Your Cat’s First Stay
As cat lovers ourselves, we know how tough it can be deciding to leave your feline family member in someone else’s care. We can assure you that your cat will receive the best care here at Wicklow Pet Hotel.
Choosing a home away from home for your furry feline family member is a big decision. Believe me, I once drove away from kennels and cattery crying with frustration that I hadn’t checked it out first or had some other option. I then spent the entire weekend fretting. It’s especially difficult if it’s the first time your cat has been away from home. Hence, we encourage every cat owner to give themselves plenty of time to research all cat minding/boarding options.
In September 2021, we recorded a virtual tour video. Before even considering booking your cat for a stay, we request that you watch the video as it details the room options and answers many of the questions you may have about your cat’s stay with us. In addition, we suggest you have a look at our twice weekly Facebook updates to get an honest look at the everyday experience of our guests.
It is very important if children are worried about leaving their furry friend that they feel reassured that their kitty is going on holidays too. We encourage you to let your children watch the virtual tour and Facebook posts as well so they can feel happy and confident leaving precious feline family members in our care. Your kids are welcome to accompany you at check-in and while you are away regular social media updates work wonders for anxious chidren.
It’s natural to have concerns about leaving your cat in someone else’s care, especially if it’s their first time away from home. When you bring your cat for the first time, we will ask you to fill in a detailed form which will be kept on file, so any information you need to give us will be captured then. This is an ideal time to chat to us about any worries you have, big or small. Every cat has a unique personality and habits. We love being told what your cat likes and dislikes-whether they like to be petted or not, if they enjoy being brushed, love ear scratching or purr for chin rubs. Please be sure to tell us if your cat does not like to be petted or lifted. We understand that lots of cats don’t but it’s very important that we are aware of that. We have rescued many cats over the years and know that lots of cats can live happy, content lives in homes while still being semi-feral.
We will attach a document with detailed directions to your booking confirmation email. We strongly advise that you save these to your phone or print them out. We are on Google maps BUT the internet coverage drops off about 500 metres from the house so you may be close, but still unable to find us!
ALL cats MUST be brought to the cattery in a secure pet carrier. Your cat must be taken from the car to the cattery in the carrier – we do not permit any cats to be carried from cars to the cattery, the same applies when collecting your cat. We will keep your carrier here while you are away. If your cat has an accident in the carrier on their journey please don’t worry, we are well used to this. We will wash out and disinfect the carrier. It is advisable to use newspapers, not bedding, in the carrier for this reason. It’s best not to feed your cat before they arrive to prevent the possibility of travel sickness. Eating soon after arrival helps cats settle in.
We encourage owners to bring something from home that has a familiar smell. There is no need to bring your cat’s bed as we provide beds, mini duvets and blankets but to help your cat settle for their first stay it can be a comfort to have a familiar smell. A good idea is to put an old t-shirt or blanket into your cat’s bed for the week before they come and bring that – there is no point bringing something just washed. We don’t mind at all if it’s covered in hairs, your cat will love having it!
We have lots of cat toys here – from little mice to balls and bells. If you would like to bring a couple of your cat’s favourite toys, that’s no problem.
As well as your cat having a lovely time during their stay with us we are very careful in doing our best that your cat’s health and wellbeing is nurtured.
All cats coming to stay with us must have been fully vaccinated. Once a cat receives their initial two vaccinations they should be vaccinated each year with a booster shot. When you are checking in, please have your vaccination card from your vet showing the date of your cat’s annual booster vaccinations, or, if you have a kitten, showing their completed kitten vaccinations. We will make a note on your cat’s profile on our booking system of the date of vaccinations and give it back to you.
Annual booster vaccinations must have been administered at least 3 days before check in date if their yearly vaccination schedule has been maintained. If a break has occurred in their yearly schedule, you must allow 2 weeks. All cats need to be vaccinated against feline panleucopenia virus, calicivirus (FCV) and feline herpes virus type 1 (FHV1) eg Novibac Tricat vaccine. If your cat goes outside, or lives with cats who go outside it should be vaccinated against feline leukaemia virus FeLV. As all cats who stay at Wicklow Pet Hotel have access to the outdoors we recommend that all cats, even those who are indoor cats at home be vaccinated against FeLV.
Flea, Ticks & Worm Prevention
All pets must have been treated for flea/tick prevention and for worms within two weeks of check in date. If, during your pets stay, it is believed that they need to be treated for fleas/ticks or worms this will be carried out and the cost of such treatment added to owner’s bill.
