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Starting Your Own Cattery From Scratch

By: June Crowe - Updated: 20 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Starting Your Own Cattery From Scratch

When you are thinking of starting a business from scratch a boarding cattery might not necessary be one of the first businesses that would spring to mind. If you love cats and have a large garden or a piece of land it could be well worth considering.

The regulations do require a presence at the cattery 24/7. This does not mean someone has to actually be in the cattery, but your living accommodation does need to be on the same site.

What is Needed to Get Started?

First and foremost you would need the space to accommodate a reasonable size building. You would also need planning permission from your local council and a licence to board animals. You will need professionally prepared plans from an architect to submit to the planning officer. All these basic steps will need to be taken before you can start any building work.

When submitting plans you need to bear in mind that you will need a kitchen area to prepare food and wash dishes. You will also need an isolation facility for if a cat is unwell. You may also want an office/reception area. Consider carefully what you want to have as part of the cattery as this could influence the number of cat pens you can have.

Advantages of Having a Boarding Cattery

The main advantage in having your own boarding cattery business is that you are your own boss. There will be no more travelling to work. You can decide on your own opening hours and plan your days accordingly.

Disadvantages of Owning a Boarding Cattery Business

There are of course some disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages is the lack of time off. It is a seven day a week job and even if you employ staff, ultimately you are the person responsible for the welfare of your clients pets. You will be the one with your name on the licence and if anything goes wrong the blame will be yours.

It is difficult to take holidays, planning for a week off must be done months in advance and probably for the first few years while you are building up your client base, you would be well advised not to shut the cattery. Christmas, Easter and any other bank holiday, you should expect to have a cattery full of cats and forget any celebrating.

Advice on Starting a Cattery

The best place to get advice is from a friendly cattery owner. You should visit several catteries in your area and see what the layout is. You may come away with some good ideas and you may see things that you don't like. A cattery owner is really the only person with hands on experience, they will be able to tell you the day to day running of a cattery.

The Environmental Health Officer on your local council will also give you advice on what will be expected of a new cattery in your area. You can obtain a copy of the Councils rules and regulations on new structures from your council offices.

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[Add a Comment]
Jaxcats - Your Question:
Hi. My husband and I have three purpose built pens in our garden. These were built because at one stage we were going to breed ragdoll cats. However in the end we decided there were too many unwanted cats out there so neutered our breeding girls who then became and still are beloved pets.We have been volunteer foster careers for a cat charity ever since then so that we can help cats in general and if course use our cattery.We are now about to retire and wonder if it would be possible to use the pens as a very small boarding cattery. The pens gave been up for about 10 years so we are worried about planning permission etc. Any advice please

Our Response:
Ask your local council for information as they issue the licences. The Chartered Institute of environmental health offers a guide that can be downloaded from this page
StartACattery - 22-Aug-17 @ 12:17 PM
Hi.My husband and I have three purpose built pens in our garden.These were built because at one stage we were going to breed ragdoll cats.However in the end we decided there were too many unwanted cats out there so neutered our breeding girls who then became and still are beloved pets. We have been volunteer foster careers for a cat charity ever since then so that we can help cats in general and if course use our cattery. We are now about to retire and wonder if it would be possible to use the pens as a very small boarding cattery.The pens gave been up for about 10 years so we are worried about planning permission etc.Any advice please
Jaxcats - 20-Aug-17 @ 3:01 PM
Hi I've recently bought a home which has half an acre of land im experienced in cat welfare & lived abroad in areas where cats & dogs are not treated well iv cared I've gave medication to help ill animals took.them in an cared for them iv been there when many cats have given birth to be present & help with any complications I truly love all animals but find myself looking at opening a cattery im looking at 3 separate runs as i dont want a huge project as one on one care of a few cats is far more important than having many &then seek extra help iv had over 30 yrs experience with cats & would like more information on how & where I go ... & want a fully insured and licensed project ... Dsuza
Dsuza - 12-May-17 @ 1:48 PM
Hello, I am currently a full time veterinary nurse and I am interested in starting my own cattery business. However I do not own property and at the moment do not have the funds to own property. Is there any hope for me?
Emma F - 27-Nov-16 @ 8:39 PM
North West Siamese - Your Question:
Hi, can you advise me on where to go to find startup funding? Our current house is on the market and we are looking to buy a rural property to start the business. However, we have seen the ideal property which is going to auction, so we would need the funding to place a bid. I want to give up work, but until our current property has sold I shall continue to work whilst my husband and his brother move to the new property and start renovating the barns. Once my property has sold my intention was to repay part of the loan for the new property with the equity in my current property. Then I shall give my notice and we can start the business setup proper.I really would appreciate being pointed in the right direction here! I was actually thinking of crowd funding, where I offer free boarding for investor cats each year?Kind regards

Our Response:
Crowd funding might be an option, you could also try your local council or chamber of commerce - they should be able to direct you to venture capitalists/business angels etc. You're more likely to get this kind of investment on capital purchases like the kennels/fittings etc, or possibly initial marketing, health certification and so on.Not many people will be willing to invest in an idea alone, you'll be expected to have made an initial start on creating the business. Re-mortgaging or a loan might be an option?
StartACattery - 18-May-16 @ 11:25 AM
Hi, can you advise me on where to go to find startup funding? Our current house is on the market and we are looking to buy a rural property to start the business. However, we have seen the ideal property which is going to auction, so we would need the funding to place a bid. I want to give up work, but until our current property has sold I shall continue to work whilst my husband and his brother move to the new property and start renovating the barns. Once my property has sold my intention was to repay part of the loan for the new property with the equity in my current property. Then I shall give my notice and we can start the business setup proper. I really would appreciate being pointed in the right direction here! I was actually thinking of crowd funding, where I offer free boarding for investor cats each year? Kind regards
North West Siamese - 15-May-16 @ 8:53 PM
Georgie - Your Question:
I'm thinking of building my own Cattery in North Devon. Do I need any qualifications or Vetinary experience ?

Our Response:
As long as you comply with the regulations for a cattery (many of them are detailed on this website), you do not need any specific vetinary qualifications.
StartACattery - 9-Feb-16 @ 11:52 AM
I'm thinking of building my own Cattery in North Devon. Do I need any qualifications or Vetinary experience ?
Georgie - 7-Feb-16 @ 12:39 PM
vicky- Your Question:
Hi there I am actually looking for information for a university business project. I will introducing the idea of a cat cafe in manchester and I am wondering what I would need to do to home cats on a premises with intent to rehome them and be viewed/comforted via appoint. hope its ok to ask :) thank you vicky

Our Response:
Sounds intriguing, we hope the information on our website helps you, but we cannot give individual business advice.
StartACattery - 30-Sep-15 @ 12:24 PM
Hi there i am actually looking for information for a university business project. I will introducing the idea of a cat cafe in manchester and i am wondering what i would need to do to home cats on a premises with intent to rehome them and be viewed/comforted via appoint. hope its ok to ask :) thank you vicky
vicky - 29-Sep-15 @ 2:55 PM
Hey guys I just recently thought at some point in my life I would love to set up my own cattery. In terms of qualifications or legal documents what would you need? Thanks
Jenga87 - 23-May-15 @ 10:55 PM
Just wondered if the rules and regulations are the same in New Zealand, as me and my family are seriously thinking of relocating - running a cattery is one of our dreams. Loving all the tips, it really helps.We've volunteered at a local cat sanctuary, cleaning and caring, but not on a day to day basis, but we know what hard work it is. Any advice is welcome.
Jax - 23-Jan-13 @ 8:06 PM
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