Considering a cat but have holidays booked(23 Posts)
I'm considering getting a cat (ideally a youngish one) from a shelter but have put this plan on hold for several years now owing to the fact there's always a holiday, Christmas, or some other time away on the horizon.
So as another solution, I was wondering what people thought about catteries and whether this would be a viable option? I'm concerned about the fact a rescue cat might be traumatised and might therefore not feel too great about it, especially if they think they're being sent back...--I feel so sorry for my imaginary cat.--
The other option would be to have a pet sitter visit, I suppose, but I'm not too keen on the security (i.e. giving house keys to a relative stranger) aspect of that.
What are people's views/experiences?
I've never used a cattery as I couldn't bring myself to do it (too soft for my own good!). When we first got Harry my Mum looked after him, and when she had to give up driving we found a pet sitter. I trusted her from the first time I met her and she is CRB (or whatever it is now) checked and fosters children and animals. She is also a vetinary nurse which is a weight off my mind as Harry has a few issues.
How long after you are getting the cat would the first holidat be and for how long? I think this would affect my decision.
I put my rescue cat in a cattery every year, and she is just fine. She is very well looked after and thoroughly spoilt when she goes.
Could you get the cat when you get back from holiday?
Thanks all. I'm going away in the summer hols, then again next Feb half term (will go away between as well if we're not getting a cat, but nothing else booked), so I'd probably be looking at taking the cat in around August.
But would wait until after next Feb if we'd need to have no hols for a year or something. I might start looking at cat sitters in the area to put my mind at rest that there are trustworthy, normal people out there
although they might think I'M a tad odd, given that I don't have a cat to sit.
There's no need to go a year without a holiday. We got Harry in March and went on holiday for two weeks in July or August and DM went in twice a day. He was fine despite me worrying!
I think most reputable pet sitters will be police checked. One of my old neighbors had a dog walking/pet feeding business. Her van said she was police checked (and was also covered in cute animals).
Not sure what your image of catteries is but most of them these days are comfy enough for humans to stay in. Factor in a good long spell when you are at home so that the kitten can take over your home. Check out catteries in the meantime.
Her van said she was police checked (and was also covered in cute animals).
My cat sitter doesn't have anything identifiable on her car which was one of the things that appealed to me. I wouldn't want it to be obvious that I was away because a pet sitter was coming in.
Yes, that's a good point, sunshite - my knowledge of catteries is informed by 1980s after school dramas (did someone take a job at one in Grange Hill or something??), so I should probably check them out too!
Good point about advertising my being away too - this is all very helpful!
If you ask at the rescue they will be able to tell you whether the cat settled easily there. If it was unhappy in the rescue cattery or took ages to settle or it had to be put into a foster home due to stress in the cattery then it isn't the cat for you. I have a very laid back cat that settled straight away and I know she'd be fine in a cattery. The rescue said she was very chilled out and resilient and when we got her home she wanted to cuddle rather than hide. I actually took her with me on holiday in the UK recently and she was completely chilled even though plenty of cats would hate it.
I have a cat sitter, she's a gem. The girls love her and are all over here. I trust her with my keys completely.
Don't let having holidays put you off getting a cat (esp a shelter cat) obviously don't get a cat just before going on hols but shouldn't be an issue otherwise.
We usually have friendly neighbours feed our cat when on hols but have occasionally used a cattery, our local one is fab, the lady is cat-mad and the cats are v well treated, I wouldn't hesitate to put a cat there.
My neighbour feeds my rescue cat, she is a retired lady and a big cat lover. I also like the fact someone is checking on my house while away too. Do you have any cat owners live near you where you can reciprocate?
I'd wait until you've had your August holiday. Then get your new addition. This is what we did with our second cat. It was fine. That will give the cat plenty of time to settle in and for you to look into the different options for care while you are away again in February.
We always get a friend to stay or I pay my very reliable neighbours lad to look after cats and dog. I should imagine that decent catteries will get booked very quickly for the summer period.
Once you've got an actual cat (or two, just saying) you'll get an idea of what would suit them best. Our two do NOT like the cattery. The cattery is lush, and the owners delightful, but no. However they're very happy to be left at home with someone coming in to feed them - our neighbour's 9yo, who's never managed a cuddle yet, bless her, or the vet nurse who does petsitting on the side (typical report back - 'I think I saw one of them on the Tuesday'). We just get shouted at on our return, as the cats love us and barely tolerate anyone else.
I adopted my rescue cat from a shelter and she is also relatively young. I've put her in catteries before when travelling and it's been fine! I also got regular updates about her wellbeing along with pictures which was very reassuring. I chose that particular cattery becuase you could just tell they were very passionate about cats!
My advice is to throughly reasearch the catteries near you and pay them a visit to make sure they are decent. A good cattery should provide lots of toys and have decent cat furniture so they don't get bored. Also, check to see if they have positive reviews online. Lastly, if you do go down the cattery route, leave clear instructions about feeding and grooming, etc. Ideally, you would get to know your cat over a few months before doing this.
You won't regret getting a cat, I certainly haven't. They're awesome :-)
I'll second that: there is no good time to adopt a cat but there also isn't a bad time! Our only conversation in our family revolves around the sentence ' how much have you fed the cat? He says he's starving!'
I'd say 3 months or so where you are planning on no trips is probably fine. My girly sulks about the whole cattery experience (but then she sulks about all sorts of things, like when I removed the live blackbird from her and released it the other day!) but within a few hours at home she's her normal self. Go for it! Cats are so life enriching.
A good cat sitter is the way to go. Ask other local cat owners for recommendations. Honestly, security is not a problem with proper professional ones and in fact it's better to have someone who can check on the house too.
You really don't need to go without a holiday for a year. Our cattery is great. When we had old girl they really spoilt her and made sure she got her medication.
Look for recommendation and visit and check them out. You want clean, secure and infection control. Check cats have exercise space and ask if you need to provide food.
I have never used a house sitter as I worry my two would escape. (We don't have a porch or anything and they could nip out the front door!)
Can you get two OP? We had a mum and son. 2 years and 18 months. Kept each other company! Now have two sisters.
We got our (non rescue) cats in August and went away for two weeks in the November when they were still kittens. They went into the cattery while we were away and coped absolutely fine. And it got them used to catteries too which was a bonus.
i get my grown up children to look after mine at home but that because with three of them would be expensive for me, but the rescue centre where i work has four boarding pens as well as the rescue pens and 90% of our boarders are ex residents from the rescue pens and they are all fine cats are not like dogs they dont always get anxious if their owners are not in sight, as long as they have food somewhere to sleep and a run for a bit of exercise most cats are fine at cattery
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