Putting your precious family pet into the care of a stranger whilst you take that well earned break can be a leap-of-faith. Will your cat be cared for and kept safe and healthy? Will you return home to find a disgruntled pet or, worse, will your cat pick up something nasty?
There is little in the way of boarding cattery accreditation. The FAB used to provide boarding catteries a standard that would reassure customers of their level of service and quality. This accreditation is now defunct (see this article – What is a FAB listed cattery?), so how can you be sure you are choosing the right cattery? Here are a few handy tips for choosing the right cattery:
Your first instinct may be to book your nearest cattery. Whilst this may be handy to quickly drop-off and pick-up your cat, you may be overlooking any shortcomings of the cattery for over the convenience factor.
The point here is that hopefully your nearest cattery is a quality establishment that will care for your cat with the love and kindness you expect – but this may not always be the case, so be prepared to travel if you are not completely confident that you are leaving your cat with the right boarding cattery.
We hear of cat owners driving some distance just to board their cats in a Pedigree Pens built cattery because of the high quality of accommodation and the exclusive care they receive.
If your nearest cattery is not up to scratch, then a quick search along the route you will take to your destination may be just the ticket to finding the right cattery without any additional inconvenience. You can use our Cattery Directory Search to find a Pedigree Pens cattery in most counties of the UK and Ireland.
Disclaimer: we only construct PVCu cattery buildings. It may not surprise you to know that we think that this is the only viable modern construction method for catteries.
Why does choice of cattery building material matter?
One word: hygiene.
There isn’t yet a viable alternative for constructing a cattery with a material that is as strong, durable, fire safe and above all hygienic as PVCu. There is a legacy of wooden catteries in the UK, many of which will need to be upgraded as more and more local authorities ban the use of exposed timber.
When you leave your family cat in a boarding cattery, you want to be sure that they are being housed in a clean environment. Wood is not easily cleaned and is now banned from being used in new cattery builds where it may come in direct contact with a cat. PVCu on the other hand can be wiped clean without using harsh chemicals, so you can be sure that if the cattery is well managed, it will not only be clean, but there will be less risk of your cat coming into contact with harmful cleaning residues.
A clean cattery reduces the risk of your cat from picking up bugs and diseases from previous occupants.
For a fuller discussion of cattery building materials see this article: Why are PVCu cat pens better?.
Staff to cat ratio
This may sound a bit technical, but it is simply a measure of how much individual attention your cat will get whilst in boarding. Do you want your cat to be cared for with lots of personal attention as opposed being simply an inmate?
Every now and then we hear of catteries with 40+ pens. I’m sure there are a lot of well run large catteries, but my advice is to seek out a small and exclusive cattery, run by staff who have time to give your cat the personal attention they need. Any boarding cattery over 30 pens may struggle to maintain the quality of service you deserve.
Don’t be a cheapskate
A big mistake a lot of people make is trying to find the cheapest daily tariff for cat boarding. The average cost per night is around £9 per night for one cat. A luxury cat hotel would cost from around £12 per night, which equates to a difference of only £21 for a whole weeks stay. Budgeting just a couple more quid per day can really make a difference to the standards and quality of the accommodation your cat will receive.
Word of mouth is great for business and a good testimonial can really make the difference in deciding which boarding cattery to use. Many boarding catteries have good testimonials on their website (well, they’re not going to publish their bad ones are they?..) – a better way to get a rounded opinion of the cattery is to seek out independent review sites. There are quite a few generic review sites like Google, Trustpilot etc. but there isn’t a cat specific review site. That said, our new directory now allows visitors to leave reviews. If you’ve booked one of the catteries listed, then why not leave a review for others to see and help them make their minds up. Just search for the cattery name and click on any of the search results to leave a review.