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As previous years we will not be sending out Christmas cards to everyone, but we have donated to Macmillan instead.

We are taking bookings for the Christmas period, so if you know some dates, please let us know

Introducing Cats and Dogs

Despite what we all see in cartoons, cats and dogs often get along with each other really well when they’ve been carefully introduced. You’ll find introducing your pets to each other is somewhat easier if one or both have them have lived with other cats or dogs before, but a slow and gentle introduction is always recommended. Not only is this safer, it’s more likely to help them to become good friends.

Cats and dogs can be the best of friends

Preparing for your new pet

Whether you’re introducing a dog or a cat into your home, you will need to make sure there’s a safe area where you’re cat can escape from the dog. If you’re introducing a new dog into the home, make sure this area is a place your cat already feels safe. Place your cat’s litter tray, food, water and bed in this area to make them feel as secure as possible.

 

Stair gates are incredibly useful for letting your pets smell and see each other, whilst still giving your cat an easy way to get away from the dog if they want to. You may wish to also start using a Feliway diffuser for a few days before you bring your new dog home, as they emit pheromones to help cats feel safe.

 

Finally, make sure there are plenty of high places your cat can easily access in order to hide and rest high up- this will be essential a bit later on in the introduction process.

 

Introducing kittens

Kittens are far smaller than adult cat, which combined with their playfulness, will result in a far more excited dog. Place your kitten into a dog crate that’s big enough for a litter tray, bed, places to hide and a scratching post. Help your kitten get used to the dog crate before meeting your dog, by introducing the kitten to the crate in the place kept away from the dog, allowing them to get used to going in and out when they want.

 

It’s all about scent

Smell is extremely important to both cats and dogs, so by spreading the smell of your new pet throughout your home before introducing them, you should find the first meeting goes better as your pets will already know things about each other.

 

Placing your new pet’s smell around the house should be done anywhere from a few days to a week before you let them meet face-to-face will help both pets to feel safer and more secure.

 

The first meeting

Whereabouts in the house you let your pets meet will depend on your house, but you need to make sure there’s an easy way for your cat to escape without being chased by your dog. One of the most important things when your cat and dog meet is that your dog isn’t allowed to chase your cat. If your dog develops a habit of chasing the cat, it’ll only get worse and you could find that your cat leaves as a result.

 

Have lots of food ready if your dog gets too excited or stares at the cat for too long. Your cat will watch the dog and decide for themselves when they feel it’s safer to get closer to your dog. Remember that when your dog is behaving well, to praise them with lots of fuss and treats to reinforce good behaviour.

 

If either pet appears distressed or scared, split them up, continue to spread each pets’ scents around and try again in a few days. Always keep the first few meetings short and try to end them on a positive note.

 

Maintaining a good relationship

As things improve between your cat and dog, you can start introducing them for a longer amount of time and more freely. Keep plenty of high places available for your cat and don’t leave them on their own until you’re entirely confident both animals are safe together.

 

Keep the cat’s food and litter tray well away from the dog to avoid distress, spraying and the cat going to the toilet elsewhere in the house.

 

Every cat and every dog is different, so what could take a week or two for some, may take many months for others. Remember, don’t rush anything and take things carefully and at your pets’ pace to maximise the likelihood of your cat and dog becoming the best of friends.

 

 

The team at Sereta Boarding Cattery have more than three decades’ of experience in all aspects of cat care. To find out more about our boarding cattery, give us a call on 01689 856168 today.

The 7 Most Friendly Cat Breeds

The common misconception about cats is that they’re fiercely independent, aloof and a bit anti-social, especially when compared to dogs. But just because cats aren’t as predictable and obvious about loving people as dogs are, it doesn’t mean that cats don’t want all your love, attention and cuddles. There are certain breeds of cat in particular that love human company and affection.

These cats are well-known for loving nothing more than following you round the house, using your laptop as the perfect bed whenever you’re trying to type, and curling up with you at bedtime. This friendliness is perfect if you want an affectionate and loving companion.

 

Siamese
This extroverted cat loves being involved everything going on throughout the house, and is incredibly vocal, often having their own input into everything going on. Siamese cats are also incredibly affectionate and are always highly sociable, making them a welcome addition to any household looking for a friendly, active addition.

