Who owns Catseye Cattery?
The cattery is owned and run by husband and wife team, Michael and Helen Dickson. Open since April 2010, we now also have a team of 6 working with us to ensure first-class feline care at all times.
What is the building made from?
The main cattery facility is built from uPVC construction on a firm concrete base with tiled floor. There is a half uPVC panel and glass partition in each room. The safety glass “sneeze barriers” between each room ensures that no cat has direct contact with the neighbouring guest. The cattery building to solid, firm, weather-tight and secure – just like any other commercial facility – we have full planning permission and relevant building warrants.
The reception, cleaning room, kitchen and toilet is built and extended from the old barn which stood here – fully insulated and standard construction.
What makes Catseye Cattery different from other, older facilities?
We have invested a huge amount of time and resources to make Catseye Cattery a truly state-of-the art facility.
Lots of catteries around the UK are built from timber or from converted stables / outbuildings. The standards can vary enormously and many catteries are built during a time when we think basic standards were set too low.
But not only are the buildings top-notch – all the team working here are too!! We pride ourselves on giving first-class cat care and exceptional customer service.
Our philosophy is simple – look after the cats in our care extremely well and our clients will come back over and over again!!
My cat is an indoor cat. Is Catseye Cattery suitable for him/her?
We have many completely indoor cats that stay with us who are completely happy and at home in the cattery. The indoor section ensures that they can stay warm as they are used to at home, whilst there are great views and fresh air for them to enjoy. The rooms look onto a safety corridor which gives protection against the elements whilst not restricting their outside views.
My cat is an outdoor cat. Is Catseye Cattery suitable for him/her?
Any cat that enjoys the freedom of being outdoors at home will obviously need to adjust to his/her temporary accommodation whilst you are away. They will get lots of attention and will need things to play with to keep them active and prevent boredom. Always remember to bring lots of toys to stimulate their interest.
I have never used a cattery before and not sure if it will be ok for my cat/s.
Lots of our customers have never used a cattery before often because they have never found one they are happy with. We have lots of ‘first timers’ – from small kittens to very elderly cats and they usually settle very well with the proper care and attention. We also have a high level of returning customers, and get a lot of referrals from a number of vet groups in and around Edinburgh. A lot of customers come to us through ‘word of mouth’ recommendations too. There are many reasons for people to need to use a cattery and we are always happy to discuss any individual situations and offer advice to customers without obligation. We also strongly encourage new or prospective customers to come and have a good look around the cattery so that they can see the facilities and beautiful countryside surroundings that we offer. It also gives them a chance for them to meet us and have a chat about their cat’s needs and to answer any questions or allay any worries they may have.
Do the cats get to go outside?
No! Cats staying in the cattery are NOT allowed outside the unit that they are housed in for the duration of their stay. There are strict regulations for health and safety, prevention of infection and obviously the risk of escape. All our units have an enclosed indoor section where there is a window, places to sleep and a thermostatically controlled heater. The door can be open or closed and there is a cat flap for the cat to get in and out of the indoor area. There is a spacious semi-outdoor area where the cat has great views of the outside and can get lots of fresh air whilst remaining completely separated from the other cats that are staying. The litter tray is kept in the outdoor section.
My cat has never used a cat flap before.
This is not a problem. Cats are usually very intelligent and soon work out how to use a cat flap!! We often clip the flap open to begin with until we are sure that the cat knows how to get in and out!
Do the cat mix with other cats who are staying in the cattery?
Our cattery adheres to strict regulations that stipulate that all cats in the care of a cattery must never have any contact with another cat throughout their stay. This minimises any health and safety risk and also ensures that a high standard of infection control is maintained. Every cat remains in the unit for the duration of the stay and is not even allowed out into the safety corridor under any circumstances.
My kitten is full of energy and used to running around and playing. I’m worried he/she will get bored in a cattery while I’m away.
Most kittens settle really quickly and we always pay particular attention to them to ensure they have plenty to do. We have some extra special scratch posts that we use for the kittens to make their accommodation more exciting to explore and to encourage play. Always remember to bring plenty of toys for them to play with.
My cat is used to being very warm and cosy at home. How will he/she cope with staying at Catseye Cattery?
We have thermostatically controlled heaters in the indoor section of each unit. These heaters keep the temperature to comfortable and cosy level which makes it easy for the cats to snuggle up and stay warm!
I am anxious about leaving my cat as I have never done this before. I can’t bear the thought of him/her not settling and not knowing if he/she will be ok.
Some cats have a very nervous disposition and we prefer to have as much information as possible to help us help the cat to settle. Our approach depends completely on the individual cat as each one is different. Nervous cats often do better if they are in our care for a longer period as they have a chance to settle and get used to their surroundings. Usually if we have cared for a very nervous cat before and managed to gain their trust, they settle much quicker on subsequent visits as the surroundings are familiar and they remember us. It is really useful for owners to bring something familiar such as a rug or old jumper that smells of home. The familiar scents provide reassurance for the cat to make them feel secure. We can also use Feliway spray and vets can prescribe Zylkene for your cat which can help too.
