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