- Why does my cat need to be vaccinated every year to stay in a cattery?
A cattery is a very high risk environment, we’re licensed for 154 cats and 1 in 3 cats are carriers of viruses such as cat flu (even though they’re fully vaccinated and show absolutely no signs of having cat flu themselves) so all cats must be vaccinated and have a booster every 12 months. –all boosters/injections need to be done a minimum of 2 weeks before the arrival date (this is because when your cat has their vaccinations they are being injected with a live virus and therefore they wont be allowed into the cattery because they would be putting all the cats health at risk by coming in with a live virus in their system, so a period of 2 weeks needs to have passed).
- Why does my cat have to have a flea treatment on from the vets? Why cant I use a pet shop/online flea treatment which is much cheaper?
On our booking form we have always asked that ALL cats be up to date with flea treatments for their holidays but before 2018 we never asked for proof of flea treatment and any flea treatment could be used. However last year we had a cat come in with fleas, these fleas jumped on us and then each time we went into the other cat chalets they jumped of us and onto the other cats. –we weren’t able to treat any cats because all cats should be upto date so if we applied another flea treatment we could be overdosing the cats. –we started asking customers if their cats where up to date with flea treatment and found that 50% of customers were saying no because their cats are indoor cats so they didn’t think they had to put a flea treatment on. –any cat who stays in a cattery is no longer an indoor cat –catteries can be high risk environments and a flea treatment is to prevent your cat from catching fleas so this is why we had always put on the booking form that ALL cats must be up to date. –other customers were telling us that their cats where upto date and we asked for the name of the products we found a correlation. –all the cats who were upto date with a flea treatment from the vets didn’t catch fleas but the cats who had no flea treatment on OR a flea treatment on from a pet shop such as frontline, bob martin, johnstons etc –these cats were still catching fleas. –also when people bought a flea treatment from the pet shop and lost the receipt they would have no way to prove cats were up to date. Therefore from 2018 weve changed our policy and now all cats need to be up to date with a vet prescribed flea treatment and proof needs to be brought with on arrival along with the vaccination card
- Why do you need to know the date of vaccinations and date/name of flea treatment on the booking form?
Because we need to make sure your cat is definitely up to date with these things for the duration of their holiday, ie-if your cats booster runs out during their holiday or just before they come on holiday, we need to let you know that the booster will need to be done a minimum of 2 weeks before the arrival date. And also there are people still writing pet shop bought flea treatments on the booking form and we don’t accept these so if we see these treatments written down we can let you know to get a different one for their holiday. Also if the flea treatment they had on previously is due to expire while they’re with us we can let you know to bring an extra flea treatment with so we can put it on for you while your cat is here. –also some people think flea treatments last as long as the vaccination booster and only need to be done once a year etc so we need to let customers know that they’ll need to apply a flea treatment before the cat comes on holiday to ensure their cat is protected.
- Why do you need so much information on the booking form?
This is part of the license conditions set out by the environmental health department at the local authority. ALL catteries MUST be asking for this information in writing from owners! Here is the CIEH guidelines: “E.2 Keeping records • A register must be kept of all cats boarded and available to key members of staff and to local authority inspectors if requested. The information kept must include the following: E.2.1 Date of arrival and departure. E.2.2 Name, sex, description of cat. E.2.3 Number of cats sharing from same household. E.2.4 Name, address, phone number and email of owner (including emergency contact details). E.2.5 Name, address, email and phone number of emergency local contact (who is able to take the cat if necessary). E.2.6 Cat’s veterinary surgeon. E.2.7 Cat’s diet and relevant requirements. E.2.8 Cats’ relevant medical history. E.2.9 Consent forms eg veterinary treatment, consent to share or separate cats if needed, record of baskets/toys etc left at the cattery (Check vet consent forms i.e. own vet or designated vet if not in area). E.2.10 Record of vaccination. E.2.11 Any medical treatment must be recorded and visible to prevent mis-dosing.” We must have all this information in writing from the owner therefore we only ask for information that we MUST BY LAW ASK FOR. –the only other piece of information that our cattery asks for is information on the flea treatment. Howver as of october 2018 the CIEH which is the licensing standards for catteries is changing and this peice of information about the flea treatment must now be asked for by catteries (we're ahead of the times)
- Why do I need to remove my cats collar before they come into the cattery?
this is for safety reasons as the buckle/bell/tag etc can become stuck/lodged in the wire mesh and if the cat goes to jump down off the climbing wall while the collar is stuck it could cause a very serious injury and even be fatal so on the booking form we always ask for collars to be removed. –even quick release collars may not snap off straight away and can become stuck or go under the cats armpit causing a nasty injury.
- Why do I need to book an appointment time? Cant I just turn up anytime?
