When you start planning your holidays, or trips away, don’t forget to plan for your cat too! While it’s tempting and an easy solution, only leave your cat in the care for friends or relatives if you’re sure they will take care of your pet.
In areas where catteries are in short supply there has been a dramatic increase in the number of ‘cat sitters’. It is an unlicenced industry and it doesn’t require the brains of Einstein to understand the potential risks. If you’re considering a sitting service, use one that has been personally recommended by people you know well. Cat forums carry horror stories, including sitters who only turn up ocasionally, missing possessions and more. Some of these stories may be exaggerated, and we know from experience that there are some exceptional pet sitters out there, some of whom used to work for or run catteries, but we still advise care when choosing a carer for your cat.
If you use a cat sitter, be sure to introduce your cat to the sitter before you go away and leave contact numbers for yourself and your vet in case of emergency.
If you are considering a cattery, visit beforehand to check it is suitable. Our directories provide basic information and contact details of the catteries in your area, but word of mouth recommendations from people you know and trust are always the best guide. You will often need to book up in advance, especially at peak holiday times, as the best catteries are more or less always fully booked.
When transporting your cat, use a proper cat carrier or locked basket. If the journey will be long, make sure the carrier includes food, water and toilet facilities. Keep your cat inside the carrier until you have arrived at your final destination and are in a safe and secure area. Giving your cat ‘a breather’ when you get to the motorway service station is neither entirely intelligent, nor unheard of…
If you are travelling overseas, you can get your pet a ‘passport’ under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), without having to go through quarantine. You will need to complete several important steps, such as vaccinations, microchipping and getting an official PETS certificate from your vet, so make sure you do everything well in advance. For full details, please refer to the Defra website Pet Travel Scheme.