Below are the questions that get asked on a regular basis which you may find useful before contacting us.
My cat is an indoor cat. Is Holmbyre Cattery suitable for him/her?
Yes. We have many indoor cats who stay with us and who are completely happy and at home in the cattery. The indoor section ensures that they can stay as warm as they are used to at home whilst the outdoor area provides an added option should they wish to explore further.
My cat is an outdoor cat. Is Holmbyre Cattery suitable for him/her?
Yes. Our chalets are specifically designed to FAB specifications to allow plenty of room to play and climb. We spend time with all cats each day and can provide toys and other play items to stimulate interest. Of course feel free to bring favourite toys with you
I have never used a cattery before and not sure if it will be ok for my cat(s).
Lots of our customers have never used a cattery before often because they have never found one they are happy with. We have lots of ‘first timers’ – from small kittens to very elderly cats and they usually settle very well with the proper care and attention. We also have a high level of returning customers, and get a lot of referrals from a number of vet groups in and around Dalry. A lot of customers come to us through ‘word of mouth’ recommendations.
There are many reasons for people to need to use a cattery and we are always happy to discuss any individual situations and to offer advice to customers without obligation. We also strongly encourage new or prospective customers to come and look around the cattery so that they can see the facilities and countryside surroundings that we offer. It also provides a chance for them to meet us and to chat about their cat’s needs.
Do the cats get to go outside?
All our units have an enclosed indoor section where there is a window place to sleep and a thermostatically controlled heater. Each also has a cat flap for the cat to access the outdoor area. The spacious outdoor area allows each cat to get lots of fresh air whilst remaining completely separated from the other cats that are staying. Each outdoor area is separated by a sneeze barrier in line with FAB regulations.
My cat has never used a cat flap before.
This is not a problem. Cats are usually very intelligent and soon work out how to use a cat flap!! We observe each new guest to begin with until we are sure that they know how to get in and out. The cat flaps can also be removed to allow free access if necessary.
Do the cat mix with other cats who are staying in the cattery?
Our cattery adheres to strict regulations that stipulate that all cats in the care of a cattery must never have any contact with another cat throughout their stay. This minimises any health and safety risk and also ensures that a high standard of infection control is maintained. Every cat remains in the unit for the duration of their stay.
My kitten is full of energy and used to running around and playing. I’m worried he/she will get bored in a cattery while I’m away.
Most kittens settle really quickly and we always pay particular attention to them to ensure they have plenty to do. Always remember to bring plenty of toys for them to play with.
My cat is used to being very warm and cosy at home. How will he/she cope with staying at Holmbyre Cattery?
We have thermostatically controlled heaters in the indoor section of each individual unit. These heaters keep the temperature to a comfortable and cosy level.
I am anxious about leaving my cat as I have never done this before. I can’t bear the thought of him/her not settling and not knowing if he/she will be ok.
Some cats have a very nervous disposition and we prefer to have as much information as possible to help us to help the cat to settle. Our approach depends completely on the individual cat as each one is different. It is really useful for owners to bring something familiar such as a rug or old jumper that smells of home. The familiar scents provide reassurance for the cat to make them feel secure. We can also use a Feliway spray or plug-in and vets can prescribe Zylkene for your cat which can help too.
We are more than happy to keep you updated by telephone/ e-mail/ text as often as you need. The more information we have about your cat’s likes/ dislikes/ habits the easier it will be for us to make sure that they settle and are happy.
All cats have different personalities and therefore each one will become settled in his/ her own way. Some cats are bold and will settle instantly even if they have never been away from home before. More commonly cats that come for their first stay can be a bit wary and unsure to start with. We recognise that each cat is an individual, and so we tailor our approach and care to each one according to their specific needs.
Do I need to bring my cats food with me?
We make every effort to ensure that your cat is given the same food that he/ she gets at home. This helps them to settle, reduces any risk of upset and also we are happy in the knowledge that we are giving food that we know they enjoy. We keep a wide range of foods and can cater for most diets. If however, your cat is on a special prescription diet from the vet, then you will need to bring a supply with you.
What do you feed the cats?
We feed the cats staying with us whatever they usually have at home. Some cats are happy to eat any food, others can be ” fussy eaters”, so we do encourage owners to give us as much information as possible about the cat’s likes and dislikes.
If we have a cat that isn’t keen to eat we have a number of ‘tricks up our sleeves’ to try and entice them to eat! Whether it is cooking up their favourite fresh fish, treating them to a tin of Applaws, or just sitting with them for reassurance while they eat… whatever it takes we are happy to do it.
We keep a daily record of what your cat is eating so that if there is a problem it will be quickly noticed. We also have a chart outside each chalet where all of your cat’s preferences are noted.
Do you cater for cats on special diets?
Yes. We are happy to follow any special instructions you have regarding your cat’s dietary intake. We stock many different foods but may not be able to get supplies of special prescription diets that are provided by vets.
Do we need to bring our cat/s own bedding scratch post etc to the cattery?
We provide all the essential items for your cat to use and so there is no requirement for you to provide anything. However, we don’t mind if you prefer to bring some extra bedding or a rug or jumper with you as the familiar scents will help your cat to settle. Each chalet has a scratch post available.
My cat is used to a particular type of cat litter. What litter do you use?
Cats can be very particular about their toileting habits and can have problems if things are not ‘just right’. We usually use wood based litter in the cattery and many cats adapt easily to this even if they are used to using a different litter, or used to only going outside. However, some cats have a strong preference and do not like change,. If your cat is used to a different type of litter or we can accommodate this without any problem.
What vaccinations does my cat need to have?
Regulations stipulate that all cats boarding in a cattery must have a valid certificate for cat flu (feline herpesvirus and feline calcivirus) and feline enteritis (feline panleukopenia virus). Some vets also use additional vaccinations against feline chlamydiosis and feline leukaemia virus. These additional vaccinations are not essential for cattery boarding as the cats will not have any contact with each other during their stay.
Vaccinations should have been done at least ten days before arrival at the cattery. If they are done less than a week there is a risk that your cat’s immunity levels may be low and they may not be fully protected against infection.
We regret that we will not accept any cat into the cattery if they have never been vaccinated.
What happens if my cat/s is taken ill during a stay at Holmbyre Cattery?
We always take full contact details of your cat’s vet at the time of booking just in case anything happens while you are away. We also request as much detail as possible of any past and current medical conditions. In the event of any illness we always make every effort to contact you to keep you informed of what is happening.
If your cat is ill we prefer where possible to take the cat to his/ her usual vet. This is because the vet has the full medical history particularly in long term conditions and also because we know you have full faith in the vet you have chosen. We are happy to take the cat to the vet if required and to administer any medicines that have been prescribed.
Our own local vet is also on hand to attend any emergency at the cattery if needed.
I have three/four cats. Can they all share a unit together?
Many families have more than two cats. We have available two large family chalets to cater specifically for this.
I have a cat with special needs. Will you cater for these?
Yes of course. We have several regular guests with a variety of special needs. Some of our guests require insulin injections, some have physical disabilities. We have a ramp we can attach to assist your cat in accessing higher areas and the simple design of our chalets has proven to be suited to blind cats. We are also happy to accommodate cats with behavioural issues. We will always take our lead from you as to how you wish us to approach your cat. Feel free to contact us to discuss any special needs your cat might have.