 

Sphynx
Whilst some people may be put off by the sphynx’s hairless appearance, this cat is incredibly sweet and affectionate to both her family and strangers. This breed is incredibly sociable, will beg for attention and extremely affectionate. Personal space is definitely not something this cat understands, so you can expect them to be with you wherever you go.

The sphynx is also a highly intelligent cat, not only constantly ‘talking’, you can even teach them to play fetch!

 

Burmese
Burmese cats love everyone they come into contact with, whether it’s a member of the family, a stranger or a cat-friendly dog. An ever-curious feline, a Burmese will follow you around the house to make sure they know exactly what you (and everyone else) are up to.

 

Abyssinian
Not only is the Abyssinian basically the supermodel of the cat world, with stunning good looks, it’s also one of the friendliest breeds you could consider. Abyssinians are incredibly playful and even love swimming and being around water. These cats are incredibly loyal and affectionate, making them the ideal family cat.

 

Ragdoll
The ragdoll is a big, fluffy feline bred to be the ultimate lap cat. As the name suggests, they go limp like a ragdoll when you pick them up, and will often let strangers pick them up as well as their family. The ragdoll is not only gorgeous, they’re incredibly intelligent and you can teach them to play fetch. Their loyalty and intelligence makes them a welcome addition to any household.

 

Persian
The luxurious Persian cat is a true gentleman, and these dignified cats are perfect if you want a relaxed, calm cat. They’re one of the most popular family cat breeds for their high levels of loyalty, patience and affection. Plus, many people find grooming their long fur to be a very relaxing way to spend time.

 

Maine Coon
Maine Coons are another large breed of cat, with a luxurious coat and a friendly and intelligent disposition. They’re extremely good ratters, helping to keep your home free of vermin and they’re always up for playing around. Maine Coons build up strong and fiercely loyal bond with their humans, making them the perfect cat to come back to at the end of the day.

 

At Sereta Boarding Cattery, we understand the unique needs of different cat breeds, allowing us to ensure they’re as happy and content as possible during their stay. For more information about our cattery and to organise a visit, simply contact us online or call 01689 856168 today.

Keep your cats safe this winter

Obviously, the most certain way to keep your cat warm and safe in winter is to keep him inside, but for my cat owners, this simply isn’t an option. The majority of cats need to go out regularly in order to be happy, even in the depths of winter, and all you can do is make it as safe as possible for your cat to be out in the cold weather this winter.

cat-in-snow

Before anything else, your cat should be micro-chipped with your current contact information, whether they’re a house cat or spend most of their time outside. If your cat gets lost in the depths of winter, this will give you the best chance of being reunited. By using the following pieces of advice, you can make your cat’s winter as safe as possible.

Alert cats before using your car

Cats and other small animals will be looking for sources of warmth in the winter in order to sleep and get some rest, and car engines and wheels are two particularly popular places. Before you use your car, give it a few hard smacks on the hood in order to wake up and startle any cat or other animal that may be sleeping there, allowing them to reach safety.

Clean up any spilled anti-freeze

Many anti-freeze products have a sweet taste that makes it enticing to animals, but it is, in fact, very dangerous for cats to ingest. By cleaning up any anti-freeze spills in your garage or on your driveway, you can effectively prevent your cat from accidentally ingesting anti-freeze. You will also need to wipe any anti-freeze bottles after use and tightly seal them before putting them away.

Don’t leave your cat (or other animals) in the car

Many of us travel in order to see friends, family or find some winter sun over Christmas, and you can be tempted to leave your cat in the car when you need to get out of the car, especially if you’re not going to be a long time. However, leaving your cat just for a short amount of time can be just as deadly in winter as in summer, as your car’s temperature will quickly plummet to freezing levels.

Keep an eye out for frostbite on your cat

Outdoor cats can be at risk of frostbite in very cold temperatures, especially on the tips of their ears. When your cat comes inside, check him for the signs of frostbite and if it gets too cold, it’s best to just keep him in for the night.