As we are licensed for 154 cats and we don’t employ any members of staff –its just the two of us, it means we are exceptionally busy and therefore we can only continue to run our business on this very personal level if customers book an appointment time (like they would for a doctors appt, dentist appt, vet appt etc) so we can plan our day/jobs that need doing around customers dropping off /collecting pets. However if on the day you need to change your apt time this is no problem at all (subject to us having availability for cats wanting to be dropped off earlier) but we ask that customers can just let us know by calling, texting, whatsap, email, facebook message etc just so we aren’t waiting round in reception for customers to arrive when we could instead be spending time with our guests.
- I cant drop my cat off /collect my cat during your opening times, can I come when you’re closed such as of an afternoon? Or evening? Or Sunday? Or bank holiday
This is something we get asked on a daily basis but unfortunately it isn’t possible, -before 9am were very busy cleaning out litter trays, feeding, watering, doing medications, and even going out to pick up and drop off cats whose owners don’t drive. –during an afternoon we’re busy doing the lunch time feeds, cleaning out cat chalets from cats who have gone home that morning and spending one on one time with our guests. Then from 6pm onwards we’re busy feeding, watering, cleaning litter trays and cleaning out cat chalets from cats who have gone home late afternoon. We work 365 days a year looking after cats so we’re closed on Sundays and bank holidays for customers dropping off/collecting cats (also we don’t have planning permission to be open on Sundays or bank holidays). –the only option is depending on postcode we may be able to pick up/drop off your cat –this is available 7-8am and the hour after we close –so Saturdays 1-2pm, weekdays in summer 6-7pm, weekdays in winter 5-6pm. Prices start from £20. –or you can have a friend or family member pick up and drop off.
- During the summer- march-october I thought your opening times were 9:00-1:00 and 4:00-6:00 –I turned up at 5pm to drop off a booking form and you were closed?
We’re open Monday-Saturday between 9:00-1:00 but we can re-open if a customer has pre booked an appointment at a certain time between 4:00-6:00pm. Were only open at certain times between 4:00-6:00 for customers wwho have pre booked appointments, so the office is actually only open during the summer between 9:00-1:00pm, and during the winter between 9:00-11:00am, if you have booked an appointment time between the hours of 4:00-6:00 in the summer to drop off or collect your cat we will open the gates especially for you. (for example: if you book an appointment time at 5:15pm we will open the gates for you a few minutes before you’re due to arrive, after you’ve gone the gates will then be closed again, unless someone else has booked an appointment time for say 5:30pm)
- Why do I need to send my booking form and deposit/payment within 24 hours of each?
we receive between 10-25 booking forms everyday which we used to print out and wait for the deposit from people, sometimes it could be days and even weeks before deposits would be send through (and sometimes not at all because people would change their mind about wanting to book in). Everyday the pile of booking forms grew by 10-25 meaning that I would sometimes have to physically go through hundreds of booking forms to find the form relating to a certain deposit. -90% of my time was spent in the office doing admin/bookings –which meant only one of us had time to spend in the cattery cleaning out and giving attention to our guests. Therefore a few years ago we invested in a booking system and changed our policy, we added to the booking form and all auto responses on emails that booking forms and deposits must be sent within 24 hours of each other otherwise the form is automatically deleted by our system so you’ll need to resend the booking form. –now only 10% of my time is spend doing admin and I have more time to spend giving one on one attention to our guests, as I don’t have to spend time sifting through hundreds of booking forms finding certain ones that much up to deposits.
- Why do I need to put my cats name as the reference for bank transfers?
so we know who the deposit is for. –our system will search for the deposit under your cats name. (we receive alot of deposits on a daily basis so we need to be able to identify which deposit belongs to each cat/booking)
- Can you provisionally book /pencil my cat in?
Unfortunately its not possible for us to take provisional or pencilled in bookings as we receive so many bookings everyday, so we could potentially be turning away customers who definitely want the space for a customer who may want the space? our booking system tells us how many spaces we have available for certain dates and as we speak with so many people everyday its not possible for us to remember who wanted to pencil in for certain dates etc. so the only way to book in is to do a booking form and deposit so we can physically book your cat into our system, once weve received them both we’ll either email you back with a confirmation of booking receipt or if you’ve sent it in the post we’ll give you a call to confirm the booking over the phone.
- Why can I only come through into the cattery between 11:00-12:45pm and 5:00-5:45pm weekdays? And I need to book an appointment?
This is because before 11am we’re still busy cleaning out –brushing/mopping cats rooms so the corridors have the cleaning trolley/mop buckets etc in the way. for customers to be able to come into the cattery the corridors need to be free from obstructions and trip hazards and the corridors need to have finished drying. Then when we reopen for customer with pre booked appointments during late afternoons, we’re finishing off cleaning out cat chalets from cats who have gone home that morning. –Saturdays are our busiest day of the week so it isn’t physically possible to take each customer through in the cattery for viewings etc.
