitter and the cat does seem to find it a better experience. I also find that a cat sitter works out cheaper than the cattery fees and I don't have to worry about delivering/collecting him so the cat sitter is much better imo.

TheEnduringMoment Wed 14-Jan-15 07:44:56

We have a good cat visitor. I like that there's someone checking on the house/watering the pot plants/putting out the bins as well. It might not work for every cat's routine though.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 14-Jan-15 08:10:56

Our cattery is run by a friend, they are in a pen together which looks out over her garden and there is someone on site 24/7 (obviously they go out as needed during the day, but the cats are checked regularly and they are on site overnight). They are sometimes reluctant to get in their boxes to come home and they don't seem unsettled when they get back. We get emails while we are away too.

Linus33 Wed 14-Jan-15 08:24:02

I like the idea of a cat sitter and would definitely go for it for weekend/short breaks but I think I would be worried about a longer holiday. Not that the sitter (or even I if I were at home) could do much about a missing cat but this would worry me if she didn't come home for whatever reason.

I also would be a bit worried about the sitter having to deal with any 'offerings'. These are becoming fewer but she still likes to have 'a go' when she can and mostly always brings them in! I guess though that as professionals, they'd be used to that!

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Wed 14-Jan-15 08:26:24

We use a cattery. It's only a small one, well run and because we always use it the cats do at least recognise it. Some catteries are big and also are kennels too. I wouldn't want that at all for them.

Tbh I know they don't love it, but our cats, like most, just don't like any change to their daily life at all. We only use it once or twice a year and I at least know where they are and that they're cared for. They always come back in good condition so I know they are fed, brushed and cuddled.

I don't have anyone I could ask to feed for days at a time. But even if I did or paid a sitter, I'd be worried the cats might go awol and I wouldn't know.

Sparklingbrook Wed 14-Jan-15 08:55:32

Sparklingcat is happy at the cattery. They have a FB page and put pictures of the cats enjoying their holidays on it with a little message for the owner. grin

Badgerlady Wed 14-Jan-15 12:29:40

Thank you for all the replies again. Really helpful.

Our two are not yet let outdoors (we were going to start introductions to the outside world when we get back from holiday). But I take on board the point about catteries for longer hols so they don't go missing.

To those who use and recommend their cattery: are any of you in SE London? And would you mind sharing / PMing the name of your cattery?

TheElementsSong Wed 14-Jan-15 16:23:10

We use a cat sitter for our old girlcat, sitter comes twice a day and does feeding, clearing the litter tray and (most importantly) cuddles. It suits our cat well as she is a homebody but also is a tart friendly to strangers bearing Dreamies grin

The sitter also opens the curtains in the morning, shuts them again in the evening and tidies up the post etc - so the house looks occupied while we are away.

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