We are happy to send you updates
We have five cats of our own and have always had cats in the family so we are fully aware how hard it is to leave your beloved pets with someone else. We are more than happy to keep you updated by telephone/ e-mail/ text as often as you need. The more information we have about your cat’s likes/ dislikes/ habits the easier it will be for us to make sure that they settle and are happy. We also have the webcam service, which means that you can keep a close eye on your cat and have the reassurance of seeing that they are comfortable and relaxed.
We tailor our approach and care to each cat
All cats have different personalities and therefore each one will become settled in his/ her own way. Some cats are bold and will settle instantly even if they have never been away from home before. More commonly cats that come for their first stay can be a bit wary and unsure to start with. Many cats don’t eat very well for the first day or two, but once they are more settled in their new environment they regain their appetite. We recognise that each cat is individual, and so we tailor our approach and care to each one according to their specific needs.
Do I need to bring my cats food with me?
We make every effort to ensure that your cat is given the same food that he/ she gets at home. This helps them to settle, reduces any risk of upset and also we are happy in the knowledge that we are giving food that we know they enjoy. We keep a very wide range of foods and can cater for most diets. If however, your cat is on a special prescription diet from the vet, then you will need to bring a supply with you.
What do you feed the cats?
We prefer to feed the cats staying with us whatever they usually have at home. Some cats are happy to eat any food, others can be fussy eaters, so we do encourage owners to give us as much information as possible about the cat’s likes and dislikes.
If we have a cat that isn’t keen to eat we have a number of ‘tricks up our sleeves’ to try and entice them to eat! Whether it is cooking up their favourite fresh fish, treating them to a tin of Applaws, or just sitting with them for reassurance while they eat… whatever it takes we are happy to do it!
We keep a daily record of what your cat is eating so that if there is a problem it will be quickly noticed. We also have a feeding chart in the food preparation so that all your cat’s preferences are noted.
Do you cater for cats on special diets?
We stock many different foods but may not be able to get supplies of special prescription diets that are provided by vets. We are happy to follow any special instructions such as weighing reducing diet food etc.
Do we need to bring our cat/s own bedding scratch post etc to the cattery?
We provide all the essential items for your cat to use and so there is no requirement for you to provide anything. However, we don’t mind if you prefer to bring some extra bedding or a rug or jumper with you as the familiar scents will help your cat to settle.
My cat is used to a particular type of cat litter. What litter do you use?
Cats can be very particular about their toileting habits and can have problems if things are not ‘just right’. We usually use wood based litter in the cattery and many cats adapt easily to this even if they are used to using a different litter, or used to only going outside. However, some cats have a strong preference and do not like change,. If you cat is used to a different type of litter or prefers a hooded tray we can accommodate this without any problem.
What vaccinations does my cat need to have?
Regulations stipulate that all cats boarding in a cattery must have a valid certificate for cat flu (feline herpesvirus and feline calcivirus) and feline enteritis (feline panleukopenia virus). Some vets also use additional vaccinations against feline chlamydiosis and feline leukaemia virus. These additional vaccinations are not essential for cattery boarding as the cats will not have any contact with each other during their stay.
Vaccinations should have been done at least seven days before arrival at the cattery. If they are done less than a week before there is a risk that your cat’s immunity levels may be low and they may not be fully protected against infection.
We regret that we will not accept any cats into the cattery if they have never been vaccinated.
Why do I need to make sure that my cat/s have had flea and worming treatments?
Vets recommend that all cats receive flea and worming treatments. Totally indoor cats that never go outside and never encounter other cats are at low risk and generally only need worming treatment annually. Outdoor cats should receive flea treatment monthly and worming treatment every 3 months although there are some products that your vet may recommend which last longer than this. Generally speaking the products recommended by vets are more effective and reliable than those bought over the counter.
We request that all cats coming into the cattery are up to date with flea and worming treatment for their own protection as well as for the protection of others. We prefer to administer both flea and worming treatment if necessary on arrival if your cat is not up to date. This is not only for your cat’s protection but also for the protection of the other cats in the cattery.
What happens if my cat/s is taken ill during a stay at Catseye Cattery?
We always take full contact details of your cat’s vet at time of booking just in case anything happens while you are away. We also request as much detail as possible of any past and current medical conditions. In the event of any illness we always make every effort to contact you to keep you informed of what is happening. We also request that you sign a form to give us permission to act on your behalf in the event of any emergency. This form is usually signed at the first visit and then kept on file.
