Usually, it’s not feasible to take your cat on holiday with you. Cats can become stressed with travel, transport, and changes in their environment and routine. Therefore, it is preferable to make arrangements for the care of your cat while you are away.
Important preparation includes:
- Identification – Make sure that your cat is registered with your council, microchipped, tagged, and your details are up to date so that you can be contacted if your cat accidentally becomes lost while you are on holiday.
- Enrichment – Enrichment involves mentally and physically stimulating activities that engage an animal’s mind, body and senses (e.g., smell, taste, sound, smell, touch). Ensuring that your cat can engage with some of their favourite enrichment items and activities while you are away will help them have positive experiences, and cope with any potential stress.
- Health check – Make sure your cat has had a recent health check so any issues can be adequately managed while you are away, and they are in the best shape to cope with any potential stress.
- Veterinary care – Make sure your cat will have access to veterinary care while you are away if required. Provide your veterinarian’s contact details to your cat’s carer, or make sure the boarding facility has access to veterinary services.
While you are away, it is important that your cat’s health and wellbeing is checked a daily basis, and they are kept contained (i.e., confined to the property) for safety reasons.
Options to consider include a house/pet sitter, taking your cat to stay with a trusted person, or booking them in to a boarding facility. When weighing up these options, consider how well your cat copes with unfamiliar people, animals and/or environments.
- House/pet-sitter – Have a trusted person (e.g., friend, family, neighbour) or house/pet-sitter from a reputable agency stay at your house or visit (at least once or twice per day) to feed your cat, change litter trays, and provide company and enrichment. This option is ideal for cats who prefer minimal changes to their environment and routine, and who become stressed by unfamiliar animals and/or environments. If your cat has not met the person before, you can arrange a meet-and-greet beforehand to see if they are compatible.
- Take your cat to stay with a trusted person – Have a friend, family member, neighbour or pet-sitter from a reputable agency care for your cat at their place. If your cat has not been to their place before, you can arrange a visit (with or without your cat) or short trial stay beforehand to see if this option will work for your cat (e.g., your cat settles in and the set-up is adequate to keep your cat contained on the property).
- Boarding facility – Your cat should be safely contained and receive regular attention in a boarding facility. They will require up-to-date vaccinations, worming and external parasite control to stay at most facilities. See the Knowledgebase article ‘How do I find a good boarding facility for my companion animal?’ for more information.