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Inspection Details - Boarding for Cats

Part A - General Conditions

1.0Licence Display

The licence must be displayed in a public-facing area of the premises such as the entrance or reception area.

A copy of the licence must also be taken to exhibits when these are held at other locations.

1.1A copy of the licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any premises used for the licensable activity.
1.2The name of the licence holder followed by the number of the licence holder's licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any website used in respect of the licensable activity.
2.0RecordsElectronic records must be backed up
2.1The licence holder must ensure that at any time all the records that the licence holder is required to keep as a condition of the licence are available for inspection by an inspector in a visible and legible form or, where any such records are stored in electronic form, in a form from which they can readily be produced in a visible and legible form.
2.2The licence holder must keep all such records for at least three years beginning with the date on which the record was created.
3.0Use, number and type of animal
3.1No animals or types of animal other than those animals and types of animal specified in the licence may be used in relation to the relevant licensable activity.

This licence applies only to the boarding of cats. However, if there are welfare concerns relating to other animals then the inspector should inform either the relevant person in the Local Authority, the Police or suitable animal welfare organisation as appropriate.

3.2The number of animals kept for the activity at any time must not exceed the maximum that is reasonable taking into account the facilities and staffing on any premises used for the licensable activity.

The licence conditions must clearly state the numbers of cats permitted at the premises. Undeclared breach of this number can invalidate the licence, especially if not reflected in increased staffing levels.

This figure must include any other cats kept within the licensed cattery which are not there for boarding.


Sufficient numbers of people competent for the purpose must be available to provide a level of care that ensures that the welfare needs of all the animals are met.


Staffing levels must ensure that each cat's individual welfare needs can be fully met whilst under the care of the establishment and animal welfare requirements are not compromised through lack of staff.

If there is evidence that the welfare needs of the animals are not being met, the individual local authority should consider the staffing levels in relation to:

  • The size of premises
  • The layout of the premises i.e. how many cats may be permitted in each separate area
  • The qualifications/experience of the staff
  • Advice from the Local Authority's veterinary officer
  • Use of part-time or voluntary staff

As a guide, the ratio of staff to cats in established businesses will be around 1:25.

Higher StandardStaffing levels will be up to 1 full-time equivalent attendant per 20 cats kept or a higher ratio of qualified staff.

The licence holder or a designated manager and any staff employed to care for the animals must have competence to identify the normal behaviour of the species for which they are caring and to recognise signs of, and take appropriate measures to mitigate or prevent, pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour.

Training must be a minimum of an OFQUAL regulated level 2 qualification in a relevant subject, or clear evidence of knowledge and experience.

Suitable and sufficient training of staff involved in animal care must be demonstrated to have been carried out in the following areas:

Suitable and sufficient training of staff must be demonstrated to have been carried out in the following areas:

  • Cat welfare, including recognising poor welfare, and understanding the five welfare needs;
  • Cat handling; 
  • Cat behaviour;
  • Cleanliness and hygiene;
  • Feeding and food preparation;
  • Disease control;
  • Recognition and first aid treatment of sick animals.
Higher StandardA member of staff with an OFQUAL regulated Level 3 qualification in a relevant subject must be present during the working day.


The licence holder must provide and ensure the implementation of a written training policy for all staff.

It will be applicable to any members of staff and can be shown by engagement with courses, written or online learning, keeping up to date with any research or developments for specific species and the documentation of the annual appraisal.

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

The training policy must be reviewed and updated on an annual basis and must include:

  • annual appraisal
  • planned continued professional development
  • recognition of knowledge gaps
  • Use of online courses and literature
  • If no staff are employed the licence holder must demonstrate their own knowledge development.

It will be applicable to any members of staff and can be shown by engagement with courses, written or online learning, keeping up to date with any research or developments for specific species and the documentation of the annual appraisal.

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

5.0Suitable Environment

All areas, equipment and appliances to which the animals have access must present minimal risks of injury, illness and escape. They must be constructed in materials that are robust, safe and durable, in a good state of repair and well maintained.

Door openings must be constructed such that the passage of water/waste is not impeded, or allowed to gather due to inaccessibility.

Where cats have access to mesh, the diameter of the wire must not be less than 1.6 mm (16 gauge welded mesh). Mesh size must not exceed 25 mm in one direction and should be positioned on the inside of the framework of runs to prevent damage to uprights by cats scratching any woodwork.

Any drainage required must be effective to ensure there is no standing or pooling of liquids. A minimum gradient of 1:80 is advised to allow water to run off. Waste water must not run off into adjacent pens/cat units.

Units must open onto secure corridors or other secure areas so that cats are not able to escape from the premises.

Units should be designed so that cats can exercise and be handled within the unit.

Unit doors should open inwards to protect the health and safety of attending staff. Where this is not feasible there must be a documented procedure in place to demonstrate the safety of staff.

Timber, if used, must be of good quality, well-kept and any damaged areas sealed or over clad. Wood must be smooth and treated and properly maintained to render it impervious.