We are very experienced in dealing with cats on medication. If your cat is taking medication we advise that you email or call prior to your cat’s stay. On busy mornings at check in we may not have the same time and it’s important that we know all the details. If your cat is on tablets which you hide in food please bring some of the particular food your cat will eat (and not spit the tablet out!).
We are experienced minding cats who require medication by injection, like diabetes.
It is VERY important that you bring enough medication for your cat’s stay plus a few extra days just in case. There is no extra charge for the administration of daily medication. If an injection must be given there may be an extra charge depending on the circumstances. Please contact us for a quote.
We will provide you with a written daily record sheet on collection that documents the medication given, at what time it was administered and by which staff member so you’ll be assured that your cat’s medical needs were attended to.
If for some reason your cat requires veterinary care while they are staying at Wicklow Pet Hotel, we will ring you immediately and let you know. Whether we reach you or not, we will bring your cat to our local vet or, if your cat is registered with a practice close to us, we will bring them there. For full information please see our Terms and Conditions.
All feline guests are offered complimentary Royal Canin dry kibble during their stay. Please choose from the menu below and let us know your preference at check-in.
- Exigent Savour Sensation: for fussy eaters
- Sensible: for sensitive digestion
- Lightweight Care: for weight management
- Kitten: for kittens aged 4 months to one year
Due to the extensive range of wet food on the market, and each cat’s particular preference, wet food is not provided by Wicklow Pet Hotel. If your cat’s diet includes wet food, please bring their preferred choice. All dietary requirements are facilitated, including veterinary-prescribed food, raw food (fresh or frozen), or home-prepared meat or fish. If your cat is on a measured/weighed amount of food each day, please bring along a marked measuring cup so that we can maintain your feeding routine.
You do not need to bring your cat’s food or water bowls, however. We have plenty here and they are washed in a dishwasher after each feed.
If you prepare raw or cooked meat or fish at home for your cat please feel free to bring that with you, separated into portions. We can store it in the fridge or freezer and give your cat a portion or two each day as required.
If your cat is taking a veterinary prescribed cat food please be sure to bring enough with you for their stay. We will provide you with a written daily record sheet on collection which will document your cat’s feeding times, amounts (if required) and staff member so you’ll know the dietary requirements were met.
Drawbacks of some moist foods
Over the years we have seen the unfortunate negative side effects of cats being fed commercial/supermarket grade wet food. Invariably, this is coated in either jelly or gravy which usually contains a high percentage of sugar. This can lead to serious dental decay and gum disease. It can also result in your cats’ blood sugar levels spiking and dropping throughout the day.
So many clients have bemoaned the fact that their cat will beg or wait until they are given these foods, turning their nose up at dry food. From my own experience, I believe that giving your cat meat and fish, cooked or raw, as a treat or in combination with a high quality dry food is much better for them than commercial/supermarket grade wet food.
If you would like to stop feeding your cat wet food, their visit to Wicklow Pet Hotel is an ideal time to do this, as your cat will not be expecting wet food from us. Many cat owners have done that and their cats are now happy eating just dry food or a combination of dry and some tinned fish/meat or high quality (sugar free moist food). The dry food we use is so tasty that often cats who are given their own wet food and our dry food choose the dry over the wet.
What goes in must come out!
Another drawback of using low grade food is that what you have to clean out of the litter tray is much smellier and larger than it would be if your cat was on dry food.
Grooming your cat may be a necessity, if you have a long haired cat especially, or a simply a time for you and your cat to connect.
As a cat lover, I do try to get my own cats used to being brushed. In my experience, grooming is a great way to bond with your cat. It is also a way of checking your cat for any cuts, scrapes, lumps or skin conditions.
Many of our cat guests are very long haired. Keeping a very long haired cat’s coat knot free can be a seriously time consuming job. All too often a small knot forms and if not dealt with promptly it slowly becomes a bigger, tighter clump of matted hair. Mats on your cat can become tight, pulling on the skin and causing discomfort. If the mats are very dense and close to the skin the only solution is to cut them out with a pet clippers. In this case, most cats will not tolerate being held and clipped so you will need to bring them to their vet who will sedate them before shaving off the mats.
For this reason we are happy to offer a grooming upkeep service here at Wicklow Pet Hotel. If your cat needs regular grooming to maintain the work you do we will keep this going while they are staying with us. Depending on the time required we will add a fee to cover this service onto your bill. Please contact us for a quote or discuss this with us prior to your cat’s stay. If your cat has tight knots and is happy to be clipped we will try this, if your cat is distressed however we will not. Again we can discuss options prior to your cat’s stay.
If your short-haired cat is used to being groomed and you would like to include some brushing or combing sessions into their stay we will be happy to give you a quote.