Make your cat fall in love with the cattery

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We’re heading off overseas for a month later this year which means one thing – our fur babies, Hunter and Sybil, will be enjoying a holiday of their own as they spend four weeks at a countryside retreat (aka. the cattery).

Whether you’re heading away for a week or a month, it’s never easy leaving your fur-babies behind – there’s usually a bit of crying when we drop Hunter and Sybil off for their little holiday… and it’s definitely not coming from them!

But luckily there are things you can do to help ease that separation. Here are my top five tips to help make your time apart as pain-free as possible – for both of you!

  1. Bedding:

Whether you’re a cat or human, there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed. Pack your cat’s favourite sleeping spot with them for their holiday – we have little cushions that both Hunter and Sybil have loved sleeping on since they were babies. Don’t have one? Buy a bed or blanket the month before you head away and pop it in their favourite sleeping spot so they’re used to it and it smells like home by the time you jet off.

  1. Keep in touch

Don’t be afraid to ask your cattery to send you photos of your fur baby while you’re away. Many catteries will be happy to send you photo updates on how your cat is enjoying their holiday – all you need to do is ask! When Hunter and Sybil spent four weeks at the cattery last year, the lovely team sent us little photo collages every Friday morning – it was always a real treat to wake up to on the other side of the world and definitely made our time apart that little bit easier. Here’s a peek at some of the photos we were sent – awesome, huh?

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  1. Stay warm

Heading away in winter? Then don’t forget a blanket (or two!) for your cat. You can even cut up an old dressing gown or blanket you know your cat loves and use that. Think about investing in a cat-safe heat pad – your cat will love it! These clever little pads just need 10 minutes in the microwave to stay warm for up to eight hours – they’re the perfect solution for those chilly winter nights. We all know how much cats love lounging in front of the fire, heater or on a nice warm bed – let them bring this little luxury with them.

  1. Feed them well

Just because you’re away doesn’t mean your cat should give up on the things it loves – that includes their favourite food! Most catteries are more than happy to let you bring in your cat’s favourite food for them to enjoy during their stay – after all, they want them to stay happy and healthy as much as you do. Fancy Feast makes catering to your cat’s special tastes easy while making their holiday that little bit more luxurious. We’ll be sending Hunter and Sybil off with a stash of their favourite Fancy Feast pouches and cans again this time – they’re single serve, which makes it super easy for the cattery, and you can rest-easy knowing that your fur baby is eating well.

  1. Kick-off the holiday early

Rather than dropping your cat off when you’re in a rush to head away yourself, let them start their holiday earlier – it means less stress for both of you! They won’t have the stress of seeing you pack (and you won’t be bothered by the cat constantly sitting in your half-packed bag) and you’ll be in a better frame of mind to settle them into their home away from home. Remember, it’s not forever!


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Is your cat feeling the winter chill?

Thanks to the lovely team at Fancy Feast I have an awesome cat-safe heatpad to give away to one lucky person. These heatpads are filled with a clever gel that holds the heat for up to 10 hours – and your cat can’t chew through them!

To be in to win, simply leave a comment below and let me know how you’re keeping your cat cosy this winter. Bonus points if you share a photo of your beautiful fur baby too!

This post (and Hunter and Sybil’s holiday diet) was made possible thanks to Fancy Feast. All comments and photos are, and always will be, my own.

Entries close 11.59pm Monday 8 August. The winners will be chosen at random and notified on Tuesday 9 August. Each winner must make contact within 3 business days or they’ll forfeit the prize and a new winner will be drawn. Sorry – this giveaway is only open to New Zealand residents.

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  • Hayley Knight

    This is a great blog Kirsten! We found it hard leaving our fur baby at a cattery for the first time, but strategies liked you mentioned definitely helped! :) Our Alfred’s favourite sleeping spot is in an old PS4 box and his favourite mink blanket

    • Kirsten

      Congratulations Hayley – you’ve won Alfred his very own pet heat pad! Keep an eye on your inbox for more info arriving shortly. Cheers, Kirsten

  • Robyn Coleman

    These tips are super helpful! I have a beautiful Sphinx Shaggy who is such a baby and hates being away from his family. He gets really cold this time of the year and wears jumpers all winter long to keep him cosy. He does have his own bed but he’d much rather cuddle up with me, normally that means he wants to climb inside my jersey and steal my body heat. A heat pack would be great to have to keep him extra warm.

