Why leaving your cat at home is a better solution than a cattery

Going away on holiday can leave many cat owners with a dilemma. Should they take their cat to a cattery or leave them at home, and have someone pop in once a day to feed them? Neither solution is great news for your cat. Most cats hate catteries. Unless they have been used to going from a very young age, putting your cat in a cattery can cause them a great deal of stress.

Cats are territorial animals and also fairly solitary. Putting them in an unfamiliar environment, perhaps with other cats around them, can make them very unhappy and lead to them stopping eating. Unfortunately, unlike dogs they find it difficult to adjust to new surroundings – hence why cats are rarely taken away from their home.

The other option is to leave your cat at home and have a friend or neighbour go in daily to feed them, and check they are OK. Whilst this can be preferable to a cattery, and can work if you are only away for a few days, if it’s a few weeks it’s not really ideal. Cats can become distressed if they are left alone for a long period without company.


There is however another option for cat owners, and that’s to employ the services of a homesitter. Increasingly pet owners are using homesitters to stay in their home to look after their pets, but also to take care of their home – ensuring it looks occupied whilst they are away. For people with cats and dogs this can be a very cost-effective way to have their pets looked after, especially if they have more than one.

Vivien and Tony Dance, from the west coast of Scotland, have been using Homesitters Ltd for 18 months since they contacted the company to find someone to look after their cat Bonnie while they went away.


Originally, the couple had two cats – Bonnie and Clyde, and previously, when they went on holiday their neighbours used to feed the cats, which were happy to be left. Around 18 months ago they sadly lost Clyde.

When Vivien and Tony went away over New Year they made the usual arrangement with the neighbours to come in and feed Bonnie, but when they returned Bonnie was extremely distressed.

Vivien said, “It took some time to restore the balance after our trip. It didn’t seem to matter that food had been put down twice a day while we were away, Bonnie obviously missed human companionship. I think she was worried she’d been left permanently.”

“We couldn’t go away and leave Bonnie alone again and didn’t want to put her in a cattery, she is a rescue cat and it would have been distressing for her.”

“I remembered that good friends of ours used to work for Homesitters. They loved it and we used to meet up with them if they were on assignment nearby. That was about 25 years ago now. I looked Homesitters up and was delighted they were still going strong – we approached them to arrange a homesit.”

Vivien and Tony liked the fact that all the homesitters have been vetted and are fully insured. Plus the homesitter is never away from the home for more than three hours when they are on assignment, meaning Bonnie would get lots of attention.

“The couple who came to stay were wonderful and Bonnie was happy, so we booked them again for a summer holiday. It gave us such peace of mind to know Bonnie was happy.”


So if you find yourself with a dilemma this year over who will look after your cat(s) when you go on holiday, give Homesitters a call on 01296 630 730 or visit www.homesitters.co.uk

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19 thoughts on “Why leaving your cat at home is a better solution than a cattery

  1. hazel says:

    Very much agree to the house sitters idea! In fact, that is how I ended up with my first cat – the owners were away so often and we bonded so closely, they just let me adopt her. Probably a pretty unusual circumstance there, though.

  2. The Canadian Cats says:

    We did try the vet’s for boarding but they were not happy and were separated into different cages so we tried someone coming into the house to feed them. Both cats were totally ticked with me when I got home and wouldn’t have anything to do with me for 3 days after I got home. This year when we go away our friend is staying in the house with them. This, we hope will make a difference.


  3. TiggerHaywood says:

    I agree! Mum and Dad got us a homesitter 6 years ago when there were still four of us (2 dogs and 2 cats). She was great. We became friends and she still looks after our remaining anipals when Mum and Dad go away for longer than a weekend. Mum found our house sitter on http://www.mindmyhouse.com, a site where you can register (free) as both a sitter and as a pet owner (actually: it pains me to write those words: ‘pet owner’, because of course there’s no such thing, but I felt it was needed to make sure humans understood. Forgive me, anipals!)

  4. Kris says:

    Such a good thing to do. We had to leave mom’s for WEEKS alone at the house. Mom was in the hospital and then a place where she needed a human (me) and no pets. We checked on Mittens often and made sure she had her ‘basic’ needs met. Oddly, this was good for Mittens. She is now a much nicer cat than she was before! I do not EVER EVER recommend this. She is now boarding with some friends and doing quite well.

  5. helentastic67 says:

    It’s Avery good thing I can’t afford Catherine’s and sitters. Jamima is happy when I’m at home or she is here surrounded by our things. The number of people I trust to look after her has gotten smaller over time.

  6. Mary Tonks says:

    I have “cat sat” for a friend in the past and also been fortunate to have a daughter willing to come “hang out” with my cats when I go away, which is not often. These are much preferable to any other situation. Not everyone can make these arrangements, but they are best. >^..^<

  7. Clare Hemington DipCAPBT says:

    I agree that a live-in cat sitter is a good solution in many cases. However, if it’s a person the cat hasn’t met before, it may be a good idea for them to visit the cat a few times (and feed them) prior to the owners leaving. In this way the cat won’t have the shock of a new person to deal with as well as the sudden departure of his/her owners.

  8. daisymae2017 says:

    Tried boarding our 1 cat at the vet but that didn’t go well. In fact, she was never the same. Now we leave our current cat at home with plenty of food and water and check on her within 3 or 4 days then go back on vacation. This works much better.

  9. zodiacimmortal says:

    Reblogged this on ZodiacImmortal and commented:
    Leave them home you can even hire someone for half the cost to feed the cats their morning and afternoon meals clean litter box and play with them. I do this for my aunt once or twice a year. It’s a vacation for me and she leaves money for food and some for myself in case I need it.

  10. Pingback: Why leaving your cat at home is a better solution than a cattery | My Health Selections

  11. simon7banks says:

    There are catteries. Some have individual rooms and TV! Obviously costs more. I have noticed that cats like children can be strongly affected if they lose one “friend” and then fear they’ve lost another. One of the humans (my aged mother) is taken into hospital in a hurry. Shortly after, a regular visiting cat fails to turn up for two days. Our resident cat is clearly upset and goes playfully mad when he reappears.

    • simon7banks says:

      What I keyed in was “THERE ARE CATTERIES AND CATTERIES”! Thanks to this slow-moving keying in for turning that into the rather obvious statement “there are catteries”!!

  12. Matt says:

    This is great advice, I just wish I had someone to look after our fur baby! I don’t like leaving him in a Cattery.

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