Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Going on holiday? What happens to your cat?

As we approach the summer months, you'll no doubt be starting to think about booking your summer holiday. But while you’re jetting off into the sunset, what happens to your beloved pet?

Tabby cat in suitcase
Photo by zeevveez via flickr / Creative Commons
Cats Protection would not recommend anyone taking their cat on holiday with them, as it can become very stressed by travelling and disorientated in a new environment without the familiar smells of their home territory.

So really that leaves two options: arrange for a trusted cat sitter to look after your cat, or book a stay in a cattery for your pet for the duration of your holiday.

Booking a cat sitter

A pet sitter is a service in which someone will call in regularly to feed your cat and spend some time with it. A trusted friend, neighbour or family member is ideal.

Alternatively, some pet sitter services will arrange for someone to live in your house while you’re away.

Checking into a cattery

If you book your cat to stay in a boarding cattery while you’re on holiday, make sure you organise it well in advance and that your cat’s vaccinations are up to date.

There are plenty of catteries to choose from and it can be overwhelming to find a suitable one. We always recommend inspecting a cattery prior to making a decision.

When you visit, check:

  • The cattery is licensed by the local authority – you can ask to see the licence
  • There are double doors or a ‘safety corridor’ which prevent any cat that has got out of his pen from escaping 
  • Cats from different households are not housed together and cannot come into direct contact
  • Each unit is insulated, easily cleanable and has some form of heating
  • Pens gave gaps between them so that cats cannot go nose-to-nose
  • The pens, litter trays and food or water bowls are clean and tidy and there isn’t an unpleasant smell 
  • The cattery insists that all cats are up to date with their vaccinations
  • The cattery is happy and comfortable to administer any ongoing medication if your cat requires it 

For more information read the Foreign travel and cats page on our website and our Moving house cat care essential guide.

Continuity can be helpful when taking your cat to a cattery, so ask the cattery about taking familiar food, cat litter and something that smells familiar from home; and ensure it has somewhere to hide in its pen.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Rise in pedigree cats in rescue

A post from our volunteer guest blogger, Shonagh Staten

As a volunteer assisting various feline rescues throughout the UK, I’m noticing a rather alarming occurrence. I’m seeing more and more pedigrees being taken in through their doors and I think this is because people are so overwhelmed by a specific type of cat’s appearance that they may not think about the needs of that breed. 

There are two breeds that seem to be the most common types to come through rescue doors; Persians and Bengals. These cats are very diverse in appearance, and indeed, temperament. But they have one thing in common; they’re a lot more maintenance than people might expect.

Persians require grooming; a lot. Due to how they’re bred some pedigrees such as Persians may have health issues that require medical attention at a later stage in their life. This is information some people might not take into account when considering the type of cat they’d like to share their home.

Bengals are intelligent; massively so. A domestic/wildcat hybrid, they are very much in tune with their instincts. Bengals need a lot of mental stimulus and it’s advised by most reputable breeders they aren’t let out of the home. This means that anyone considering taking a Bengal on as a family member, has to factor that in to their decision making. 

Due to the specialised care needed by pedigrees the Cats Protection will predominantly work in conjunction with reputable breed specific rescues when a pedigree needs rehoming. Occasionally, however, pedigrees are rehomed directly through the organisation themselves. Below are some of the pedigrees in Cats Protection care throughout the UK.

Beebi at the Worthing Branch of Cats Protection
Beebi is a rather stunning young Bengal, who is currently residing at the Worthing Branch of the Cats Protection. She is four years old and is rather nervous until she gets to know you, but once she feels safe in your company she’s very sweet and affectionate. You can learn more about Beebi here.

Snowball at the Bredhurst Kent Adoption Centre
Next up we have Snowball and Gizmo, a pair of bonded Persians looking for a home through Bredhurst Kent Adoption Centre. Both cats are extremely loving and enjoy spending time on people’s laps getting cuddles. You can learn more about Snowball and Gizmo here.

Mandy at the Tenterden Branch of Cats Protection
Mandy is another pedigree in Cats Protection care; she’s currently with the Tenterden Branch. She sadly came in to the rescue when her owner had to go into care, and it’s clear from her social skills her owner cared for her very much. You can learn more about Mandy here.

Bliss at the Mansfield Branch of Cats Protection
Finally, we have Bliss. A lovely, if not a little timid, British Shorthair girl. Bliss is currently being cared for by the Mansfield Branch of Cats Protection. She isn’t unfriendly, she just needs time to build up her confidence. You can learn more about Bliss here.

This post has been written by a guest blogger. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Cats Protection.

While many pedigree cats are healthy, there is a misconception that, somehow, they are better or stronger than moggies, but adopting a pedigree is not a guarantee of good health. The word pedigree simply means it is from a family of cats which have been bred to meet specific criteria – usually in relation to their appearance. They have rarely been selected for specific health or temperament benefits. If selecting a pedigree cat, we strongly recommend that you take time to learn about the breed to ensure you will both enjoy a lasting and happy relationship. For more information visit