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happy cat groomingYou love and care for your cat, he or she is an adored member of your family, so when you go on holiday you feel worried at the thought of leaving your pet in someone else's hands. Some people may feel quite unable to go away, even for the weekend. There are solutions though!

Cats have a very strong link with their territory, much stronger than the link they have with the people in their house (sadly!). Therefore if possible, see if a friend or neighbour can pop in and help look after your cat while you are away. If not, there are also cat sitters available. Cat sitters will come to your house and look after your cat. If you're looking for a cat sitter, we know a few in the Teddington and Shepperton areas, so do not hesitate to contact us.

If none of these options are available to you, there are some excellent catteries out there. But how do you find one that's good?

If you're fortunate enough to live within a close distance of a Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB) Listed Cattery, these have been inspected and measured against the FAB Standard for Construction and Management of Boarding Catteries. This listing is a great sign that the standards of the cattery are excellent. FAB Listed Boarding Catteries will display the FAB sign:

FAB Listed Cattery

(Many thanks to Chantal at Feltham's FAB listed Cat's Whiskers Cattery for the tip!).

When checking a cattery out, being aware of the staff is very important. The staff should be warm, friendly, caring people that take an interest in your pet by asking lots of questions about your cat and his or her habits. A good cattery should also be only too happy to show you around.

Some other things to watch out for are the smell and noise levels. The cat cages should be clean and tidy with no old food and no overly dirty litter trays in them. If the cattery also boards dogs, make sure they are far away from the cats so that there is no noisy barking going on.

If your cat likes going outside, check if the cattery has both indoor and outdoor chalet style housing, so that they can wander. Some catteries have beautiful gardens but enclose the cat cages with glass. You may feel this would be frustrating for your cat. Some cats may not mind – what do you think? You know your cat best! Outdoor chalet units should be separated from each other so that cats have no contact with each other.

If your cat is elderly, make sure there is adequate heating in the sleeping area so that he or she is not cold at night.

Check with the cattery that it only accepts vaccinated cats and that their booster records are shown when the cat is handed in for boarding. All cats there should have been vaccinated against cat flu and feline enteritis. If they do not, find somewhere else as you do not what your cat to be exposed to diseases from other cats!

Have a look at the cats currently in the cattery – do they look happy and content?

Cassie thinks one of the most important things when choosing a cattery is kind owners/staff, people who are genuine animal lovers who have the time and interest in ensuring our pets are OK during their stay.

How about you? What do you look for when picking the perfect cattery?