Well sit back relax, grab a cuppa or a brew and read on. Let me tell you a happy story, share some of my thoughts about what makes a great place for your best friend to have a cat holiday and give you some things to think about and some things to ask about next time you need to leave your precious pussy cat.
So firstly that happy story I promised you. Of course, every single feline guest who comes for a Holiday at PURR Luxury Cat Hotel is special and we love them to bits” says Heidi Arundel PURR’s Director and owner. “However one arrived last week who just totally stole my heart on the spot”.
Little tiny Darcey started life doing it tough, really tough, but just like Darcey we aren’t going to dwell on the yucky stuff. Lets just say that this little bundle of joy comes in tripod form and was in a Sydney shelter in need of a furrever home.
“When I found out about Darcey I just knew straight away that she needed me” says Serena Darcey’s furrever Mum. “I didn’t think twice I just jumped in the car and drove all the way to Sydney to see if I would be allowed to bring her home and love and her as my tiny fur baby”
A self confessed “dog person” Darcey has totally shown Serena that a cats love is just fantastic and the pair of them are pretty inseparable. But of course life happens and when Serena’s friend was getting married in Sydney it was time to leave little Darcey behind. Serena was beside herself and very worried “I didn’t know who to turn to who would look after little Darcey and make sure she was happy and loved like I do” said Serena. ” She’s so little and the weather is bitterly cold in Canberra even though the calendar says it’s spring”
A google search showed that there are plenty of catteries in Canberra to choose from but Serena wanted the very best for her fur baby so she did a of LOT in depth of searching found that the Pharaoh Suite at PURR Luxury Cat Hotel looked like the solution to her worries.
“As a self confessed first time ‘Cat Mum’ Serena asked all the right questions, Darcey is her little special baby and Serena was keen to make sure Darcey’s first holiday away from home was heaps of fun, safe and full of love & affection” said Heidi the Director of PURR Luxury Cat Hotel. “Serena came out to PURR and spent an hour or so with us, we gave her the grand tour and all the while heard about the lovely Darcey. We sat down and together we worked out how to give Darcey the best holiday a kitten could imagine”.
“So what did Darcey do while she was at PURR? Well her itinerary included lots and lots and lots of time with us to play, we explored together and played with all the great things we have out here at PURR. Tunnels, an incredible cardboard box maze, different scratching towers, zipping about after the “Lost in Space Darlek” a crazy pre programmed laser toy. Darcey was indulged with a PURR Pampering session where she was primped and massaged to prepare her for her photographic session. Serena will always have these beautiful images of Darcey’s baby self to look back on when she grows up. We all had a great time looking after Darcey, she is such a sweet little girl who is full of beans and has plenty of love to share around, it sure was hard to hand her back.”
After Darcey went home we received this lovely text from Serena;
” Hi Heidi and Graham, i want to thank you form the bottom of my heart for looking after my Darcey while i was away. She loved every minute she was at Purr. I enjoyed my holiday knowing that she was happy/ You guys and Purr are really special. Thank you and we’ll see you again in January.”
So how do you find the perfect cat boarding facility that you can trust to care for your special feline friend?
“You use your senses….Your eyes, ears, your nose and and throw in common sense… your 6th sense, your gut feeling about the place!” says Heidi
At PURR we encourage all our cat Mums and Dads to come out and meet with us at PURR tell us all about their fantastic best feline friend and see for themselves how wonderful, clean and safe facility it really is. “There is simply no substitute for checking the place and the people who are going to look after your cat out in person or at the very least send a trusted friend or family member to be your eyes and ears” says Heidi
Just to make that clear as a bell – lets put that in check list form so you can take it with you when you go and have a look.
Get out a pen and become the eyes and ears for you cat. Score every single thing on the check list with a number.
Starting with a 10.WOW this is Wonderful, I want to stay there & down a sliding down the scale to 1. UMM ERR Heck NO ….Run Away Run Away!!
So Here are some things that you should rate the boarding facility on and some things to think about.
- Is the place easy to find, can the facilities staff give you clear directions and can you find there location on their website?
- How does the person who answers the phone treat you, how do they sound? Are they happy and helpful? Do they give you the time you need and answer all you questions? Of course don’t just take their word for it GO & See for Yourself!
- Do they offer to show you around the facility, that is the whole facility! No ducking and weaving, no excuses like …sorry we can’t take you to see where your pet will sleep, stay and play due to work health safety reasons….or we don’t want to upset our guests…..or, well any excuse at all really! You are thinking of trusting them with your precious pet, you definitely need to see where they are going to sleep and play.
- If the boarding facility boards dogs and cats again look at the whole facility. Dogs wear their hearts and thoughts on their sleeves so to speak and their attitudes and they will be very helpful with your decision making process. How happy do the cats and dogs look who are already holidaying at the boarding facility?
- When you arrive, before you even go inside look, listen and feel the ambience of the place. Is it peaceful & quiet? Is it well kept and does it look inviting.
- Even before you walk in ask yourself “If it was me would I want to have a holiday here?” Give it a number from Yippee Yahoo 10 to Not Now Not Ever 1. Keep asking and answering this question throughout the tour and again as you get in the car to go home!
- Head on towards the front door, and inside. Is there someone there, happy to see you and keen to look after you or not?
- Keep your senses switched to high alert. What does the place look like, smell like, sound like, feel like?? Don’t for get to keep writing down your value judgement from 10 – 1. When you get home after you have looked at a number of facilities this will really come in handy.Judge the cattery and boarding facility on Cleanliness, does it look and smell clean or do you walk into a wall of stinky EWWW Ahh HELP I gotta get out of here?
- What about Safety ? Once inside can little Johny go and amuse himself by letting cats out while everyone is occupied chatting? How many doors are between the get away zone and the guests? Is there an automatically locking door between the outside and the holiday makers?
- Is the place light and bright with lots of windows to see out and open for fresh air when the weather is nice?
- Is it well ventilated?
- Is the facility well maintained or is it in serious need of a makeover?
- Is the temperature that your cat will be living in comfortable all year round?? warm in winter and cool in summer or especially in a climate like Canberra is the cattery FFFFreezing in winter and HHHot as hell in summer?
- Don’t forget to keep checking in with your gut feeling as you head on through the boarding facility.
- Check out the bowls that are used, are they chewed and grotty? Are they changed, washed and disinfected daily? They should be!
- Dont forget to ask whether or not the facility reduces the size of the cats living spaces during peak periods or not.
- Can you bring your cats favourite things… toys bedding….chair….scratching tower?
- Can you bring your own food? Do they have a clean fridge and freezer for meat and medication?
- Are you welcome to spend time settling your best friend in before you have to leave them?
- Are the cats all left out together, or allowed to roam about and upset other cats who are locked in a cage?
- Are the Suites, cages, apartments sneeze proofed, designed to ensure that airborne contagions aren’t easily transmitted?
- Do you get a choice of different levels of accommodation?
- Can you custom design your cats holiday itinerary?
- What fun activities are available for your cats to do so they really have a great holiday?
So after you have walked about, seen everything, chatted with the owners and people who are going to look after and love your cat while you can’t don’t forget to give the place a final score before you drive away.
Was it 10 = WOW!! Fist pump! YES! ….to…. 9 8,7,6,5 = Somewhere between Excellent – Well my cat would survive OK I guess or did it land in the 4,3,2,1 = Run Away Run Away.
So now your tea is all gone and you need to get on with your day or its time to turn in for a well earned rest. I hope you enjoyed the story and have some things to help with your next big decision about a where to leave your cat so it is getting full time loving care.
Cheers from Heidi and Graham