The festive season calls for lots of celebrations with family and friends and even holidays away from home if we’re lucky. With all the seasonal activities it can be easy to get caught up squeezing all these events in our calendars and forget about planning for our pets, but a little forward thinking goes a long way to ensuring everyone, including our four-legged friends, enjoys the most wonderful time of the year!
If you’re expecting a house full of visitors over the holidays, consider how your cat will react to having strangers staying. Even confident kitties will feel the need to retreat with lots of people and noise around. Providing a quiet room where they can hide out is key, make sure they have access to fresh water, food and a litter tray then complete their safe space with a favourite cat bed for extra comfort.
If there are lots of comings and goings with visitors, it is easy for doors to get left open and cats to get out. For their safety keeping your cat contained in their quiet room overnight, during long lunches, big get-togethers and on busy days is recommended. Always remember to double check windows are closed to prevent escape. Most importantly take the time to check on your cat regularly, slip away between courses of your festive feast or a lull in the celebrations to spend time with your furry friend, giving them lots of reassuring pats and some playtime so they don’t feel like they are missing out on all the fun.
If you are planning a getaway over the holiday season, don’t forget to plan ahead for your feline friend as well. Here are some top tips to make sure your travel plans are stress-free for you and your cat.
When choosing a holiday house, you might consider looking at pet-friendly options so you can take your cat away with you. Many holiday booking apps and websites allow you to filter results to show those that welcome pets. Often there will be an additional charge for bringing along your furry friend and it is always best to double check cats are allowed as some properties may specify dogs only. Be mindful when looking at locations for your stay that cats find car trips stressful and do not enjoy long distance road trips so keep your travelling times to a minimum. Cats are fast and agile creatures who can easily evade and escape (even their loved ones) if frightened.
When travelling any distance with your cat make sure you have a secure, sturdy cat carrier to transport them safely. It is crucial to think about your cat’s temperament and whether the experience of staying in an unfamiliar place will be met with a sense of adventure or a cause for anxiety, you know your cat best and if they are not enjoying the holiday then chances are neither will you.
Even if your kitty isn’t suited to holidaying with you there are other alternatives for accommodation which allow them a vacation of their very own. From luxury boutique cat hotels to boarding facilities at your local vet, there are plenty of options to suit most budgets when it comes to accommodation for cats. Confident cats might enjoy a short stay at a boarding facility but doing a bit of research before dropping your cat off for their stay is highly recommended. If possible, visit the cattery, clinic or hotel to meet the team and look at where your cat will be staying to make sure the facilities meet your standards, and your cat will be cared for and comfortable while away from home. Most boarding places require all feline guests to be vaccinated, so make sure your cat is up-to-date on their vaccinations and your vet paperwork is all in order. If your cat is on any regular medication or has a medical condition that needs to be managed, discuss this with the boarding facility before booking and ensure you provide enough doses and clear instructions for your cat’s treatment.
If your cat is on the shy side arranging a pet sitter can be best so your cat doesn’t go through the stress of leaving home and staying in strange surroundings. If you’ve arranged for a pet sitter, friend, or family member to look after your cat, don’t forget to make sure you’re stocked up on all the essentials – your cat’s favourite food, treats, litter plus any medication or supplements.
Remember to leave your pet sitter all the information they need to take care of your furry friend:
- Your contact details while away, don’t forget to include your travel plans plus contact details for a neighbour or friend in case you can’t be reached
- Name and contact information for your cat’s vet if there is an emergency
- Feeding guide with the frequency and amount of food and treats
- Location of the litter tray and cleaning schedule
- Instructions for any medication or supplements
- Information about your cat’s personality and their routine
- If your kitty is on the shy side any favourite hiding places to check
- Any preferred toys/play activities
Whether you are looking at boarding your cat or arranging a pet-sitter it pays to get in early, good boarding facilities and pet sitters book out quickly, so don’t leave your cat’s holiday plans to the last minute!
Whichever holiday plans you settle on make sure your cat is registered and your contact details are up to date on the Pet Registry. Take the time to consider all these options and which would suit your feline friend best, so you can have peace of mind this festive season and enjoy your holidays.
For general advice on cat care and everything feline, call the Cat Protection Society of NSW on 02 9557 4818 or visit their website catprotection.org.au
This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with the Cat Protection Society of NSW.