When you are heading out of town for a long vacation, your main concern is likely the health and wellbeing of your cat. For full peace of mind, you have chosen to send your kitty to a cattery, assuming that constant supervision with other animals is best for your furry friend. However, there are many problems that can arise when using a cattery, which will be discussed here.
Catteries Contribute to Stress
Cats are extremely territorial animals, which also explains why they behave the way they do at home (i.e., while you might be your dog’s master, you are certainly your cat’s waitstaff!). At a cattery, a cat is placed in a cage surrounded by unfamiliar people and animals, given little to no chance to follow a standard routine. For cats (especially ones that were rescued from a shelter) this upended lifestyle can be stressful at best, and seem catastrophic at worst.
Cats May be Exposed to Disease
When animals are in close quarters with one another, they are at an increased risk of developing disease. Respiratory illnesses are most common. Additionally, many boarding catteries require cats to be vaccinated against certain diseases, such as bordetella, despite the animal not requiring this vaccination at home. Older cats or those with compromised immune systems may not handle vaccination well. However, if the cat is not vaccinated, his or her risk of developing a communicable disease increases.
In order to minimize the risk of your cat coming home with fleas, it is also advisable to put your cat on a flea preventative before taking your cat to the cattery. Indeed, many catteries require proof of flea prevention. For a short weekend trip, cat owners sometimes spend more money on vaccinations and flea prevention than they do on overnight boarding.
Cats May Return Mad / Unhappy
Cat owners often report that their cats return from the cattery in a foul mood – or even with a different personality altogether! This phenomenon has nothing to do (in most cases) with the quality of care the cat received. Instead, the cat may feel less trusting in his or her owner, or even betrayed. While some cats have no qualms with being boarded, there are certainly others that loathe the experience.
Catteries Discourage a Cat’s Normal Behavior
In comparison to when a cat is allowed to stay at home, being in a cattery will discourage a cat’s normal behavior. While a cat may be given short bouts for playtime and belly rubs, a cat will ultimately not be able to engage in all of his or her normal behaviors, such as sitting in a favorite window, hunting favorite toys within the house, or lounging on a preferred chair.
What is the solution? If your cat does not do well in a cattery – or if you would prefer not to find out how your cat handles this situation – consider hiring a cat sitter for in-home cat boarding instead!