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Obtaining a Cattery Licence

By: June Crowe - Updated: 4 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Cattery Boarding Cat Cattery Plans

Obtaining a licence to run a boarding cattery is not as straightforward as it might appear. Primarily it is the business which will be licensed, but if you are found to be in any way negligent in your care and attention to a cats welfare, the licence can to taken away. This would happen even if the buildings complied with every condition.

Where To Apply for a Licence

In the first instance you must obtain a copy of the licensing conditions from your local environmental health office. There are strict rules and regulations relating to the size of pens/chalets, and the overall conditions where cats will be housed. Depending on the size of the cattery there will be a limit set on the number of cats you will be allowed to board at any one time. When you feel you can comply with the regulations as stated, you can then apply for your licence.

When To Apply for a Licence

If you take over an existing cattery boarding establishment it should already have an up to date licence. You should inform your local council that you are taking over the business and someone from the environmental office will pay you a visit, just to make sure you are the type of person that will run the business in a responsible manner.

If they gave a licence to unsuitable applicants and something went wrong they would get blamed. If you are building a new business you must comply with all the guidelines and rules when you submit your cattery plans, then you can apply for the licence.

Why do I Need a Licence?

The aim of the licence is to make sure that standards of cat care, and Health and Safety are complied with at animal boarding establishments. In effect they act as a safeguard for cat owners, who know if a cattery is licensed it meets with the standards required by the local council. When you advertise your business you should always make sure you state 'Council Licensed' somewhere on the advertisement. Establishments that trade without a licence are breaking the law.

Conditions of The Licence

The conditions of a licence to board cats are many and varied. They might differ slightly from area to area depending on the council involved. They will all set out a minimum space that a cat is entitled to when boarded, this must be adhered to when planning the building. If you take over an existing business where some of the conditions will be difficult to comply with, the authority will probably make some allowances. In a new build every condition must be adhered to.

How Often Must I Apply for a Licence

The licence to run a cattery boarding establishment has to be renewed each year. A council officer from the Environmental health department will pay you a surprise visit at any time,normally in the high season when you are at your busiest. They will carry out an inspection and make a report on you and your premises.

If they find anything wrong, be it in the record keeping, the cleanliness or condition of the building, they will write to you and give you the chance to put things right before they visit you again and issue your licence. There is no reason why anything should be amiss and once you have a licence you should be able to keep it for as many years as you wish to.

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[Add a Comment]
we currently have 1/3 of an acre of land and looking to start a business looking after pets, we current run a similar business by visiting people's homes yet we are currently turning people away as we don't have any pens to house them, my question is the the land going to be big enough for around 10pens and all the requirements met?
there's no place li - 4-Aug-17 @ 12:29 PM
Sasha - Your Question:
HiI've measured my garden and calculate that I could easily accommodate 8-10 3'/2'6" wide pens. I've sourced a bespoke 'shed' type structure. Whilst I appreciate that I need a licence to operate a Cattery, my question please is would I need 'planning permission' as it is in effect a temporary structure?Thank you.

Our Response:
While you may not need planning permission for the structure itself, you will need permission for "change of use" from a residential garden to a commercial business.
StartACattery - 4-Jul-17 @ 11:09 AM
Hi I've measured my garden and calculate that I could easily accommodate 8-10 3'/2'6" wide pens.I've sourced a bespoke 'shed' type structure.Whilst I appreciate that I need a licence to operate a Cattery,my question please is would I need 'planning permission' as it is in effect a temporary structure? Thank you.
Sasha - 3-Jul-17 @ 10:00 AM
Hi, my wife and I are thinking of buying a very popular local cattery from its current owners who are retiring. As previous people have said our local council have told us that we cannot just transfer the licence but have to apply for a new one. Also, the current owners have a dispensation to some parts of the regulations (the sleeping accommodations is ever so slightly less than the model regulations) but we have been told no such dispensation would be available to us even for a short time. I have asked the council for further info on the grounds and details of the dispensation but just wondered if anyone had encountered anything similar of had any advice. Thanks
ARM119 - 23-May-17 @ 5:29 PM
Specs - Your Question:
I have a large summerhouse in my garden and would like to put in two kennels only. am I allowed to do this and would I still have to have a license for 2 ???

Our Response:
If you are charging for the service then yes you will need permission and also a licence. Contact your local authority - they will have all the information you need.
StartACattery - 22-Mar-17 @ 10:37 AM
I have a large summerhouse in my garden and would like to put in two kennels only.am I allowed to do this and would I still have to have a license for 2 ???
Specs - 19-Mar-17 @ 10:50 AM
@James Edge - as the article says "If you take over an existing cattery boarding establishment it should already have an up to date licence. You should inform your local council that you are taking over the business and someone from the environmental office will pay you a visit, just to make sure you are the type of person that will run the business in a responsible manner." Some local authorities may require you to obtain a new licence, but an inspection will be required either way.
StartACattery - 5-Mar-15 @ 10:39 AM
Hi, is there anything in writing that says licenses are supposed to be transferrable like you said? My girlfriend has just taken over an existing cattery and the previous owner had been told she could just change the licence to her name, however when she contacted the council to transfer it a person there told her that licenses cannot be transferred and she would have to apply for a new one and have a full inspection (the cattery only had it's last inspection/license renewal a couple of months ago).
James Edge - 1-Mar-15 @ 11:18 PM
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