BETA We are updating this service – your feedback will help us to improve it.

Catteries


A cattery licence is required for businesses which provide day or overnight care facilities for cats. Cats may only be boarded in cattery units and may not roam free in a boarder’s house.

There are two types of cattery pen a full-height walk-in and penthouse style. A cattery unit is a sleeping area with an attached run. The type of accommodation you have is required to have a minimum size requirement. All units must be at least 1.8 metres high.

Full height walk-in pen

Full-height walk-in unit size requirements for minimum standards depends upon how many cats you intend to house per unit.

Sleeping area

Number of cats per unit

Minimum standards surface area

Minimum standards dimensions

Higher standards surface area

Higher standards dimensions

1 -new build catteries cannot have the one cat size option

0.85 square metres

0.9 metres for the dimension, for example 0.9m by 0.95m

1.275 square metres

1.35 for the dimension, for example 1.35m by 1.425m

2

1.5 square metres

1.2 metres for the dimension, for example 1.2m by 1.25m

2.25 square metres

1.8 metres for the dimension, for example 1.8m by 1.875m

4

1.9 square metres

1.92 metres for the dimension, for example 1.92m by 1.96m

2.85 square metres

2.88 metres for the dimension, for example 2.88m by 2.94m

Run area

Number of cats per unit

Minimum standards surface area

Minimum standards dimensions

Higher standards surface area

Higher standards dimensions

1

1.65 square metres

0.9 metres for the dimension, for example 0.9m by 1.85m

2.475 square metres

1.35 for the dimension, for example 1.35m by 1.425m

2

2.2 square metres

1.2 metres for the dimension, for example 1.2m by 1.85m

3.3 square metres

1.8 metres for the dimension, for example 1.8m by 1.875m

4

2.8 square metres

1.2 metres for the dimension, for example 1.2m by 2.35m

4.2 square metres

1.8 metres for the dimension, for example 1.8m by 3.525m

Example

Penthouse style pen

Penthouse sleeping accommodation is an enclosed boxed sleeping area or pod raised off the ground. The pod needs to be high enough to be able to clean underneath, but not too high that would make cleaning inside the box difficult.

Penthouse style unit size requirements for minimum standards depends upon how many cats you intend to house per unit.

For new builds, the measurement of the run area for penthouse units must include the area in front of the penthouse, not the area underneath it. Cats do not use the underneath area.

Sleeping area

The minimum height for all penthouse sleeping boxes or pods is one metre

Number of cats per unit

Minimum standards surface area

Minimum standards dimensions

Higher standards surface area

Higher standards dimensions

1 - new build catteries cannot have the one cat size option

0.85 square metres

0.9 metres for the dimension, for example 0.9m by 0.95m

1.275 square metres

1.35 metres for the dimension, for example 1.35m by 1.425m

2

1.1 square metres

0.9 metres for the dimension, for example 0.9m by 1.20m

1.65 square metres

1.35 metres for the dimension, for example 1.35m by 1.8m

4

1.7 square metres

0.9 metres for the dimension, for example 0.9m by 1.9m

2.55 square metres

1.35 metres for the dimension, for example 1.35m by 2.85m

Run

Number of cats per unit

Minimum standards surface area

Minimum standards dimensions

Higher standards surface area

Higher standards dimensions

1

1.65 square metres

0.9 metres for the dimension, for example 0.9m by 1.85m

2.475 square metres

1.35 for the dimension, for example 1.35m by 1.425m

2

2.2 square metres

1.2 metres for the dimension, for example 1.2m by 1.85m

3.3 square metres

1.8 metres for the dimension, for example 1.8m by 1.875m

4

2.8 square metres

1.2 metres for the dimension, for example 1.2m by 2.35m

4.2 square metres

1.8 metres for the dimension, for example 1.8m by 3.525m

Example

There are specific conditions which need to be followed. This also includes details of what records you need to keep.

Applications

You will need to provide us with information about the business such as your operating facilities, including accommodation, cleaning, and feeding procedures.

  • where the cats are kept including number, size and what it's made from
  • exercise arrangements
  • enrichment activities, toys etc.
  • food storage and preparation
  • separation/grouping
  • transport
  • your standard procedures for cleaning and maintaining hygiene
  • copies of staff training and qualifications (including yourself)

We will also need the following:

  • a full copy of your operational emergency response plan - a written emergency plan in case of fire or in case of breakdowns for essential heating, ventilation and aeration or filtration systems or other emergencies. This should include emergency accommodation if the original accommodation becomes uninhabitable.
  • disease control and prevention plan procedure
  • preventive healthcare plan - a preventative healthcare plan agreed with the veterinarian with whom the licence holder has registered
  • death or escape of an animal procedure - including the storage of dead animals
  • public liability insurance (that covers £5 million minimum)

Considerations before you apply

  • running a business from a premises may require planning permission
  • if you live in rented accommodation, check the terms of your tenancy agreement and obtain consent from the landlord before you apply, most rental properties do not allow businesses to be operated from the premises
  • check that the animal accommodation will be compliant with the size and materials in the DEFRA guidance

Apply

What happens next

Once we receive your application we will check it within three working days to determine whether the application has been completed fully and all supporting documents are present. If further information is required to make your application valid, you will be notified by email.

All applications will be decided within 10 weeks of the date the application is deemed valid.

Making changes and renewals

If you need to change your licence you can find out more on our variations to animal licences webpage.

Renewals

You need to renew a minimum of 10 weeks before the expiry date. A copy of the current public liability insurance certificate and any procedures which have been updated should be attached to the renewal application. If you have missed the renewal date and your licence has expired, you will be required to pay the new application fee instead of the renewal fee.