- Im not sure of the exact dates that I need to book my cat in for, but I don’t want to leave it incase you don’t have space.
hmm this is a tricky one because it depends on the time of year, between November-may excluding xmas/new year week its generally fine to book in last minute –even on the day will be fine. But between the end of may and end of October we’re generally fully booked so it may not be possible to leave it until the last minute to book in. (if it’s a midweek break –Monday evening until Thursday evening theres slightly more chance of us having availability but most weekends –Friday until Mondays are generally fully booked).
- Can I bring my cats own things such as beds, toys, brushes?
Yes, we strongly recommend and do advise to bring your cats beds and blankets with –we provide two beds in every cat chalet but theres still plenty of space on the climbing wall and shelf in the bedroom for more beds/blankets. –we also advise to bring a worn item of clothing with so your cat has something with your scent on, -this can sometimes help cats settle in. feel free to bring your cats favourite toy’s (smaller toys however are not recommended as we have ventilation strips along the back of the playrooms so smaller toys can get lost underneath the back of the cattery). –if your cat likes to be brushed then please bring their brush with –this is a good way for your cat to bond with us (if your cat doesn’t particularly like being brushed then we wont push this on them as being in a cattery can potentially already be slightly stressful so we don’t want to add to this).
- Can I bring my cats bowls, litter tray and cat litter?
We don’t use cats own bowls, litter trays or cat litter in the cattery as prefer to use our own. –we only use wood based cat litter in the cattery so if your cat uses wood based cat litter feel free to bring your own but the other types of cat litter aren’t permitted due to the staining this causes to the grout in the tiles and rubber edging in bedrooms, weve also found that other types of cat litter aren’t good for absorbing smells. We prefer to use our own bowls, this is because every morning all the cats bowls are put into the wash bin on the cleaning trolley and new clean bowls are given to each of the cats, (once we close in the afternoons all these bowls from the wash bin are then thoroughly cleaned and back on the cleaning trolley ready to give out the next morning). If your cat brings their own bowls we cant put them in the wash bin because we wont remember whose they are (were licensed for 154 cats), also their bowl will be getting cleaned in the afternoon meaning your cat would need to eat out of one of our bowls every other day anyway and we would need to ensure this day fell on the day your cat is going home so it can be washed before collection. Litter trays are taken out every Sunday for washing and it’s the same principle –these go in their own wash bin and a new fresh litter tray is given.
Im stuck in traffic so wont make it before your closing time can you hang on and wait an extra 10 minutes for me?
This is something we get asked on a daily basis but unfortunately it isn’t possible, (although it would be a one off time for a customer asking this, its not a one off time for us being asked -its usually anything upto half a dozen times a day we get asked) being open until 1:10pm or 6:10pm etc would just become our standard opening times each day (between 2012-2017 we have been open 9:00-5:30 however we now close of an afternoon and are open for later until 6pm. -even if we stayed open until midnight we would still have customers asking if we can wait an extra 10 mins) -before 9am were very busy cleaning out litter trays, feeding, watering, doing medications, and even going out to pick up and drop off cats whose owners don’t drive so this is why we cant open early. –during an afternoon we’re busy doing the lunch time feeds, medications, cleaning out cat chalets from cats who have gone home that morning and spending one on one time with our guests. Then from 6pm onwards we’re busy feeding, watering, cleaning litter trays and cleaning out cat chalets from cats who have gone home late afternoon and picking up /dropping off any cats who need our delivery service. We work 365 days a year looking after cats from 5am every day right up until 7pm then bed time checks between 9:00-10:00pm.
- ive lost my cats vaccination card and proof of flea treatment, can my cat stay?
this shouldnt be a problem at all, as you can contact your vets and pop down to collect a new vaccination card or print out from them showing your cats name and date of vaccinations and also a receipt/print out showing the date that the flea treatment was purchased from them. (without proof of vaccinations and proof of flea treatment your cat wont be able to stay -sorry :( but we will always put the health of your cat and the health of all the other cats in our care as the first and main prioirty)
- if i bring my cats own beds/blankets can you wash them before giving them back to me so they're in the same clean condition as when i left them?
We're really sorry but we're unable to wash customers own beds/blankets, we have a minimum of 138 beds in use daily at a time (2 beds in each of the 69 rooms) so we currently do around 9 loads of washing per week in our 12kg washing machine this is over 100kg of washing and drying every week. Plus to do all the beds and blankets from customers as well would make it near impossible to do. Also it wouldnt be possible for us to remember which bed/blanket belongs to which cat, and some beds/blankets arent able to go in the washing machine/dryer so we would have to check all the labels on all the beds first to check they would be ok to go on the machines otherwise there could be alot of damages.