Churchill magazine

What you should know about kennels and catteries

Updated on: 15 September 2020

Two cats sit in their holiday homes.

It’s not always possible to leave pets in the care of friends or family when jetting off on holiday, meaning you’ll need to find suitable alternative accommodation for them. This is where kennels and catteries come into play. 

Homes away from home

According to the RSPCA, one of the best ways to make sure your dog or cat will get suitable care is to board it at a reputable kennel or cattery.

You can get recommendations from your vet, your local council or by asking the RSPCA if any of its local animal centres take boarders.

Reputable kennels and catteries will want to see an up-to-date certificate of inoculation, and as an owner, you should also make sure that you or the establishment has pet insurance in case your pet needs emergency veterinary treatment.

Things to look out for when choosing a kennel or cattery

  1. Is it clean and dry, with adequate water supplied?

  2. Is it safe?

  3. Is it escape-proof but with good ventilation?

  4. Are sleeping quarters hygienic, with room to stretch?

  5. Are there heaters to keep boarded pets warm?

  6. Do the staff make you feel welcome?

  7. Are enough staff members to cope with the kennel or cattery being full?

  8. Do they carry out pet grooming?

  9. Is their local authority licence displayed?

You should always be asked to leave your holiday telephone number and the name and telephone number of your vet, along with details of any medication your animal may be taking. 

Pet psychology

According to kennel consultants Boarding Kennels, there are several factors that can impact on your dog’s psychology, either positively or negatively. 

  1. A bigger boarding room, 6ft wide or more, will give room for stretching.

  2. A bright kennel with lots of natural daylight will make the dog cheerful, but dark kennels with very little light can adversely affect their mood.

  3. Lots of freedom, perhaps with an attached run or various locations and and views, is better for the dog.

  4. Fewer kennels in the establishment will make for a quieter and calmer atmosphere, whereas a lot of kennels can be noisy and stressful for the pet.

Cats are usually very attached to their home and garden, so may find moving to a cattery unsettling. However, applying the same principles of space, light, freedom and quiet can help to make your pet’s stay at a cattery more pleasant.

Make sure your pets are adequately covered by pet insurance whether they are at home or away. You can get a quote and buy pet insurance online from Churchill.

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