Choosing a Boarding Cattery
Info & advice from Find Pet Boarding - http://www.findpetboarding.com/advice/choosing-boarding-cattery.asp
Finding suitable holiday care for your cat when you are away is an important part of holiday planning. The best catteries are often booked up months in advance, particularly for popular holiday periods, so do not leave it until the last minute to start looking.
Click here to search the UK for catteries near you - http://www.findpetboarding.com/boardingcatteries/
It is important you take the time to find the right boarding service for your cat’s needs. Where possible, contact at least two or three catteries in your area and ask questions about the service they offer. Once you have narrowed down your selection, visit the best candidate(s) to see the boarding facilities in person. It is important you visit the cattery before you go on holiday. You do not want to turn up the day before you are due to leave, find the facilities are not what you were expecting and have no where to board your cat while you are away.
All catteries must be licenced by their local authority and should have a current certificate on display to prove this. They may also be members of a professional body that sets further standards such as the Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB). A FAB approved cattery will have been inspected by FAB against their Standard for Construction & Management of Boarding Catteries.
Different combinations of vaccinations are available for cats, so you will need to check with your vet what diseases your cat is protected against. Most vaccine combinations protect against Cat Flu (Feline Herpes and Feline Calicivirus) and Feline Infectious Enteritis (Feline Panleucopenia). Your cat may also be protected against Chlamydia and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV), otherwise you can arrange these vaccinations separately. A vaccination is also available for Bordetella Bronchiseptica another respiratory infection. As this is a common cause of Kennel Cough in dogs, it is particularly relevant if you board your cat at a cattery that also boards dogs. All vaccinations require annual boosters and cats should not be boarded until two weeks after vaccination.
When visiting the cattery look at the places your cat will be sleeping, playing and exercising in. Each pen should have a sleeping area and an exercise run. A cosy bed, scratching post and toys are also essential comforts for most cats.
In general the cattery should be clean, tidy, light and well ventilated. A properly ventilated and cleaned boarding facility should not have any bad smells. The pens should be secure, well built and well maintained.
To minimise the risk of spreading infections, the cattery should be designed so that cats from different households cannot come into contact with each other. Pens that are next to each other should have a 'sneeze barrier' between them. The cattery should have a double door system. This means that if your cat escapes out of the individual pen door when it is opened it is still contained (usually in a corridor) by a second door.Quick Cattery Check List
A good cattery will answer yes to the following questions:
Are the staff friendly, caring and experienced?
Is the accommodation secure and in good repair?
Is there adequate ventilation, light and heating?
Do they insist cats are vaccinated?
Are you asked for written details about your cat and its needs?
Do they have a vet on call 24/7?
Can they accommodate the dates you require?
Can they cope with any special diet, medical or grooming requirements?
If relevant, are other types of pets kept out of sight/hearing (to minimise stress)?
Do they have a licence?
If you are not satisfied with the boarding cattery you visit then go back to your list and visit another one. You should not leave your cat at a boarding facility unless you 100% comfortable with what you have seen and the information you are given.Booking
When you book, the cattery should take a written record of your contact details, your regular vets contact details, someone to contact in an emergency if you are unreachable and your cat’s needs including any special diet or medical conditions.
The boarding cattery should insist that all cats are vaccinated before being boarded. You will need a certificate from your vet showing your cat's vaccinations are up to date. Do not forget to take it with you! If you do not show your certificate, your pet will not be allowed to stay. Keep in mind if you are not asked for proof of vaccination then other clients may not have been either.
Check with the boarding staff what other items you will need to provide. These may include your cats favourite toys, treats or bedding. Familiar bedding can help your pet feel more at home. If your pet requires a special diet or has any medical conditions discuss this with the boarding staff before booking to ensure your pets needs can be accommodated.Protect Your Pet: Vaccinate Before Boarding
Boarding facilities place animals from different households in close proximity, increasing the risk of passing on infections. This makes vaccinations an essential part of preparing your pet for boarding.
Vaccinations help protect your pet by stimulating their body to produce antibodies to specific contagious and often lethal diseases. If your pet should later come in to contact with a disease they are vaccinated against the antibodies will protect them. Vaccinations may be given over a 2-3 week course and immunity may take days or weeks to develop afterwards. You should consult with the boarding facility and your vet in advance to find out the requirements and timescale involved for vaccinations.
The information is the opinion of the writer in the link to the website provided and is not a substitute for veterinary/professional advice.
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