The Cattery Business Course serves as a guide for those thinking of opening their own cattery. If you love cats and want to work hands-on with them and run your own business, then setting up your own cattery or buying an existing cattery business may be an attractive and rewarding option.
This 2 module certificate course is designed as an introduction to this subject. Learn about the various types of cattery and examine the factors that ensure excellent welfare for the cats in your care.
This Cattery Business Course Can Help You Start a Business
The Cattery Business Course may help you start your own successful business.
The main advantage in starting your own cattery business is that you will be working with cats, and you will be your own boss. There will be no more travelling to work. You can decide on your own opening hours and plan your days accordingly.
One of the main disadvantages is the lack of time off. It is a 7 day a week job and even if you employ staff, ultimately you are the person responsible for the welfare of your client’s pets. It is difficult to take holidays, and at Christmas, Easter and any other bank holiday, you should expect to have a cattery full of cats.
There are three different types of cattery: boarding, rescue and quarantine.
Boarding catteries look after cats while their owners are away. Many people become anxious at the thought of leaving their beloved cat in someone else’s care while they are away, some to the extent that they feel quite unable to go on holiday, even for a couple of days.
If you are thinking of setting up a boarding cattery, the most important thing to bear in mind is the welfare needs of the cat in your care. The cats must be loved, you will need to be friendly to them and their owners, ensure there is a peaceful environment, with plenty of fresh air and a good view. A comfortable, warm, safe, hygienic, space where the cat can relax, play and be well fed.
Under Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 those responsible for animals (in England and Wales) have a duty to ensure reasonable steps are taken to ensure the welfare needs of the animals are met to the extent required by good practice. The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 requires anyone who wishes to keep a boarding establishment to be licensed by the local authority and abide by the conditions of the licence. You will be required to keep records on the business, the cats, and the staff.
You will need liability insurance, care of animals insurance, and buildings and property insurance. If you are building your own cattery you will also need to gain planning permission from your local council.
You will need to set up a website, advertise, and build yourself a good reputation, based on recommendations from owners of cats that you have looked after.
Rescue catteries are also known as sanctuaries and shelters. They take in stray and abandoned cats and find forever homes for them. When setting up a rescue cattery, it must meet the same requirements as specified for a boarding cattery.
Adoption donations cover only a fraction (about 5%) of the costs of running a rescue cattery, which includes vet bills, food bills, litter and waste disposal and utility bills. Your finances and resources will be constantly overstretched. You will be reliant on donations from the public, local business, and gifts left in wills. However this will still not be enough to cover all of your costs. You will also need to fundraise. If your annual income is over £5,000 you are entitled to register as a charity, which will bring benefits in terms of tax relief, and confidence for potential donors.
There will be more cats needing homes than you can take. Many rescue organisations have to prioritise - so that strays, poorly or pregnant cats are a higher priority. All potential owners must be 'home checked' to ensure they and the cat they have chosen are suitable for each other.
Quarantine catteries provide accommodation for cats that have been brought into the UK from abroad but need to be kept isolated for a period of four months, to ensure that the cat has not contracted (or is carrying) rabies before their owner takes them home.
To provide quarantine facilities it is necessary to be authorised by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Quarantine catteries are responsible for collecting the cat from the port or airport of landing, clearance through customs, and safe custody to the quarantine premises. All animals should be vaccinated against rabies (regardless of their current vaccination status) within 24 hours of arrival, and should be adequately identified and kept together with their documentation at all times.
Clear identification on the pens, as well as recording all movements, visits and health checks is also necessary. Quarantine catteries are required to submit an application form on behalf of the cat owner for an import licence to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Quarantine catteries are responsible for collecting the cat from the port or airport of landing, clearance through customs, and safe custody to the quarantine premises. Animals going into quarantine may only be landed at certain ports or airports. This is a priority when considering the location of the cattery.