Socialising Your Only Dog and Other Doggy Day Care Topics

How To Choose The Perfect Cattery

From time to time, many cat owners have to put their pets into a cattery.  Although there are plenty of boarding catteries around, they're not all equal in terms of the care and facilities they offer.  So, how do you pick the best 'holiday home' for your pet? 

Read on for some tips on how to find a great cattery, and use the handy checklist provided to help you make the right choice.


Thorough research is vital if you're to find a good boarding cattery in your area; don't just Google, pick the first one on the list and cross your fingers!  Begin by asking for recommendations at your vet clinic, from your friends and cat-owning neighbours, check out adverts in pet stores and local cat magazines.  Make a shortlist of catteries that sound suitable and then get dialling!

It's important that you initially speak to the cattery owner.  You'll get a much clearer 'vibe' from a direct conversation than you will from just looking at a website.  A good cattery owner will be happy to answer all your questions without sounding evasive or reluctant to impart the information you want.  Always ensure that cats taken for boarding are fully vaccinated.  If the owner doesn't insist on this, walk away.

From your conversations, you'll be able to whittle your shortlist down again.  Next, you need to make an appointment to go and visit the likely contenders in order to get a feel for what's going to be the right cattery for your pet.  Make sure that you will be shown around the cattery.  If the owner is reluctant to give you a tour, cancel the appointment and don't board your cat there.

Cattery visit checklist

Here's list of things to check during your visit to the cattery.

  • Do the premises appear clean and tidy?
  • Are the boarding areas well-maintained and cared for?
  • Is there a security corridor within the boarding area so that cats can't escape during cleaning/feeding times?
  • Is there any offensive smell that could indicate poor hygiene?
  • Is there a separate food preparation area?
  • Is the local authority licence on display or available for you to see?
  • Do the cats appear content?
  • Does the accommodation have scratching posts, shelving or lookout posts and a view?
  • Is the environment a comfortable temperature and not too noisy?
  • Do the cats have access to fresh air and natural light?
  • Do the staff ask lots of questions about your pet, including details of special dietary needs or medication?
  • Are you allowed to take your cat's own bedding and toys?  Your pet will suffer less separation anxiety if she has access to familiar items from home.

In conclusion

Carry out plenty of research when choosing a boarding cattery for your pet.  Reject any that don't insist on up-to-date vaccinations for every boarder.  Ask plenty of questions (use the checklist above), and choose the cattery that you feel will provide the very best care and environment for your pet during her stay.