If your cat is ill we prefer where possible to take the cat to his/ her usual vet. This is because the vet has the full medical history particularly in long term conditions and also because we know you have full faith in the vet you have chosen. We are happy to take the cat to the vet if required and to administer any medicines that have been prescribed.
We also have the option in the event of an urgent problem to take the cat to the nearby Dunedin Vet Group in Tranent. The vet here can get in touch with your own vet as needed if any background information is required. This local vet is also on hand to attend any emergency at the cattery if it were needed. If there was an emergency overnight Dunedin Vet Group use the services of EVets, which is the emergency service run by Braid Vet Hospital in Edinburgh. Many of the vet practices in Edinburgh use the EVets out of hours cover for their clients.
Why do I need to disclose all my cat’s previous medical history?
It is extremely useful to have some details of any past history as this may alert us to a possible problem much more quickly if your cat shows signs of illness. Even something simple such as an ear infection or urinary infection can be recurrent and most importantly may develop as a sign of stress when your cat is away from home.
I have three/four cats. Can they all share a unit together?
Many families have more than two cats and although our units are only large enough to comfortably accommodate two cats from a family, we do have adjoining units which can open up to make lots of space for up to four cats.
I have two cats who don’t get on well with each other all of the time! Can they be separated if required?
Some families who have two cats prefer to pay for a unit for each cat. We can open up the partition so that the cats can spend time together but also have the option of having a bit more space when they want a bit of peace! We can do exactly whatever you prefer: we can leave the partition open or closed all the time, or we can close the partition at meal times (very useful if you have two large cats e.g. beautiful big maine coons who may need a bit of extra space, two cats on different diets, or if you have a kitten and an adult cat with different energy levels!!). You can choose exactly what you would like us to do.
Can my cat bring some toys and his favourite bed?
Yes! Although we do provide, beds, mats, scratching posts, litter trays and grooming equipment, we do recommend that you bring something from home – be it a favourite bed, blanket or toy, that’ll be fine! You do not need to bring “hard items” such as litter trays – we have our own and the processes for cleaning them.
My cats eat different foods – can you make sure they eat the correct food?
Yes! We are happy to make sure that your loved-one has the same food here as they would have at home. We stock a wide range of wet and dry cat foods and we’re happy to serve this “just the way they like it”!! Even if this means, for example, giving fish flavours only, warming it up, serving lunch or bedtime treat, mixing wet and dry together, cooking frozen fish or adding a little water – we’re happy to help!!
The only thing we don’t provide is special or prescription diets and we may ask you to bring along a brand that we don’t keep in stock or have access to from our wholesaler’s.
Please ask at the time of booking what your cat’s requirements are.
One of my cats is very greedy and will eat all the food. Can you make sure this doesn’t happen?
Yes! We’ll make every effort to separate cats like this at meal times. One cat can be fed in the bedroom and the other in the semi-outdoor area. If you book a double/inter-connecting room, we can separate the cats very easily and open the room back up again after meal times.
When Catseye Cattery is fully booked, do you recommend another cattery?
Not normally! Unfortunately, we are unable to recommend the quality of other catteries in the Edinburgh area. This is because we’re very focused on what we do at Catseye Cattery, and don’t have professional or personal experience of any alternative facilities.
Are you open every day of the week?
Yes! Unlike many of our competitors, we are open 7 days per week. Our opening hours are:
- Mon-Fri 10am-5pm
- Sat 10am-1pm
- Sun 11am-1pm
As we’re a small family business, please respect our opening hours. We can sometimes by mutual agreement operate outwith these hours for arrivals or departures. Please ask a member of the team at time of booking if that is required.
Do you let the cats out?
A Big fat NO! Our guests will never leave the room that they are staying in unless for any reason we have to move them to another. This is for obvious reasons – we don’t want our guests escaping or coming into direct contact with another cat.
How do they get out into the garden?
Another NO! Catseye Cattery is situated in the lovely East Lothian countryside. Our landscaped garden and grounds are peaceful and idyllic! Although the cats in our care never leave their rooms, they have lots of lovely views and fresh air. They can watch the birds, other wildlife and see all the grasses in the garden rustle in the wind!
Do they have an outdoor run?
No, not really! The rooms have what we call “Semi-outdoor areas” with a fully heated indoor bedroom. The semi-outdoor area gets lots of fresh air and natural light – so outdoor cats feel like they’re outdoors and indoor cats love the simulation too!
My cat is very 'outdoorsy'. Will he get upset being kept inside?
We have lots of indoor and outdoor cats staying with us. And our care packages are based on each cat individually. Our dedicated team ensure that all cats are happy and settled and if they need a little extra bit of stimulation, we’re happy attend to that!
The cattery rooms have an indoor heated room in winter and a semi-outdoor exercise area meaning that most outdoor cats can feel as if they are outside but aren’t really!
From our experience, outdoor cats settle very quickly and love the countryside views and fresh air.