Renew

Licence fees

Number of animalsApplicationRenewal
Up to 50 £635 £540
51 or more £655 £525

Procedures and records

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) outline the specific conditions on GOV.UK which need to be followed. This also includes details of what records you need to keep.

Catteries

Open

Procedures

Part A

  • 5.5 - Procedures must be in place to make sure housing and any equipment within it is cleaned as often as necessary and good hygiene standards are maintained. The housing must be capable of being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Units must be inspected each day and kept in a clean condition. This must be done in line with the documented cleaning and disinfection procedure. If a pest problem is identified, a pest control programme must be put in place.
  • 7.1 - Active and effective environmental enrichment must be provided to the animals in inside and outside environments. The business must have a documented programme that shows how they provide an enriching environment to the cats. This programme must set out how boredom and stress are prevented, paying particular attention to the types and placement of resources.

Part B

  • 5.4 - A preventative healthcare plan agreed with the vet with whom the licence holder has registered under paragraph 9(8) of Schedule 2 must be implemented.

Records

Condition

Details of what to record

4.3

(Staff training policy) Staff participation can be shown by:

  • keeping records of the courses they are taking
  • keeping records of written or online learning
  • keeping up to date with any research or developments for specific breeds
  • annual appraisal documents

Evidence of staff attendance or completion of the training must be provided.

6.2

Feed and (where appropriate) water intake must be monitored, and any problems recorded and addressed.

7.3

The animals’ behaviour and any changes of behaviour must be monitored.

The behaviour of each cat must be monitored each day. Changes in behaviour must be recorded and acted upon if there are signs of:

  • suffering
  • stress
  • fear
  • aggression
  • anxiety

9.4

All reasonable precautions must be taken to prevent and control the spread among the animals and people of infectious diseases, pathogens and parasites.

The business owner must see an up-to-date veterinary vaccination record for all cats.

The cats must have current vaccinations against:

  • feline panleukopenia
  • feline parvovirus, also known as feline infectious enteritis
  • feline respiratory viruses (feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus)

9.6

Sick or injured animals must receive prompt attention from a vet.

When a trained first aider suspects a cat is ill or injured, contact a vet for advice immediately. The business must record any instructions for treatment and seek further advice if there’s ongoing concern.

9.12

The licence holder must keep a record of:

  • all euthanasia
  • the qualified vet that carried it out

9.14

Any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour must be recorded and the advice and further advice (if necessary) of a vet must be sought and followed.

Inspectors must be able to access any record and associated checklists.

Presence or absence of faeces and urine must be monitored each day. Any abnormalities must be recorded and acted upon as needed.

Cats staying long-term (over three weeks) must be checked for weight-loss or gain. If there are any concerns, advice must be sought from a vet.

4.1

A register must be kept of all the cats on the premises which must include:

Note: all of the information below must be contained in your client booking form

  • the dates of each cat’s arrival and departure
  • each cat’s name, age, sex, neuter status and a description of it or its breed
  • each cat’s microchip number, where applicable
  • the number of any cats from the same household
  • a record of which cats (if any) are from the same household
  • the name, postal address, telephone number and email address of the owner of each cat and emergency contact details
  • in relation to each cat, the name, postal address, telephone number and email address of a local contact in an emergency
  • the name and contact details of each cat’s normal vet and details of any insurance relating to the cat
  • details of each cat’s relevant medical and behavioural history, including details of any treatment administered against parasites and restrictions on exercise
  • details of each cat’s diet and related requirements
  • any required consent forms (see table below)
  • a record of the date or dates of each cat’s most recent vaccination, worming and flea treatments
  • details of any medical treatment each cat is receiving

Consent

Consent forms must cover:

  • veterinary treatment
  • consent to share or separate cats if needed
  • consent for toys or interaction preferences
  • record of baskets or items left at the cattery

Condition

Details of consent - note: these could be included as part of your client booking form or a separate terms and conditions page

6.1

Dietary requirements that are agreed with the owner must be followed. If there are concerns about an individual cat’s diet, veterinary advice must be sought.

8.2

If cats from the same household share a unit, the owner must have given written consent.

8.2

Consent from the owner must include authority to separate cats, if there are any problems.

9.4

If there is evidence of external parasites, such as fleas, ticks or lice, the cat must be treated with a product authorised by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). The product must be licensed for use in the UK.

Treatment must only happen after either:

  • having a consultation with a vet, using the product as directed
  • getting written consent from the owner or nominated person to treat the cat

9.7

Any preventative treatment must be given with the written consent of the owner and under the direction of the vet.

9.8

When cats are boarding, the licence holder must get written consent from the cat’s owner to state which vet will be used.

9.12

Euthanasia must not take place until the owner or nominated person gives consent - unless it is crucial for the welfare of the cat.

2.8

A cat must not be left without bedding, unless instructed otherwise by the cat’s owner.

Condition

Veterinary - note: the preventative health care plan template can be used to cover all 3 of the conditions below

9.3

Appropriate isolation, in separate self-contained facilities, must be available for the care of sick, injured or potentially infectious animals.

The business must have a facility to isolate any cat that is:

  • injured
  • sick
  • infectious or carrying a serious infectious disease

If the isolation facility is at another location, such as a local veterinary practice, the licence holder must be able to show evidence that it’s ready to use (for example, a letter from the practice).

9.8

The licence holder must register with a vet with an appropriate level of experience in the health and welfare requirements of any animals specified in the licence and the contact details of that vet must be readily available to all staff on the premises used for the licensable activity.

The vet’s details must be displayed where they can be easily seen by all staff members.

This must include:

  • name
  • address
  • telephone number
  • out of hours telephone number

The veterinary practice must be within a reasonable travel distance.

5.4

A preventative healthcare plan agreed with the vet with whom the licence holder has registered with