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.

There's a few options for everyone when they go on holiday, visit friends or go into hospital.

  • Neighbours
  • Catteries
  • Cat-Sitting
  • House-Sitters
  • Children home from university

Neighbours:
Usually a very nice arrangement. Very safe for the cats, but very lonely. A few minutes a day that could be spent cowering in the corner isn't enough to keep a cats mind occupied. It's always the same story for us, "We had to start using a cattery because our neighbours let the cat escape/are getting too old/left the front door open/we're new to the area"
There's nothing more likely to ruin a good relationship if you come home and the cat hasn't been taken to the vet when it was obvious they needed to.

Catteries:
Catteries are licensed and inspected annually and are extremely safe physically.
Outside cats have massive immunity to just about everything, but an inside cat who's never seen another cat since they left their mother has many potential weaknesses. However, it really isn't an issue if catteries disinfect the entire space daily.
Catteries tend to have solid floors so it's difficult if not impossible for bacteria and viruses or fleas to propagate. In that respect, it's a hundred times safer than your home. However, the fact that so many cats are close together there's a higher risk of passing on disease in the air and on clothes … but no more than taking your cat to the vet.
Because catteries are aware of the issues of proximity and they tend to have good relations with local vets they will usually spot problems way before they get out of hand.

Cat-sitters/Pet sitting:
If I had a dog I might use a dog walking service, but kennels would be more sensible. I even get the advantage of dropping your dog off at an unlicensed home close to the airport if I was comfortable with the idea .... but cat-sitters is a completely different prospect - They aren't licensed, and even though there are professional looking services around, who wants to have a stranger wandering around their home by themselves?

A mobile cat-sitter could provide a cheaper service than a cattery, but a cattery owner is on site 24 hours a day and provides all the food, litter and interaction in the price. All cat-sitting operations claim they're trustworthy, but when people have tried these services the complaints are along the lines of coming home a day early and finding that the litter-tray hadn't been cleaned ... or neighbours saying the van was never there longer than a few minutes if they were seen at all.
The cat might never have been to a cattery before and might seem happy at home, but a good cattery can't be beaten - If there's no room at Tiger Barn Cattery, and the subject of alternatives come up, I have no hesitation in suggesting that you'd get a better and more reliable service by paying a local teenager for an hour a day to play with and feed the cat.

House-sitters:
This seems to be quite a regular option. I've always managed to have friends in to look after my place in the past. If you're lucky to live somewhere nice, having friends and family members down to look after both the home and the animals works well for everyone.

Professional house-sitting services are considerably more expensive than a cattery.

Children home from university:
Amazing how often this comes up, even though the birds are learning to fly, there's a huge place in everyone's heart for the family pet … and even better if they don't want to hang out on a beach with Mum & Dad any more!