Holidays and Leaving Your Cat

One does come across folk who habitually take their pet with them for an annual holiday by the seaside, particularly if they stay in a caravan or holiday chalet. However, there is always the risk of puss getting lost, so it is safer to leave your pet at home where it can use its cat flap, and entrust a reliable neighbour with a key and feeding instructions. Or leave him at a well-run cattery.

What you mustn’t do is leave an enormous quantity of opened food in the hope that this will last puss until you return. He will eat on the first day, then starve for the rest of your holiday.

There are excellent catteries in all parts of the country. The better they are, the more likely they are to be fully booked in summertime, so do make your cat’s booking when you finalize your own holiday plans. Many catteries have outside runs adjoining each cat-house so that the cat may stroll out and enjoy the sun on a pleasant day. A proprietress I know even enlists the help of her family as ‘strokers’ so that the cats feel at home!

What you will discover is that any cattery worth its salt will insist on seeing a certificate of inoculation against infectious enteritis. This is the most deadly of cat diseases and when it appears in a neighbourhood, it spreads so quickly, and so many cats die within a few days, that people start imagining that there has been malicious poisoning. Young cats, Persians and Siamese are particularly susceptible, and the disease is most common in summer. So have your cat inoculated well in advance of your holiday – it needs a booster every two years – and don’t get uptight if you think that the kennel owner is being fussy. You wouldn’t want your puss, or anyone else’s, to die because of your negligence.

Very important, when planning your holiday, is to remember that you cannot take your cat out of Britain and bring it back again without puss facing six months quarantine in Ministry approved kennels. This is expensive for you and no fun for your cat either.