  • Vettechic

    His Lordship George makes himself warm and cosy on my bed at my feet every night.

  • Emma Bourke

    Polly like to take over the beds!

  • Tracey Jack

    Our cat sneaks under the bed covers early in the morning when it is at its coldest

  • Rowie Stevenson

    Our Tonkinese cat Dobby has his little brother Arthur to keep him warm.. And vice versa! These two always take over our nice blankets and we just can’t kick them off haha too cute :3

  • Helen Janes

    My cat Maurice is terrified of the cattery as at our vet where he had an operation when very little so has never forgot this time even though it t his life. Luckily the vet has a catnip plant to ease the stress and of course he has his brother Max to. See how brave he is with a bit of catnip in him, this toy never stood a chance.

  • Kathryn Stokes

    Mufasa doesn’t mind the cattery but he hates his cage and the car ride there! I’ve been using feliway spray to keep him calm, as for warmth that seems to be what I’m for + of course a fluffy blanket :) He’s loving the extra warm foot patch on the bed from my electric blanket! Spot the the king camouflaged with his fave fluffy blanky.

  • Kelly

    My cats love a hot water bottle – they’ve been smelling like rubber for the past few weeks! They are also cuddling up with each other a lot more :) soooh sweeeet!

  • Stephanie Melville

    Here’s my old boy Rascal! He’s about 20 years old now so he really feels the cold. We keep him cosy and warm by having a bed for him by the fire place, with the fire going when it starts to get chilly :)

  • Tracey

    This is Java in his favourite spot in front of the fire. He’s a Devon Rex Variant – so from a family of hairless cats. He doesn’t have both genes to be hairless but he thinks he’s always cold despite having thick fur.

  • Tania

    Pepe uses any blanket, jacket and human she can find to keep warm in the winter. But nothing, NOTHING beats a warm heater

  • Tania

    Pepe uses any blanket, jacket and human she can find to keep warm in the winter. see exhibit A)

  • Anna Somerville

    My beautiful girl Kiki is keeping warm this winter by cuddling up with my daughter in bed.

  • Gemma Falleni

    Meet the big boss at The Tax Lady – Woollie, sleeping on the job. This guy could use an upgrade to his current sleeping arrangements because as you can see he spends his days sleeping between clients paper work :)

  • Grace Walker

    My little girl Maia the Manx likes to warm up in style! She snuggles up in her wee microfleece hoodie. Sometimes she gets a little too toasty though. A heating pad would be perfect so she can get on and off it as she pleases ;).

  • Connie Payne

    Our two, I’m sure would get past their differences if a warm bed was on offer. Thanks Fancy Feast this is awesome. Photos are too large to attach. :(

  • Emma Frederickson

    I make nests for Luka!! He’s about to have his first cattery stay, and I’m sure he’d love the heat pad, what a great idea. Thanks for the top tips too!

  • Andrea

    Mhysa keeps cosy this winter by going to her favourite spot on the couch. She has molded herself to one of the couch cushions and loves the texture of the white throw. We will be putting her in a cattery for a month at the end of the year while we go overseas. We will definitely leave the throw with her but for her to win a wonderful heatpad would be delightful – the ultimate comfort!

  • Alasha McCracken

    My cat Nadia loves to be wrapped in blankets. Then during the night once she gets up to have a mid night feed she loves to jump under the covers with me and cuddle up. Here’s a pic of her on my bed at the moment. Xx would love to win the heat pad for her.

  • Jessica Channon

    My gorgeous cat Pipin loves to stretch out in the sun on the bed or snuggle up close to us at night on the mink blankets. The heat pad would be perfect for him!

  • Lisa

    Keeping my little ginger nut Neeson warm with his favourite blanket this winter. He’s still
    Only a kitten so he feels the cold easily!

  • Ruby Beresford

    After a long day of pretending to be a dog (chasing balls around the house and following me everywhere), our cat Bella loves to curl up on the bed with us for a couple of hours before being woken up by our crying newborn at which point she shoots her the stink eye and storms off to sulk in the lounge for the rest of the night. Just a tad bit jealous, she doesn’t understand why the mini human gets so much attention (or is so loud).
    P.S: Some nights she will slink back in because, quite frankly, the bed with two warm bodies in it is so much more appealing than being curled up on the cold couch alone..

