Specialises in Cat Behaviour & Training, Health & Wellness and Pet Care Services                                     0403 939 202 enquiries@petnurture.com.au

What To Consider when Making the Right Choice for Your Cat

This is a question we often get asked; since cats vary in their requirements and preferences, your choice needs to be influenced by:

  • Your cat’s age,
  • The cat’s health condition
  • Individual cat or multi-cat household
  • Holiday duration
  • The cat’s temperament includes sociability with people and other cats
  • Current home environment
  • Cat’s day-to-day lifestyle


How Your Cat’s Personality and Behaviour Influence the choice between a Cat Sitter or a Cattery

Your cat’s temperament and behaviour play a vital role in your choice.

An indoor cat who’s very anxious and not used to new people may be frightened by a cat sitter. They may hide, preventing it from being seen or checked. In contrast, a very social cat who likes spending time with its owner and people may stray away outdoors if left alone all day with just one visit per day.

A cat used to spend time outside can get easily frustrated by remaining indoors all day, whereas a cat with a history of urine spraying may be better off in a cattery.

Cats who enjoy living and spending time outdoors without human contact will prefer to remain in their familiar environment, with a carer just popping over to feed them—those who are best suited to stay in their natural home environment.

Kittens and junior cats who are curious and active can get themselves into trouble if left alone for long periods, needing constant care to ensure their safety; hence, placing them in a cattery may be a good option unless you choose a house sitter to stay overnight.

Multi-cat households must consider everyone’s temperament and health circumstances, including inter-cat relationships in case of conflict. The likelihood of a new cat sitter/carer visiting the household can cause tensions, including inter-cat aggression. Likewise, the possibility of checking on all cats may be limited if some choose to spend time outside avoiding strangers.


Consider Health Conditions. Special Needs Cats and Medication Administration

An older cat with no underlying health issues may choose to sleep a lot, feeling more secure within their environment, with a cat sitter visiting twice daily.

An older cat with health problems or needs regular medication and particular care (i.e. tablets, insulin, inhaler) will be more suited to stay at a cattery with qualified vet nurses since most carers are not trained or find it challenging to medicate cats.

Cats suffering separation anxiety or special needs due to blindness, deafness, or mobility impairment and require regular care benefit from a stay-in-a-cat sitter who provides 24-hour care during the owner’s trip.

Lastly, staying home minimises stress from leaving personal territory and offers overall security for a healthy, active indoor cat if the cat sitter/carer visits twice daily. It also provides lots of enrichment as part of the visit.


2 Key Features to Consider in a Cat Sitter

  1. Genuine, Trustworthy, and Knowledgeable in Cat Behaviour – Look for a genuine cat lover who cares about the cat’s health and welfare and knows cat body language and behaviour.
  2. Animal Credentials—Look for a cat sitter with animal skills or Vet Nursing qualifications. They can administer medication or provide exceptional medical care if/when necessary. They also keep a nursing chart of the cat’s elimination habits, feeding, playtime, medication (if needed), and overall behaviour.


7 Key Signs to Ensure You Are Hiring the best Pet sitter!

  1. The pet sitter offers or agrees to a meet & greet.
  2. They ask about your pet’s behaviour, fears and favourite rewards.
  3. They ask about your pet’s health history, vaccines, and allergies.
  4. They ask about your dog’s or cat’s leash and collar for walking them outdoors.
  5. They have a plan for unforeseen emergencies and can take your pet to the vet.
  6. They take detailed notes.
  7. They willingly answer all your questions without any hesitations.


6 Key Features to Consider in a Cattery

  1. Good Design is Imperative – A cattery that’s designed and managed appropriately where your cat can’t escape, has its own safe and secure unit (cats from various houses, kept separately) with a sneeze barrier, premises including litter trays and food bowls are kept clean and disinfected with controlled temperature.
  2. Diet and Eating Well—Your cat is fed the same diet at home and given regular attention, particularly if it likes social company or needs a little pick-me-up if it needs further encouragement during the transition.
  3. Close Monitoring and Vet Attention – prompt veterinary attention if/when your cat becomes sick, and give regular medication, which is kept refrigerated and administered as necessary.
  4. Mental & Physical Stimulation—An Appropriate place within the cattery unit to sleep (with bedding from home) and hide, including boredom prevention with cat trees, vertical space, outdoor visibility, playtime, and cat runs.
  5. Disease Control—Emphasis on disease and parasite prevention and control since many cats are placed together in large premises with a higher chance of spreading viral or bacterial disease. Overall, staff hand hygiene, including vaccination of cats, is vital to protect your cat and other boarding cats.
  6. Avoid catteries with Communal Runs plus Shared Exercise Areas—Catteries offering communal runs and shared exercise areas for cats from different households should be avoided since most felines feel stressed. Most won’t want to share spaces with other cats, let alone share litter trays and food bowls, which are all high-potential ways of disease spread.


Call Melina on 0403 939 202 to find out what differentiates Pet Nurture from a Cattery, Kennel, Vet Clinic or another Pet Sitter.




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