Cramped cages and stressed guests at catteries are old school – today’s cat hotels are built around the notion of pampering pets. Cats thrive on routine and familiarity and are highly sensitive to change, which is why places such as Divine Creatures in Willoughby go to great lengths to make each cat’s stay comfortable. Founded by vet nurse Jules dos Santos, it keeps cats indoors in a safe environment. They can see each other but don’t get within scratching distance, and each knows their space is theirs.
There are climbing platforms, windows, and a few have TV! Need to get puss to their holiday digs? Play the long game when it comes to the carry cage. Chances are she associates it with trips to the vet, so bring it out weeks before departure, leave the door open, and use food or a toy to encourage her to check it out. Turn it into a safe haven, rather than a prison. Maybe leave your pillowcase inside when you drop her off; your scent will be a comfort.
For further information visit divinecreatures.com.au
Finding pet-sitting services
If you would rather give your furry friend a break closer to home, there are a number of services that describe themselves as ‘the Airbnb for pets’. Try sites such as pethomestay.com or madpaws.com.au which pair your pet with a household that is willing to look after them in your absence.