How to Make Your Cat's Cattery Trip as Stress-Free as Possible

Your cat is never likely to enjoy being taken to a cattery. These are creatures that prefer to be in their own territory. However, sometimes a trip to the cattery is not something that can be avoided, so follow these four tips to keep it as stress-free as possible.

1. Make Sure They're Comfortable with Strangers

Some cat breeds, such as Russian Blues, are generally nervous around strangers no matter how they are reared, but most cats will become far more used to others if they are well socialised, so making sure that your cat encounters new people is a good idea. Catteries are manned by friendly and experienced people, but they are still new people, and that can make a cat nervous, especially if they're used to being with only your family. Try to socialise your cat by having people over frequently, especially during kittenhood.

2. Tire them Out

Before dealing with the carrier and the journey itself, try exhausting your kitty by playing a few games. Letting them energetically chase a laser or catch a string will leave them more likely to take a catnap later on and should decrease their stress levels. If your cat isn't in the mood for mischief, try giving them a catnip toy instead.

3. Don't Grab Your Cat and Go

Ideally, you should make the cat carrier a part of your pet's everyday life in order to avoid negative associations. Leave it in a corner, covered with a towel or blanket, to give your cat a little hidey-hole during the day. This will ensure that they view it as a place of safety. Of course, you shouldn't just pop them in the carrier, lock it, then head out the door – you don't want to whisk them away right after trapping them. Instead, close the door, then wait an hour or so, playing with them through the bars to let them know everything is okay.

4. Leave them in the Carrier

Once you arrive at the cattery, don't remove your cat from its carrier before it's ready. Too many people will take their cat out in the waiting room to try and calm it down, but this just removes the cat from its safe environment. Even when your cat is taken to its own room, just put the carrier on the floor and then open the door – don't drag them out. Your cat will need time to acclimatise, so it's best to let them take things at their own pace.

For more tips, contact a local cattery