This is some general information regarding cat boarding, behaviour and health. We hope you find it useful.

Cat Boarding

Taking your cat with you on vacation is, in most owners’ cases, simply not an option. Travelling overseas precludes this and the feline talent as escape artists makes it impractical. For many owners, boarding their pets while they travel is the best solution. Your pet is safe and well looked after and you can relax.

Many owners still worry about leaving their cats in catteries, however, as they are unsure how their cat will cope. Here are some tips on helping your cat have a great holiday too.

1. Start young

The best time to get your cat used to a cattery is while they are young. Kittens accept new situations readily and will cope well with change. Book your kitten in to your chosen boarding establishment for a night or two. This will ensure your cat accepts their holiday location throughout life.

If you haven’t done this and your cat is now an adult, don’t worry too much. Your cat can still accept their new holiday locations later in life. A test night or two, prior to leaving them for a longer vacation period, may help ease your pet into their holiday and may assure you too, that your pet is safe and comfortable.

2. Cattery check

Most owners relax when they know their pet is comfortable and well taken care of. This means being confident in the care that their chosen boarding establishment offers. It is essential that you do your research when choosing a cattery. Ask your vet. Ask friends with cats which places they have used. Visit several and see what they have to offer. Ensure they are clean and that the cats in residence at the time look well and happy.

3. What your cat needs

All cats are individuals and you, as an owner, are best at knowing your cat’s requirements – for comfort, diet, grooming and playtime.

Cats tend not to be too sociable with other cats. For this reason most boarding facilities keep cats separate. If you have more than one cat, you may like them to stay together.

Most cats enjoy a hiding spot, especially when they are a little unsure of their surroundings. Check that this is provided. If not, can you bring your cat’s own bed or box? Bringing items that belong to your cat help make them feel more secure. Food provided in their own bowl or sleeping on their blanket may ensure continuity of care when away from home.

4. Coming home

Owners are often surprised to find that their cat does not jump for joy when they return home. In fact, quite the opposite and the cat often has a very quiet, watchful phase. This is perfectly normal and does not mean your cat loves you less or is paying you back for leaving. It is simply an animal’s way of integrating themselves back into their social circle. They will be back to normal before long.

If only one animal has been boarding and is then reintroduced to others, keep a watchful eye on proceedings. Interactions are often intense at these times and may even result in short bursts of aggression. Give each pet space and life should return to normal soon.

Cat Behaviour

Are you a first time cat owner, or wanting a better understanding of your fantastic feline? Cats are wonderfully entertaining and lovable creatures. They light up any home they are invited into and have a certain aloofness that many of us are simply addicted to! But what are some of the most misunderstood behaviours that our beloved cats exhibit?

1. Slow Blinking

No your cat is not overly sleepy or wanting a cat-nap. Slow blinks are actually your felines way of communicating their love for you. This is cat speak at its best. In fact; the best way to a cat’s heart is to slow blink your way into their good books. For cats; having one eye shut in the presence of another signals trust. So when they blink at you (or each other) it is a clear confirmation that you are accepted, trusted and loved. So slow blink away feline fans!

2. Scratching

This can be an annoyance for many cat owners! However, when the behaviour is redirected towards the correct object AKA the cat-tree and not the leather lounge, your cat will exhibit this very natural behaviour with joy. Cat’s love to scratch for numerous reasons. Not only does it mark their territory (with scent and sight marks), it also removes dead claws, stretches their feet and whole body, and basically feels good. So don’t be discouraged by your cats desire to scratch, redirect it towards a scratching post, cat-tree or cat-house and encourage this wonderful behaviour.

3. Chasing Tails

Many cat owners you will understand that their cats really have TWO brains…one in their lovely little head, and the other lurking in their tail! It’s no surprise that your cat will sometimes look at their tail in complete disgust, leaving owners positive that there is another entity all together controlling the long furry appendage as it bats their face while they are peacefully sleeping. So it’s no wonder your cat loves to chase and bite this comical addition to their body. This is a very natural behaviour for your cat, particularly kittens that will spend hours playing with their tails. Hunting is a very natural instinct for cats; their tails provide ample training and practice to zone in on their stealth talents. However, if the tail chasing gets overly excessive or compulsive, a trip to the vet is in order to check all is right.

4. Pee Pee Pee

Ok…this is a sticking point for many cat lovers. Inappropriate toileting is a HUGE issue for cat owners and sadly a very common reason why many cats are abandoned. Cats will toilet inappropriately in places, like the bathroom or the kitchen floor or just beside the little box, in order to tell you that something is not right. Many cats suffering from kidney problems or urinary tract infections will toilet around the home. A trip to the vet is a must for this behaviour, as your cat is desperately trying to tell you something. For cats that mark or spray (this will not be on the floor but will be up on things in a vertical manner), this is to clearly mark their territory with their scent. This type of toileting signals that your cat is stressed (particularly if it is a new behaviour). Perhaps another cat has moved into the area or you have a new pet or house-guest? Your cat is surrounding him/herself with their scent as the pungent odor puts them at ease. Again, a trip to the vet will help you better understand this behaviour and will give you ample advice on what things you can do to help your cat feel secure and safe (without the smell of pee). The quicker you seek professional advice in regards to your cat’s toileting problems the better. This behaviour is treatable and manageable if sorted quickly.

Cat Health

Should your cat start showing symptoms of ill health or unusual behaviour, try the link below to self-diagnose the issue. As always, recommendation is to see your veterinarian or seek professional advice.

Cat Symptom checker – http://www.petmd.com/cat/cat-symptom-checker