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Does Someone Have to Be on the Premises at All Times?

By: June Crowe - Updated: 7 Sep 2015 | comments*Discuss
Licence Conditions Bookings Licence


I am thinking about opening a small cattery but work 1 day each week. I am able to work different days and could feed, water and clean out the litter trays before and after work on that day.

There would be no-one on the premises whilst I was at work, would this be allowed or does some-one have to be on the premises permanently?

(Ms Tracey Butterfield, 23 September 2008)


To run a cattery boarding establishment of any size you will need a licence. Your local council are responsible for issuing licences and in the first instance you should ask for a list of the regulations.

Normally one of the conditions, is that a responsible person over the age of eighteen is on call at the premises at all times. The cats need to be checked at least four hourly during the day. At night they should be checked before the final shut down. A cat that is unwell needs to be monitored more frequently.

If for any reason you had to leave your premises unattended for any length of time,you would need to make certain that the cattery and the premises were secure.

You could encounter difficulties when taking bookings, if a client wanted to drop of or collect their cat on the day that you work elsewhere. Occasionally a client will cut their holiday short for personal reasons and turn up unexpectedly to collect their animal. If they found the premises unattended they could report you to the local council, and you could lose your licence.

Would it be possible for you to arrange for a responsible person to be on the premises for the day that you are working elsewhere? The licence holder need not be present at all times as long as there is responsible cover. You could certainly feed, clean and check the cats prior to leaving in the morning and do the same on your return, but they should be checked at least once during the day.

Running a cattery really is a 24/7 job and to be successful and build a good reputation you do need to concentrate all your efforts on it. You are at liberty to choose your own opening and closing times. You could close completely on the day you are working elsewhere but that would not release you from your responsibilities to the animals in your care. It is inevitable that you will, on occasions be asked to board cats that need particular care. The only way to achieve what you want is to arrange cover on the day you are not able to be at the premises.

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B - Your Question:
Hi Im looking into opening a new cattery business and would like it if you could forward to me the regulations for a new build development Sizes of pens ect.I do have some legislation but require some further information Regards

Our Response:
Different local authorities have different recommendations relating to the number of cats allowed and the sizes of the pens. Swale borough council has a particularly clear guide which states that holding units (temporary boarding for less than 24 hours) must have a minimum floor area of 1.08sqm and a minimum height of 0.9m
For longer stays, each unit must have a sleeping area and an adjoining exercise area(exclusive to that unit). The sleeping area should be at least 0.85 sqm for one cat, 1.5 sqm for two cats and 1.85 sqm for up to four cats. Units must have a minimum internal height of 1.8m while the height of the sleeping area must be at least 1.2m.An exercise area of at least 1.7 sqm for a single cat, 2.23 sqm for two cats must be provided. The full guide is here
StartACattery - 8-Sep-15 @ 12:54 PM
hi Im looking into opening a new cattery business and would like it if you could forward to me the regulations fora new build development Sizes of pens ect . I do have some legislation but require some further information Regards
B - 7-Sep-15 @ 7:08 PM
@PINKLI The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health states the following in its model licence for a cattery:
The cattery proprietor or a responsible person overthe age of 18 years should always be present to exercise supervision and deal with any emergencies whenever cats are boarded at the premises. It is strongly recommended that the cattery proprietor or a responsible person lives on site or a key-holder must live within a reasonable distance ofthe cattery. An emergency contact number must be clearly displayed at the entrance to the cattery."
StartACattery - 9-Feb-15 @ 10:48 AM
hi , we have just submitted some development plans for a cattery & a straw baled eco house? the planners have agreed/granted permission for the cattery? but have refused permission for the house ? there reasoning is= that in there opinion they cannot see that there is any need for a dwelling as the cattery does not need to be staffed 24/7?, (gross lack of common sense) please please can you confirm that basically if there is no house then there will be no need for the cattery? because no-one will leave their cat at an unsupervised/staffed facility over-night I will await your confirmation/ reply,the cats need a voice thank you regards sandra walker-cornell.
PINKLIL - 3-Feb-15 @ 10:37 PM
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