Interior surfaces, including floors, must be smooth, impervious and able to be disinfected, where appropriate. Floors must have a non-slip, solid surface. Junctions between sections must be coved or sealed.

There must not be any sharp edges, projections, rough edges or other hazards which present risk of injury to a cat.

Windows must be escape-proof.

Doors must be strong enough to resist scratching and must be capable of being effectively secured.

Access doors must not be propped open.

All wire mesh/fencing must be strong and rigid and kept in good repair to provide an escape-proof structure.

External doors/gates must be lockable and staff must have easy access to keys in case of emergency.

Gaps or apertures must be small enough to prevent a cat's head passing through, or entrapment of any limb or body parts.

Higher StandardCats must be provided with a design and layout that provides them with choice. This can be achieved by, for example, inclusion of raised platforms.

Animals must be kept at all times in an environment suitable to their species and condition (including health status and age) with respect to 

(a) their behavioural needs,

(b) its situation, space, air quality, cleanliness and temperature

(c) the water quality (where relevant),

(d) noise levels

(e) light levels

(f) ventilation.

Cats must not be restricted to areas when climatic conditions may cause them distress. Insulation and temperature regulation in the sleeping area must aim to keep the temperature between 15 degrees and 26 degrees and never below the absolute minimum of 10 degrees.

Additional heat may be in the form of a heated bed/pad, but these must not be the main source of heat for the cats. The cat must be able to remove itself from the source of heat.

Cats must be monitored to check if they are too hot or too cold. If an individual cat is showing signs of heat or cold intolerance steps must be taken to ensure the welfare of the cat.

Cats must not be exposed to excessive or continuous noise (such as dogs barking).

Cats must not be exposed to draughts.

Ventilation must be provided in interior areas to avoid excess humidity.

Higher StandardVentilation must be a managed, fixed or portable, air system to ensure appropriate temperatures are maintained in all weathers. This can be an air conditioning unit or use of removable fans. Temperature in the sleeping environment must be above 18 °C.

Staff must ensure that the animals are kept clean and comfortable.


The licence holder and staff must ensure that cats benefit from adequate routine grooming and other health regimes as needed e.g. cleaning of eyes or keeping long fur from matting and inspection for parasites.

Cats must not routinely be removed from their cattery unit whilst it is being cleaned unless it is causing stress for the cat and there is a safe alternative temporary unit.

5.4Where appropriate for the species, a toileting area and opportunities for toileting must be provided.

For cats a litter tray must be provided. Scented litter must not be used.

5.5Procedures must be in place to ensure accommodation and any equipment within it is cleaned as often as necessary and good hygiene standards are maintained. The accommodation must be capable of being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

Units must be inspected daily and kept in a clean condition, in accordance with the documented cleaning and disinfection procedure.

Each occupied unit must be cleaned daily at a minimum.

Units must be disinfected between new occupants and when necessary.

Effective spot cleaning is permissible.


The animals must be transported and handled in a manner (including for example in relation to housing, temperature, ventilation and frequency) that protects them from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Cats must always be transported (either within the cattery or to and in a vehicle) in a suitable, strong cat carrier.

The licence holder must demonstrate that a suitable vehicle is available to transport cats, or if a vehicle is not provided, a contingency plan in place for emergency transport. If more than one cat is being transported there must be suitable disease control such as sneeze barriers between carriers.

Leaving cats in vehicles must be minimalised and cats must never be left unattended in a car or other vehicle where the temperature may pose a risk to the animal. Consideration must be given on whether it is necessary to transport animals when the temperature poses risk to an individual.

All vehicles and equipment must be regularly cleaned and disinfected.

5.7All the animals must be easily accessible to staff and for inspection. There must be sufficient light for the staff to work effectively and observe the animals.

Where practicable this must be natural light, but artificial light must be available. Where artificial lighting is used, this must be within a range of 10 to 12 hours daily. Lights must be turned off to provide a period of darkness overnight.


All resources must be provided in a way (for example as regards. frequency, location and access points) that minimises competitive behaviour or the dominance of individual animals.

Where cats from the same household share a unit there must be multiples of all resources (food, water bowls, litter trays and sleeping areas), equal or greater than the number of cats in the unit.


The animals must not be left unattended in any situation or for any period likely to cause them distress.

All cats must be observed regularly throughout the day. The licence holder or responsible person must visit the cats at regular intervals (of no more than 4 hours apart during the working day e.g. starting at 0800, until 1800) and as often as necessary for the individual health, safety and welfare of each cat.

Higher StandardAll individual cats must be inspected at least once at an appropriate interval during the out of hours' period (e.g. 1800-0800).
6.0Suitable Diet 

The animals must be provided with a suitable diet in terms of quality, quantity and frequency. Any new feeds must be introduced gradually to allow the animals to adjust to them.

For adult cats at least two meals a day must be offered at a minimum of 8 hours apart, as appropriate to the individual's requirements.

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

One feeding and one water bowl must be provided for each cat. These must be separate receptacles.

Food and water must be sited away from the litter tray (min 60 cm) and away from each other.


