Here are some of our most frequently asked questions…
What do you feed the cats?
We only use premium grade food, which is included in the price. If you require special/prescription meals then you will need to supply enough for the full length of stay. You are also welcome to provide your own food to maintain consistency. Unlike other institutions, we do not charge extra for owner supplied meals, however we are unable to offer discounts should you supply your own food. More info
It’s not uncommon for our new arrivals to not eat for the first day or two. This is simply due to the change in environment and routine, but once they are settled and feel safe, they will relax and regain their appetite. Some cats can be ‘stress eaters’, which means when anxious or unsure they do the one thing that gives them comfort, eating. We will do whatever is necessary to make our guests happy, even if this means enticing them to eat with treats, or giving them breakfast in bed, whatever works!
What’s the difference between the suites?
We have 3 types of suites, being Penthouse, Apartment and Studio. The differences are size, aspect, price and what’s physically included in the room.
Penthouses have an internal room and large external balcony, which are sun-filled north facing overlooking the acreage paddock, each with a double sofa and several tiered climbing/scratching posts. These are great for the elderly or injured, as they are on one level, or guests who are used to more outdoor space, as there is plenty of room to move.
Apartments are smaller and have an igloo sleeping house, sunning shelf, tiered scratching posts and a 1 meter sheltered outside window box for cats to get some fresh air and garden scenery. These are more suited to cats who don’t like seeing others or who are timid by nature.
Studios are smaller than a Penthouse but larger than an Apartment. They have a sofa with enough room to run around and a high large shelf to catch some sun and views of the paddock. More info
Do the cats get to go outside their suites?
All our suites are large enough with plenty of room for exercise and play, so the cats don’t need to go outside to a designated ‘play area’. This reduces the stress on our guests, as they feel secure within their own space. Our long term or regular guests however, are able to assist us in the kitchen and roam around the hallway and reception area, during our out of hours times, with supervision.
Do we spend time with the cats each day?
We spend as much time as possible with our feline guests. Some are very demanding of our time, whilst others prefer attention ‘on their own terms’. As we are in cleaning twice daily, the cats receive brushing, pats and cuddles during this time. It is very important to spend quality time with each guest, as this way they learn to trust us and feel calm and content in their new environment. For the remainder of the day, the cats laze about and sleep – what other animal do you know that can blistfully rest for up to 20 hours a day!
What times can I drop-off and pick-up my cat?
The Cattery is open for visitors and inspections by appointment only, available between our standard opening hours. This includes drop-offs and pick-ups which are not constrained by time, as long as they’re all done within opening hours. There is a fee applicable should you need the cattery to be opened outside of the standard hours, also via pre-arranged appointment only.
How much will it cost?
We have standard rates which are based on your selection of suite type, number of cats and duration of stay, calculated per calendar day, irrespective of arrival or departure time.
Can I bring some of my own things?
We understand cats feel more comfortable being around familiar items from home, and you’re welcome to bring these with you, which we’ll keep for the duration of your stay. Any special diet food or medication should also be provided and will be administered free of charge (limit 1 treatment per day).
What do I need to do before coming to stay?
All cats need to have an up-to date F3, F4 or F5 vaccination and proof of this needs to be supplied. Some vets and owners are opting to only vaccinate every 2 or 3 years, as they have indoor cats which are not exposed to others. As a cattery is a ‘shared’ environment (even if the cats do not mix together), we recommended that you vaccinate every year to ensure maximum protection. If you prefer not to follow these guidelines, then you do so at your own risk. We recommend you consult with your vet and advise that you are going to a cattery and make an informed decision based on the welfare of your loved one.
All our guests need to be de-flea’d with no visual flea infestations. If during your stay your monthly flea treatment is due to be administered, you are welcome to bring along your own and advise of the due date and we will apply this free of charge.
What can I do to make the cat carrier and car trip less stressful?
Cat’s are not like dogs and find a car ride to be full of uncertainty. We cannot explain to our feline companions that going to Aragon Cattery is not the same as going to the vets. Most owners only get the cat carrier out of storage just prior to use, and cats are fully aware that this means they are going somewhere. Cats are very routine based so any small change, no matter how insignificant we think it is, it’s noticed by our feline friends and they will process this with caution. It’s therefore a good idea to have the carrier placed in the house in areas the cat frequents for at least a week before you are going away. You also need to move it around the house, open and close the door, put a familiar blanket in it (with newspaper underneath), and even take your cat up to the carrier, as this will help to desensitise the object and make the cat less concerned about its existence. It might be helpful to spray Feliway in the carrier itself, especially on the day you are going, as this has a mild calming affect on most cats.
A lot of people have difficulty getting their loved ones into the carriers. A good tip is to stand the carrier up on its end with the door facing upwards towards you. Pick up the cat and ease them down into the carrier and close the door. If your feline protests, you can hold them by the scruff of the neck (like a mother cat would) which makes them become submissive, but you need to make this process as quick as possible. The more attempts you have at it, the more stressed both you and your feline become. The key is the element of surprise (wait until they are asleep and just scoop them up and place them in). Once the cats are secured in their carriers, make sure that they are also seat-belted in the car and covered with a light blanket, which will help settle nervous travellers. Only feed a small amount of biscuits the morning you are going, as anxiety can lead to a mess in their carrier, which everyone is then stuck in the car with for the remainder of the journey!
Don’t let the cats outside the day you are due to bring them to the cattery, as cats are attuned to what’s happening and therefore will often not venture back home, even for food, until they feel it’s safe. This can result in owners missing flights and unnecessary stress being placed on the whole family.
When you arrive at the cattery and place your loved one in their suite, many will remain in their carriers as it’s familiar and safe. They venture out and explore their suite once the owners have gone and everything is quiet. Once they are settled, then begins the challenge of being put back in the carriers when it’s time to go home!
Why is my cat behaving this way when put into their suite?
It’s very normal for cats to arrive and to start hissing, even before they have entered their suite. Cats are territorial and many do not like other cats, which is why we do not mix cats from different households. The hissing is simply to establish boundaries and assert dominance. As the cattery is neutral territory, meaning your cat doesn’t permanently live in the space, cats can feel unsure of the ‘unwritten rules’ and need to develop boundaries between themselves and the other feline guests. The hissing ensures the neighbours know where the boundaries lie and also that no one else is in their space. Cats even from the same household can turn on each other, as they go into a sensory overload and become very defensive, so they momentarily don’t even recognise their family members. Once they have said their piece, which can sometimes take an hour or so, they settle down and get on with exploring their suite. For more information on cat boarding tips, check out our Feline Fine page.
How will my cat respond when taken home?
All cats react to different circumstances in a range of ways. Some cats after returning home will follow you around to ensure nothing unusual is about to occur. Others will want to be outside and see who’s been in their space whilst they were away. Some will ignore you, and others will transition back into their normal lives like nothing happened. Some however, may even want to express their feelings of change in ways we owners don’t appreciate, like peeing in your shoes, bed or bathtub. If you have one of these sensitive kitties, keep the doors closed and belongings away prior to your felines arrival home. It’s a good idea to keep your loved ones indoors with you for a couple of hours too, just until they have settled back home.
Is there a vet nearby?
We use Glenorie Vets, which are located only a couple minutes from the cattery. The vets there are on call 24/7. Our vets can liaise with your vet, otherwise you’re able to nominate (at your own expense, including the pet taxi to/from) the vet of your choice. All the staff who work at the cattery are qualified Vet Nurses and/or Animal Attendants.