Preparing your cat for a cattery

Written by Theresa Hamilton VS
April 16, 2024

 Leaving a beloved pet in a kennel or cattery for the first time, whether it’s for a day or a week, can be nerve-wracking. The key to ensuring their comfort and well-being during their stay comes down to proper preparation. Read on to learn more about how to help your cat put their best paw forwards.  

Start preparing early:

Consider starting training in the weeks before your stay. Gradually increase their exposure to their carrier/crate by leaving it open in the house with comfortable bedding and treats inside. This helps your cat associate the carrier with positive experiences. Carrier training has been shown to reduce stress during transport. A little work before your trip will end up with a happier and calmer cat.


Each cattery will have a different requirement for vaccinations and worming or flea preventatives. Ensure that you’ve contacted your cattery at least 6 weeks before your trip. This ensures you have time to make sure that your cat has all their injections. Vaccines protect your cat from potential illnesses and protect other animals in the facility as well.

Pack your Essentials:

Other than medications, food, and toys, consider packing familiar items from home to bring to the cattery. The smells of home on their favourite blanket or a piece of your clothing can create a sense of security for your cat during their stay.

Provide detailed instructions:

Write down any specific feeding schedules, medication instructions, or even behavioural quirks, likes and dislikes of your cat. Pass these on to the staff at the cattery. They will then be well informed to treat your cat like the king or queen that they are.  

Maintain Routine:

In the leadup to their kennel stay, try to maintain your cat's regular routine. This includes during feeding times, playtimes, and interactions with family. Consistency can help reduce the stress and anxiety for your cat in the leading days.  

Pheromone Spray and Diffusers:

Cats release a group of pheromones called ‘Feline Facial Pheromones’ when they rub on familiar items, and a synthetic version is available for pet owners to use to help keep their cats' calm. One of these synthetic pheromones can be sprayed on bedding or in kennels to help your cat feel like they are in a familiar place and can help them maintain their normal behaviours in an otherwise stressful environment.

Visit kennel in advance:

Visit your cattery or kennel of choice ahead of time. Look at the housing your cat will be staying in, ensuring there are areas for them to hide or climb on top of. Make sure that they are not facing other cats or dogs. If possible, they are in a quiet area away from the barking and noises of other animals.   

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your cat has a comfortable and stress-free kennel stay. Remember to communicate openly with the kennel staff. Provide them with all the necessary information to properly care for your cat. With a little preparation and attention to detail, you can ease both your cat’s and your own anxieties about their time away from home.