At Style Tails, we LOVE summer. The warmer weather combined with time off work has us longing for a break to relax and rejuvenate. But as cat owners, it can be too easy to worry about leaving our beloved cats behind. There’s the dilemma of whether to leave them at home or to board them. Thankfully, we have compiled some top tips on both of these options to ensure they are happy while you are on holiday.
DECIDING WHAT’S BEST FOR YOUR CAT
Cats are territorial by nature and creatures of habit and if they could talk (we REALLY wish they could), no doubt they’d tell you they’re happier at home. After all, they’re used to these surroundings, can continue with their usual routines, and therefore, feel more secure. However, depending on your circumstances, this isn’t always possible. Therefore, the next best option is to board them in a trusted facility that can care for their every need.
It’s worth noting that leaving cats unattended while you’re away is never a good idea. They need someone to check in on them (preferably twice a day), feed and play with them and clean their litter trays. Unfortunately, accidents or medical problems may arise and cats have been known to become stressed when left alone.
So after you’ve ruled out leaving your cat to fend for herself, which option is best? Here are our top tips for ensuring both you and your cat are happy while you’re on holiday.
ORGANISING A CAT SITTER
- Have someone come to your home: There are actually people who cat sit for a living and quite frankly, we’re envious! Getting to spend copious amounts of time with cats each day means living the dream. Whether you call on the services of a professional or a friend, having someone stay with your cat while you’re away is the best option. If this isn’t possible, get the person to call to your house twice a day. As well as feeding and cleaning their litter tray, ensure the trusted person interacts with your kitty, giving him or her some much-needed attention.
- Meet your cat sitter: Never hire someone you haven’t met before. Arrange a meeting, get references, only book someone you fully trust and come armed with these essential questions for any cat sitter. You should discuss your cat’s usual routine, including feeding times. Furthermore, point out their favourite nap spots, how often they receive treats, any quirky habits (there’s usually a few), as well as their must-have toys. Finally, share contact details and your key. It’s also worthwhile leaving a key with a neighbour should unforeseen circumstances arise.
- Leave your scent behind: Cats seek comfort from their owner’s scent so leaving a little piece of you behind is an easy way to keep them feeling secure. If you have a piece of clothing they usually nap on, leave it in their favourite spot.
- Interact with your cats: Technology has come a long way in recent years with a wealth of platforms available for interacting with your cats while you are away from home. Some systems allow you to watch them, speak to them and even give them treats so that they never feel alone.
- Leave plenty of toys: As well as your sitter playing with your cat, having interactive toys throughout the house will keep your cat entertained during the day.
- Get updates: There’s no denying that we as owners worry and an easy way to alleviate this is by receiving daily updates from your cat sitter. Make sure this is part of their service. Receiving a photo per day of your content kitty goes a long way.
- Choose wisely: We’ve all heard the horror stories but the truth is, there are some amazing cat boarding facilities out there. In fact, we rounded up 6 of the world’s most amazing hotels for cats, and you’ll be gobsmacked by some of the incredible facilities. It’s all about choosing one wisely. Never book a cat hotel without visiting it first. Cats are easily stressed by loud noses and strong smells so check it’s clean, smells fresh and is quiet.
- Size matters: Cramming a cat into a tiny area just isn’t going to cut it. There should be vast amounts of room for climbing, hiding, sleeping and playing. Plus, the litter tray and feeding stations should be separated.
- Check out the dog quarters too: If the facility boards dogs too, visit their quarters. They should be far enough away from the cats’ area so as not to disturb them.
- Meet the team: You are trusting these people to look after your cat so meet as many of them as possible. As tons of questions and make sure you are happy with their responses.
- Home from home: When dropping your feline off, bring items they love, such as favourite toys, their bed, treats and food. Again, leave your contact details and ask for regular updates for peace of mind.
While no one will care and love for your cat quite like you, there is definitely a close second out there. When you’ve decided what’s best for your cat, go and enjoy your holiday with peace of mind.
How do you take care of your cat while you’re on holiday? Tell us in the comments below!