  • Kc Wheeler

    My girl sleeps against me under the covers or between my legs and my partner’s legs on the bed. In the day she likes to sit on a suitcase with the big curtain draped over her for warmth.

  • jane nuttridge

    Shes been laying under the heat pump on her back haha! But the dog keeps annoying her, so a warm pad in her own area would be great!!

  • Anya Marckean

    The heat pumps on and my lap apparently is the best place for him to lie especially when in my fluffy onsie or when he can snuggle with my baby too.

  • Kittyhooch

    I made my cat Paris a cat teepee out of an old T-shirt and some coat hanger wire. She loves to snuggle up in it. I’m sure she would appreciate a heat pad even more, though!

  • Ashy Bayb

    My cat has a giant teddy bear he claimed and he uses that as his bed when he sleeps inside in front of fire place. Otherwise you’ll be finding him outside on the
    Deck in an arm chair that has his own fluffy blanket on it for him to get cosy and warm :)

  • Mikayla Frisby

    She takes over my bed but I let her! Best way to keep her warm

  • Christina Sandford

    I’m keeping my 3 cats warm by letting them all sleep on my bed with me and my partner :)

  • Caitlin Domanski

    We’re keeping our cats warm by keep a special place for them in front of the ducted heating

  • Jacinda Moore-Keats

    Gosh my two cats have been extremely cold and timid as we have just moved house on Sunday. So they are inside for the next two weeks. They would love this heating pad for them to help settle them into their new home. They like to sleep under the blankets with me at night but have to cuddle up together under my bed while I’m at work because they are still a bit frightened of their new home. Thank you for reading.

  • Charlotte

    Our Misty has taken to sleeping at the top of the wardrobe during the day and sleeping with us all night.

  • Nikita Lal-Manik

    This is Mia’s first winter as she is only 8 months old, before she goes to bed i pop her little jumper on which she loves snuggling into her bed wearing, and lets not forget she rocks it too hehe, Mia would love this prize!!

  • Jason

    My cat Chloe sleeps in her cosy bed located halfway up the wall where my partner placed a platform with steps leading up to it. It’s her private spot and warm air rises so it’s perfect for winter :)

  • Ashleigh Rees Fenerty

    My cats Anubus and Oden. Share there bed in there own room. (Due to no kids and a room that only gets used by them) we haven’t insulated their room yet. So the heat pad will help keep them nice and warm this winter

  • Hope

    My girl meowmeows lays by the fire every night and most days when it’s going and of course it dies during the night and she gets cold then comes into my room and snuggles up on my sweatshirt on the floor she would love a heatpad would be awesome as we have gotten a new kitten that has taken over sleeping on our bed so she’s left on the cold floor she’s too subborn to sleep on my bed aswell haha.

  • Sam Sharland

    Our cat Mandu loves keeping warm in a drawer. You can’t see in the photo but my t-shirts are in there and a blanket.

  • Sarah

    Our kitty loves my dressing gown. If she’s lucky I’ll leave it draped over the bed and she can get cozy. Otherwise she’s pretty content in her cave-like bed from kmart… Or any other hidy hole in the house that she can find! I don’t think she was too content with me taking this photo though!

  • Christine Cleary

    Our cat has one of my daughters baby blankets as his blanket for night time.

  • Lana Smith

    Our cat likes to sleep on the sky box as it must be warm

  • noodles

    Two of my three fur babies staying warm on a cold night (both spca rescues)

  • Kirsty

    Our cat Furkin keeps warm during the day by lying in the sun on our bed and in the evening he lives on our laps for lots of cuddly body heat. This is what he thinks of the cold winter though and he would love a heat pad to snuggle up to at night!

  • Kristina Arthur

    Tigger likes to curl up by the heater (when he’s not in a box if one is available). I have been known to turn it on just for him…

  • Jamie-Lee Clark

    My cats LOVE the sky decoder because it’s so warm (the problem is I have two cats and one decoder) so when lulu doesn’t get the decoder she buries herself in the fluffy blankets on the bed (even if she’s got a foot on top of her!) OR steals my pillow :(

  • Dayna Crosbie

    My fur baby Skully likes to sleep in bed with the electric blanket on, though he does end up stealing the whole bed

  • Rebecca Wyborn

    Laila likes to take turns sleeping on different beds throughout the day – she follows the sun!

