cat playing at veterinary practice

Boarding your cat: top tips for choosing the right cattery

Every cat owner deserves a holiday from time to time, and if you’re not lucky enough to have friends or family members who can feed and care for your cat while you’re away – or a trusted cat sitter – a cattery is your best option. But with cat boarding facilities varying in quality, how do you choose the right one? Here are our top tips to help you choose a cattery that’s right for you and your cat.

Choosing the right cattery

The best way to find a good local cattery is to ask for recommendations. Fellow cat-owning friends and family will be keen to share their advice, and your local vet is a trusted source of information and tips for boarding your cat. 

A quick Google or Yell search will back up these recommendations with customer reviews, which will help you narrow down your choice. Alternatively, check out the cattery’s business page on Facebook for more customer ratings and recommendations. 

“The best way to find a good local cattery is to ask your vet, friends and family for recommendations.”

It’s never easy to leave your cat when you travel, so you’ll want to be sure he or she has a comfortable, safe place to stay while you’re away. Once you’ve got together a few recommendations for local catteries, start by calling round and asking a few important questions: 

Questions to ask before choosing a cattery

  • What will my cat’s living space be like? 
  • What will my cat eat?
  • Can I provide my cat’s favourite food?
  • If my cat is on regular medication, will they be able to administer it (successfully!)?
  • How many staff will my cat interact with?
  • What happens if my cat becomes ill and how will the treatment be paid for?
  • What vaccinations do you require?
  • Will my cat interact with other cats?

Making the right choice for your cat

Once you’ve narrowed your choice down to two or three local catteries, book a visit to each one to check out the facilities for yourself before making your final decision. It’s worth spending the time doing this right, so you can be reassured that your cat’s stay away from home will be as pleasant as possible.

When taking a tour, check that the boarding facility is clean, well maintained, and well ventilated. Disease can spread fast when multiple animals are housed together, so staff hygiene and cleanliness are vital – all reputable catteries will want up-to-date vaccination certificates to prove that your cat is protected.

What is the cost of cat boarding?

Another important consideration is the cost of the stay. Cattery rates vary, so always ask for rates before making your decision. Remember to factor in any hidden charges – your chosen cattery may charge for providing a special diet, for example. It’s a good idea to get an estimate in writing before booking your cat’s stay. Like most things in life, it’s often better to pay a little more for a high-quality cattery – after all, your pet’s wellbeing is at stake. 

Remember, just like a good hotel, popular catteries can get booked up – particularly during peak holiday season – so always book in advance.

Before your trip

  • Make sure the boarding cattery has your up-to-date mobile number, your vet’s details and other emergency contact information in case of a problem.
  • Provide any special food if necessary.
  • Consider providing a favourite comforter from home, so your cat has a reminder of you while you’re away. 
  • Relax and enjoy your holiday, knowing your cat is in safe hands.
  • Want more cat boarding advice?

For expert advice on choosing the right boarding cattery, just contact your local vet. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.