I agree that a cat sitter may be the best option in many cases, but looking into the details of catteries can still be useful.
This site has a list of review as well as different things to do in order to see if a cattery is right for you. Just looking at one of these parts, visiting the cattery, may help you learn what you might be looking for when you visit.
Visit the Cattery
It's essential you visit the cattery your cat will be staying in before you drop your cat off for its holiday... You don't want to turn up hours before you are due to jet off on holiday, find the facilities are not what you were expecting and have nowhere to board your cat while you are away.
Any good cattery will be happy to have you visit and view the cattery. Check with the cattery whether they have open hours you can visit unannounced during or need an appointment, but don't let needing an appointment put you off. In most cases it's not because they want to whip around and clean first, just they want to avoid visitors at times when they would interrupt routines like feeding or settling in new arrivals.
In general the cattery should be clean, tidy, light and well ventilated. The pens should be secure, well built and well maintained.
Quick Cattery Check List
A good cattery will answer yes to the following questions:
- Are the staff friendly, caring and experienced?
- Is the accommodation secure and in good repair?
- Is there adequate ventilation, light and heating?
- Do they insist cats are vaccinated?
- Are you asked for written details about your cat and its needs?
- Do they have a vet on call 24/7?
- Can they cope with any special diet, medical or grooming requirements?
- If relevant, are other types of pets kept out of sight/hearing (to minimise stress)?
- Do they have a license?
You basically have to make sure that the place that you visit "feels right" to you. If it has everything it should but the staff makes you uncomfortable, that's okay. A quick internet search showed a lot of catteries in your area. Just keep looking until you find one. You may think that an indoor one is best, but after touring a cattery that offers both in and outdoor enclosures, you may change your mind. You should also make sure to look at the cats that are there. If they seem relaxed, that's a very good sign.
From another article about choosing a cattery:
When you visit a cattery (any you must always visit to see for yourself) ask questions...
See if it is clean and the cats in the cattery look relaxed and happy. If the proprietor won’t let you see where the cats are kept then go elsewhere – a good proprietor will have nothing to hide and will be proud to show you their cattery.
That being said, the final option is with you. Since your cat is older, perhaps they would not enjoy being out of the house with you gone. Perhaps they would like the adventure, every cat is different.