Vicky Halls Cat Behaviour Counsellor

Q: Is it better for my cat to visit a cattery or stay at home with a cat-sitter when I am on holiday?

A: This depends on the nature of your cat. If he is an independent cat that spends a great deal of time patrolling his territory and generally using the house as a hotel then it would be perfectly acceptable to ask a friend or neighbour to look after him in your absence. Professional cat-sitters can also be employed but it's important to take references and use a company that has been personally recommended. If your cat is your baby and he follows you everywhere and prefers to go outside only when you are there you may have a problem. These cats often get a sense of being "home alone" when you are away and this may be very distressing. Under these circumstances I would suggest a reputable local cattery, preferably one that is recommended by International Cat Care (formerly the Feline Advisory Bureau). Visit the cattery beforehand and have a look at the facilities. The units should be secure and clean and the resident cats should appear lively and inquisitive. It is always a good idea to get your cat used to cattery visits from a young age.

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