Check your cat’s paws

Another risk of outdoor cats is that the pads of their paws can become irritated and sore from the salt-based ice melting products used on roads and pavements. If you need to melt ice on your driveway, there are plenty of pet-friendly alternatives to rock salt on the market.

Give your cat’s paws a quick wipe when he comes in to prevent him from licking them and potentially exacerbating any problems.

Take extra care of old and sick cats

If your cat is generally inactive, underweight or finds it difficult to keep up his temperature, you will need to provide him with plenty of warm places to curl up, and if he has arthritis, you may want to provide easy access to these places. Cats with arthritis feel the cold in their joints, just like humans do, and going out in the snow will take its toll. Elderly cats can get easily disoriented in the snow, so it may be best to keep them in more.

At Sereta Boarding Cattery, we have the experience and knowledge to keep your cat safe, healthy and warm throughout the festive period. To book your cat into Sereta Boarding Cattery, call us on 01689 856168 or fill out our booking form today.

Cat Owners Need to Know These Things About Cat Flu

Sereta CAttery ServicesIf you’re a cat owner, the last thing you probably want to hear are the words ‘cat flu’, especially in relation to your beloved family pet. The most important thing to do if you even slightly suspect your cat has cat flu is to take it to a vet for treatment – one of the reasons cat flu is so feared is because it usually means your cat will be more susceptible to a range of nasty, secondary infections.

Often, the inability of your cat being able to fight off these secondary infections, contributes to early death. There are four different strains of cat flu you need to be aware of:

  • Feline Herpes Virus (FHV) – This severe strain of cat flu can be life-threatening and cause ulcers to form on your cat’s eyes. The eyelids are at risk of becoming inflamed and swollen, sticking to the eye. Long term eye complications are associated with FHV. FHV damage the nasal passages and sinuses, contributing to long-term infections.
  • Feline Calicivirus (FCV) – FCV is a milder strain of cat flu with adult cats usually experiencing nothing more than ulcers in the roof of the mouth, tongue and nose; kittens usually experience some lameness and high temperature.
  • Feline Chlamydophilia – Even milder than FCV, most cats experience nasal discharge and redness of the eyes.
  • Bordetella – Not only does Bordetella exhibit the above symptoms, it sometimes spreads to the chest. This serious infection has a relatively high death rate in kittens, and Bordetella may be responsible for cats developing a cough.

The majority of cats will be carriers of cat flu, with a virus in their system without actually being ill.

How cat flu spreads

If your cat is a carrier of cat flu, there is a high chance of it spreading to other cats it comes into contact with, especially your other cats. There are a number of ways carriers can spread the virus, including:

  • Fighting – Cat flu is spread mainly through saliva, so if a cat carrying cat flu bites another cat, it can easily spread.
  • Cleaning – Similarly, cats who clean each other or share from the same food and water bowls will often spread the virus.
  • Urination – Cats may inhale the spray of an infected cat when outside, inadvertently becoming infected themselves.

Symptoms of cat flu

The following symptoms provide a good indicator whether your cat has become infected with cat flu:

  • Runny nose with thick, heavy discharge
  • Sore mouth, mouth ulcers (other diseases, such as gingivitis can cause a sore mouth as well)
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Very quiet, depressed character

A runny nose will prevent your cat from being able to smell its food, leading to unwillingness to eat, causing your cat to become weak. Similarly, mouth ulcers will make it painful for your cat to chew and swallow its food. Quite often, you’ll be able to tell if your cat’s ill as it’ll appear far more unhappy and quiet than usual.

Preventing cat flu

When you get a new kitten, you’ll need to arrange for its two initial vaccines and ensure you keep up to date with booster vaccinations. No reputable cattery will allow your cat to board unless they’re fully up to date with their vaccinations, so you will need to bear that in mind before you go on holiday.

Whilst vaccines in the UK widely work against viruses, you can also access vaccines against bacterial strains, which is something you may want to consider if you’re showing or breeding cats.

Even if your cat has been vaccinated, it still may be a carrier of cat flu. Kittens will initially benefit from some immunity passed from their mothers, but this will soon fade, and some kittens will contract cat flu from their mothers or become carriers themselves.

If your cat was vaccinated against cat flu, but still contracts it, it’s most likely that they caught the infection before they were vaccinated.

