No room at the hostel for cats at Christmas

If you are looking for a place for your moggy or pooch during the Christmas holidays, you may have left it too late.

Oamaru’s two catteries – Paws a While and Ritz on Reservoir, which is also a boarding kennel – are full from mid-December to mid-January, and the Highfield boarding kennels in northern Oamaru and Goodwood Kennel and Cattery in Palmerston are filling up quickly.

Ritz on Reservoir owner Gary Ingram said his 30 kennels and 16 cat cages were recovered by mid-August.

Many people have booked well in advance, in some cases a full year before they go.

” Probably 50% of our Christmas bookings come back from their Christmas vacation and say ‘book us for the same dates next year’. ”

He had five names on his waiting list, but said many spots were unlikely to open.

Paws a While co-owner Jill Campbell, who can house up to 24 cats, had 13 names on her waiting list.

With few other options available in Oamaru, many have been forced to look further to Timaru, Palmerston, and even Dunedin to house their pets.

Goodwood Kennel and Cattery owner Clare Wellington was “not quite complete” for the holiday season, but she expected to fill her 60 kennels and 25 cat cages as soon as possible.

Several bookings had been received from Oamaru pet owners, she said.

“I had a lady … she couldn’t believe everything was complete in Oamaru.”

Highfield Boarding Kennels owner Katherine Booth was in a similar situation.

While she had places available, like others, she would be booked for Christmas.

She advised people to arrive early as pet accommodation was very expensive in Oamaru.

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