How to choose
Many people feel anxious at the thought of leaving their beloved cat in someone else's care while they are away but emergency situations may arise and it may become imperative to find a boarding cattery, then the important question is, which one? To make a reasoned decision, you have to check out boarding catteries for yourself. Here at Ferndene, we always welcome viewings by appointment so why not give us a ring and pop in and have a chat?
What to look out for
First impressions are important. Everything should look clean and tidy, all surfaces in the cattery should be smooth and well scrubbed, floors in the cat's sleeping quarters should be covered with vinyl or similar. Staff ought to make you feel welcome. There should be no smell and little noise.
All buildings should be well maintained with proper security in place. Here at Ferndene we have recently installed a new CCTV system. A safety passage running the full extent of the main run is essential to contain our most adventurous cats (you know who you are!). If the cattery is being properly run, you will not be allowed to enter an occupied chalet or to touch the boarded cats but try to take in other things, are they clean? do they have a sun shelf, a scratching post? Is there an interesting view to stimulate them and keep them amused?
There should be a kitchen for the exclusive use of the cattery. It should be clean and well stocked. There should also be a record of each cat's dietary requirements.
Types of catteries
Outdoor catteries, such as ours, offer separate units, standing on a smooth concrete base and enclosed in a full height fenced "cage". Units are separated by a 2 ft gap to prevent the cats from touching. Each house is insulated and enclosed to facilitate heating but the cats still have access to outside via the cat flap. All units are provided with central heating, powered by our newly installed biomass boiler, which remains on constantly, thermostatically controlled, so the cats are kept cosy and warm, no matter what the weather outside.
Indoor catteries may be constructed along the lines of a hotel, the individual rooms opening off a central corridor, all housed within an enclosed building. While this may seem cosy, it can cause problems with ventilation. A shared air situation means bacteria can remain in the atmosphere and spread from cat to cat. It is still preferable to have outdoor runs.
It is important in all catteries, whichever you choose, that the exercise areas should allow the cats access to daylight and fresh air.
What to pack for your cat
You must bring your cat's vaccination certificate.
It is usually a good idea to bring bedding for your cat. Although we do have ample bedding, it's nice to have things from home to help them settle in. Do not wash it beforehand! it defeats the object of having those reassuring smells from home.
Anything you like really! Although we have bowls, trays, toys, brushes etc if your cat has a favourite or special something, bring it along!