Top tips to tackle kitty homesickness
Pet owners need to use professional catteries for all sorts of reasons, be it while the extension is being fitted, or while the family is abroad for a couple of weeks, or maybe you have a relative coming to stay who has an allergy Whatever the reason, peace of mind for pet parents is essential, because everybody can feel a little guilty when they have to be away from their furry friend for however long.
One of the biggest guilt factors is leaving your cat where they are clearly feeling unsettled and confused. Cats have twice as many smell receptors as humans, so it is little wonder that a new environment devoid of the familiar scents of home can upset even the most relaxed animal.
This is why bringing items from the home to reassure your kitty of the smells they recognise and remind them of a safe place – their territory – is a very effective way to make your pet feel less daunted by their temporary home.
One of the first things on your list of familiar things to bring is a blanket – preferably one your cat has been sleeping on or one that is not too freshly laundered so it has picked up some of the smells of your home. If your cat prefers a cat bed then this would be ideal, because then they know exactly where they can cosy up to when they fancy a cat nap. Not all cats have a regular sleeping place and it could be that the thing they like to sleep on cannot be taken with your cat for whatever reason. In this instance, a washable cushion from the living room might be a suitable alternative.
If possible, arrange to bring your cat’s own favourite toys and scratch posts or scratch pads. A familiar smell coupled with a familiar feel will help distract your feline friend and make them feel more secure in a new environment. If your cat has a particular habit they enjoy when playing with special toys – such as enjoying gnawing on a favourite catnip mouse’s tail – then definitely add these to their ‘holiday bag’, because routine play with items they know very well will also help to relax your pet.
Finally, don’t forget to pack some of your cat’s favourite treats for your cattery to give to your precious pet when they deserve a little extra special something. Once a cat starts eating in a new environment, it is a sign they are relaxing, and the crunchy treats they would run a mile for if they sensed you opening the packet at home are bound to sooth them.