Maybe you have a nice clean cat that laps daintily from a freshly filled bowl of wholesome tap water. Squeakerella is like that – NOT. The ‘Ell takes her tipple from droplets left in the bath, the toilet (if someone forgets to put the lid down), puddles, cold mugs of tea, the washing up bowl, and the pond. Why does she do this? I have given the lady filtered water and bottled water, thinking the chlorine might be putting her off, but she rejects it. Tiny and Frank – when they visit Tiger Barn Cattery – have pint pots of ordinary water and they like their pints, but ‘Rella turned up her tiny kitty nose at the glassware and licks spillage from the side of the glass. When Archie comes to stay, he's allowed to drink from the tap like he does at home.

Pet insurance? Is it an unnecessary expense or a necessary safeguard?

Finding out the hard way that you should have bought insurance before your cat's illness is one of the costliest lessons to learn … and the second hardest lesson about insurance is finding out you should have understood the caps & caveats in the fine print!

There's a level of anti-insurance complacency that creeps in when you've had your cat from a kitten and he's never been ill … if you're not thinking he's going to get hit by a car and survive, then maybe tomorrow you should - The purpose of insurance premiums isn't an expensive option if you are caught out with a massive bill or having to choose between kitty's treatment and next year's holiday.

How do determine when to get in touch with a vet

At Tiger Barn Cattery we monitor all our cats on a daily basis. Knowing your cat is the key to everything. It's noticing the changes from their 'normal' to abnormal. At the cattery it's way easier to get to know the regulars. It's much harder for us to notice changes with all the new kitties because we have no baseline 'normal' to start from.

In your own home, it's a little easier to spot changes during the winter. When the cat lives outside during the summer, you aren't going to see faeces or changes in urine because they aren't using their litter box. The most common indications that something is wrong are changes in eating habits, activity and coat quality.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT VETERINARY PRACTICE

Trust. Any choice you make is about you and a professional entering into a long-term partnership for the care of your cat.

In our line of business, we often get asked to recommend a vet because ...

  • You're probably new to the area.
  • There's half a dozen vets in a 10 mile radius.
  • You can't find any independent information on any veterinary practice.
  • You're relying entirely on the say-so of friends, neighbours or colleagues to tell you anything good or bad about any individual vet or practice.
  • You know that like shelters and animal charities that catteries have plenty of contact with the local veterinary industry.

The cost of consultations might sway you, but that only makes a difference when you're attending a dozen appointments a year … While it's not our policy to recommend any particular practice, it's fair to say that in our experience finding a vet you feel comfortable with is far more important than registering at your nearest surgery.

"When you start thinking about dedicating your life to caring for felines, it's difficult to see past the love of cats"

Your first look at the market is probably googling for "catteries for sale". Some years there's a hundred all over the country, sometimes less, but what's clear is that catteries are always sold with an accompanying house … and those house are predominantly in the two to three times the national average range.

This causes the cattery business in the UK to be dysfunctional.

Farmers are notorious for opening catteries and kennels in old farm buildings - They deal with animals all their lives and view domestic animals in the same light - a way to make money. Opening a cattery or kennels in the grounds of large houses with outbuildings has been incredibly popular over the last few decades as people need reasons to stay and boost their income as they grow older. That leaves only one other category, the larger detatched house with enough land to build a cattery in the garden.

Why choose a cattery over other options?

There's a few ways people decide what to do with their family cat while they're on holiday, but top of the list must be peace of mind.

This area of Somerset has a high turnover of families. There's a lot of mobility so we get a lot of people arriving via the website. People tend to gain an insight into how we operate because the website is rich, but light and welcoming - We continue the same honesty, thoughtfulness and understanding during subsequent phone conversations and emails.