Helping your cat recover

Much like helping another human get over the flu, all you can really do is be there for the cat, giving it lots of attention. You will need to make sure that the cat eats and gently clean the cat’s eyes and nose on a regular basis.

You may want to help clear out your cat’s sinuses by bringing it into the bathroom with you when you have a hot shower, due to the steam.

Apart from that, there isn’t much you can do – the majority of cats will recover within a few weeks, but kittens, very old cats and cats with existing health issues may find it a lot more difficult to recover.

 

At Sereta Boarding Cattery, we require you to bring proof that your cat’s cat flu vaccinations are up to date before we take them from you. For more information about Sereta Boarding Cattery, call us today on 01689 856168.

What You Should Look for When Choosing a Boarding Cattery

cats

At Sereta Boarding Cattery, we’re incredibly lucky to be surrounded by trees and fields and enjoy south-facing facilities. As a family-run business, we understand just how difficult it can be to leave your family pet behind, even if it’s just for a week or two. For the past 30 years, we’ve provided expert feline care for all the cats we’ve looked after, and throughout this time, we’ve become experts in what you should look for when choosing a responsible and safe boarding cattery for your family cat.

Are you given a warm welcome?

When you go and visit a prospective cattery, all decent catteries will welcome your visit. When you visit a prospective cattery, take into account whether or not the staff are genuinely interested in your cat. You should also ask them how much attention you can expect your cat to receive on a daily basis.

Are the current cats happy?

Look at the cats currently with the cattery for boarding. Are they happy, with things in their houses and run containing things to keep them stimulated? Do the runs and houses have interesting views that the cats can watch? Most catteries will encourage you to leave a few things for your cat to remind them of home, but you may want to check with the manager of the cattery you’re looking into.

Is the cattery secure?

All cat runs in a boarding cattery should have either double doors or a safety passage that runs the length of the units.

Does every cat have its own unit/house/run?

It’s incredibly bad to mix cats in a boarding cattery if they’re from different homes. Cats are solitary animals by nature and will often get into fights and quickly spread disease when put into large groups.

If catteries house cats outside, individual runs should be separated from each other by either a full-height sneeze barrier made from a solid material or a 2ft gap. Indoor units should also be separated by solid barriers.

It’s vital that all the units you see have access to fresh air and sunlight, too. If possible, choose a cattery that has both indoor and outdoor areas where they won’t only be breathing shared air, as this increased the spread of disease.

Are the cattery units warm and comfortable?

You should enquire with what materials the cattery units are lined, with common good options including polypropylene, fibre glass and rock wool. Flat roofs or sun shelves designed for cats to relax in the sun are perfect for helping your cat to settle in somewhere new.

If you’re looking at outdoor catteries, try to choose somewhere with thermostatically controlled heating, which can easily be adjusted to meet your cat’s requirements.

Do the cattery units looking welcoming and clean?

When you’re looking at a prospective cattery, all areas should be cleaned to a high standard and obviously hygienic, including litter trays, feeding bowls and all surfaces. All outdoor and indoor areas should look well cared for and the cattery’s specified kitchen area should have no noticeable smell.

Booking a cattery

Once you’ve decided which cattery you’d like to go with, make sure you book your place well in advance – particularly during the summer months. A good cattery will want to know as much as possible about your cat when you book, including its age, name, dietary requirements and more. Not only will you need to leave your name and a contact number, but good catteries will ask for the name and contact number for your vet too.

Vaccinations

All catteries will require your cat to be vaccinated against feline upper respiratory disease, or cat flu, and feline infectious enteritis. If you encounter a cattery that doesn’t mention this, then definitely do not use them!

Whether you’re going on holiday, moving home or staying in hospital, Sereta Boarding Cattery are on hand to look after your cat. For more information about our facilities and to arrange to view our cattery, call 01689 856168 or contact us online today.

Welcome to our New Site

Bookings for the summer are coming in fast, so if you have booked your holiday don’t forget the cats. To avoid disappointment and anxiety for you, please contact us.

Our old cat Tommy (the one with the little jacket) is now having his long sleep, we all loved him and will miss him greatly, always in our hearts, June, Steve and Jill.