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Half A Million Pet Owners Forgo Summer Holidays In Order To Keep Pets Routines

14 years ago

2nd June, 2010 00h00

A new survey¹ has found that nearly half a million² UK cat or dog owners never go on holiday for fear of upsetting their pets’ routine. The research, carried out on behalf of leading pet behaviour products Feliway® for cats and DAP® for dogs, reveals that half³ of pet owners who do take holidays experience guilt as a result of leaving their animal at the kennel or cattery, with nearly two-thirds (62%) considering the experience to be just as stressful or even more stressful for them than for their pet. Cat behaviour counsellor Vicky Halls comments, “We plan holidays in order to relax, yet they are actually a common cause of stress for all concerned – particularly for the pet cat. Even a stay at the best cattery can be unsettling, as their patterns of feeding, play and social interaction will be disrupted. They also have to adapt to a different environment and its new smells, noises and other animals. Of course, cats may experience similar issues if staying with a neighbour.” The survey found that 29% of cat and dog owners use a cattery or kennel while they’re on holiday, 28% leave their pet with a trusted friend and the same number leave the animal at home with a cat or dog sitter. 63% of respondents claim to have noticed a change in their pet when they’ve returned from holiday, with many animals becoming unsettled and showing signs of confusion or nervousness without their owners around. According to the survey, going on holiday is one of the most stressful events that a pet can experience, although there are measures that people can take to relieve some of their animal’s stress. Juliet Penaliggon, company vet at Ceva Animal Health, says: “Many people become anxious at the thought of leaving their pet in someone else’s care while they are away. For some, this means they feel unable to go on holiday at all, even for a weekend, but there are some excellent kennels and catteries available. “If you decide to put your pet in a kennel or cattery, just make sure you leave yourself time to research the facilities in your area and ask around. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions when you visit in person. Once you’re there, some familiar items and the use of pheromone products DAP® or dogs and Feliway for cats can help your animal to settle in.” Tips to prepare for kennel/cattery stays ¹ Survey carried out by Opinion Matters on behalf of Ceva Animal Health, March 2010. Sample size: 1,100. ² 464,000 UK cat or dog owners ³46% of pet owners

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