  • Ayla Riley

    Spike loves to curl up next to the hotwater bottle at feet at night and during day likes to sleep under the throw on the couch

  • Sarah-Jane Shaw

    My cat loves to stay as close to heater as possible

  • Krystina

    Two of our cats love to lay by the fire. While our elderly cat loves to lay in the middle of the hallway where the heat pump hits the floor (which also happens to be a doorway).

  • C s

    I’ve been keeping my cat warm by sharing my hot water bottle :)

  • Jennifer Armstrong

    This is my best mate Izzy. She is 84 in human years. She sits in front of the fire or on the sill of my mothers bedroom window to stay warm in Winter. A Fancy Feast cat safe heat pad would really help with her arthiritis.Yesterday she was taken to the vets and put on antibiotics and a strict diet (she is finding winter tough in her older years). As a kitten Izzy stayed up at night helping me study for my exams. Since then I have moved out but I could not count on a more loyal best mate. She has stuck by my mothers side through the Christchurch Earthquake and given comfort during this trying and terrifying time. She does not faulter in her neighbour watch and will be the first one to alert my mother if something is wrong. I believe that Izzy deserves a bit of a reward. What a better way than to stay nice and cosey on a heat pad!

  • Jessica Paine

    My cats snuggle up under the blankets with me, one on each side

  • Rebecca Nash

    My little one is always next to the fire!! She absolutely loves it! But um sure she’ll love the heat pad so much better

  • Jasmine Polglase

    Our cat loves to be outside in his bed and sheepskin but a heat pad would be wonderful on a snowy night. He loves his food to :)

  • Kendal Springett

    This is how my little sweetheart has been keeping warm this winter! The only problem is sometimes mum gets downgraded to the spare bed! After all, Who could disturb this sleepy baby ☺️

  • Lisa Mount

    Wow that would be cool to have as botb our cats hog the heater or get under blankets nd snuggle up to us in bed

  • Steph Timbers

    Keep my kitty nice and warm by wrapping him up in my dressing gown :)

  • Patricia Baldwin

    Custard likes to get under the covers with me and leech off my body heat haha

  • Melissa

    Old flannel pajamas on the end of the bed.

  • Mikayla Mills

    My female furbaby loves to sleep on anything warm. If its warm she will find it.started sleeping on the sky box, then moved to the wifi box(knocking everything down in the process). Now she sleeps on the table right infront of the heat pump.

  • Lisa V

    I made a bed out of our old wood basket and an old pillow and blankets. Boof loves sleeping in it day or night

  • Sara Rasburn

    Our boy just loves to let himself under the blankets and take his spot on the electric blanket. Our old girl has her bed right next to the fire place, would love for her to have a heat pad to keep her toasty when the fire dies down ❤❤❤

    • Sara Rasburn

      Our old gal

  • Ebony Futter

    I was keeping my big girl, Taco Bella, warm with her own cat electric blanket, until her new little brother, monkey, decided he was going to pee and have diarrhoea on it :( would really love a heat pad for my sweet girl again!!

  • Erina

    Keeping Robin warm and wrapped up in my fiancés hoodie :3 she’s so lovely

  • Renee Watson

    my fur baby would love 1

    • Renee Watson

      this is sammy

  • Debbie Roygard

    So would love to win this for my fur babys Elmo is the old man at age 9 years and oscar is 6 months

  • Kaylah Corbett

    Well I guess we can take our son this time 😉 lol enjoy and good luck everyone <3

  • Lakyn Bates

    my cat would love one of these, this is him trying to get me out of the way so he can sleep on my bed!!

  • Emma Belcher

    My Bengal Luna likes to keep warm by rolling around in the sun when it shines into our home during the day. I’m sure she would really appreciate a heat pad to keep her warm and cosy on those cold winter nights.
    Emma – Christchurch.

  • Sazz

    I keep my cat Tyki cozy in winter by letting him sleep on my lap. He only ever wants to sit on my lap in winter time, hehehe <3