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

Cats must not remain inappetent (without appetite) for longer than 48 hours without seeking veterinary advice. If the cat has any known health problems or if there are specific concerns veterinary advice must be sought earlier.

Water intake must be checked and veterinary advice sought if a cat is not drinking or is drinking excessively.

The general condition of the cats must be observed and cats displaying significant weight loss/gain must be evaluated by a veterinarian and treated as necessary.


Feed and drinking water provided to the animals must be unspoilt and free from contamination.

Dry feed must not be left out for more than 24 hours. Any wet feed not eaten must be removed at the time of the next feeding.

Refrigeration facilities for feed storage must be provided.

Feed must be stored away from risk of vermin and in appropriately cool and dry places.

6.4Feed and drinking receptacles must be capable of being cleaned and disinfected, or disposable.

Receptacles must be non-porous.

Receptacles must be cleaned daily and disinfected at least once a week and between different cats. If damaged they must be disposed of.


Constant access to fresh, clean drinking water must be provided in a suitable receptacle for the species that requires it.

Fresh water must be provided daily in a clean container and changed or refreshed as often as necessary.

One water bowl must be provided per cat.


Where feed is prepared on the premises, there must be hygienic facilities for its preparation, including a working surface, hot and cold running water and storage.

In establishments where staff are employed a separate hand wash basin with an adequate supply of hot and cold water must be provided for them to wash their hands. This must be connected to a suitable drainage system.

Soap and hygienic hand drying facilities must also be available

7.0Monitoring of behaviour and training of animals

Active and effective environmental enrichment must be provided to the animals in inside and any outside environments.

Provision will include opportunities to scratch, play and exhibit predatory behaviour provided by toys, puzzle feeders, scratching posts and hiding places.

Higher StandardProvision must include a choice of hiding places and different levels/shelves.

For species whose welfare depends partly on exercise, opportunities to exercise which benefit the animals' physical and mental health must be provided, unless advice from a veterinarian suggests otherwise

Cats must not be taken from their individual units except in an emergency or for veterinary treatment.

Communal exercise areas are not acceptable.


The animals' behaviour and any changes of behaviour must be monitored. Advice must be sought, as appropriate and without delay, from a veterinarian or, in the case of fish, any person competent to give such advice if adverse or abnormal behaviour is detected.

The behaviour of individual cats must be monitored daily and changes in behaviour and/or behaviours indicative of suffering, stress, fear, aggression and anxiety must be recorded and acted upon.

Advice must be obtained where necessary from a veterinarian who may then refer to a suitably qualified animal behaviourist.

Higher StandardBehavioural observations must be recorded daily.
7.4Where used, training methods or equipment must not cause pain, suffering or injury.It is unlikely cats will be trained during their stay in a boarding cattery.

All immature animals must be given suitable and adequate opportunities to:

  • learn how to interact with people, their own species and other animals where such interaction benefits their welfare, and;
  • become habituated to noises, objects and activities in their environment.

Habituation and socialisation occurs early in cats - mostly before 8 weeks of age. In a boarding cattery it is unlikely that kittens under 8 weeks old will be boarded (if they are, they should still be with their mother). They would be very susceptible to disease and would need an appropriate environment in which to undertake such learning.

8.0Animal Handling and Interactions
8.1All people responsible for the care of the animals must be competent in the appropriate handling of each animal to protect it from pain, suffering, injury or disease.

Cats must always be handled humanely and appropriately to suit the requirements of the individual cat and to minimise stress and distress, such as anxiety, fear, frustration and pain. Cats must never be punished so that they are frightened or exhibit aversive behaviour.

People must have the competence to handle cats correctly and be able to identify cats that are anxious or fearful about contact.

Scruffing of cats (picking up a cat by the scruff of its neck) must not be done except as an absolute last resort


The animals must be kept separately or in suitable compatible social groups appropriate to the species and individual animals. No animals from a social species may be isolated or separated from others of their species for any longer than is necessary.

Cats from different households must never share a unit. Where cats from the same household share a unit, the owner's written authorisation must be obtained and cats must be monitored. Consent from the owner must also include authority for separating cats, should problems arise.

Higher StandardWhere more than one cat share a unit daily behavioural observations are recorded - these should especially focus on any signs of stress/aggression.
8.3The animals must have at least daily opportunities to interact with people where such interaction benefits their welfare.

Cats must receive human interactions specific and appropriate to the individual cat, and its needs reassessed daily.

A cat must never be forced to interact with a person/people, and a cat must be able to avoid people should it wish.

9.0Protection from Pain, Suffering, Injury and Disease 

Written procedures must:

  • (a) be in place and implemented covering:
    • i. feeding regimes,
    • ii. cleaning regimes,
    • iii. transportation
    • iv. the prevention of, and control of the spread of, disease,
    • v. monitoring and ensuring the health and welfare of all the animals,
    • vi. the death or escape of an animal (including the storage of dead animals);
  • (b) be in place covering the care of the animals following the suspension or revocation of the licence or during and following an emergency.

The procedures must demonstrate how the conditions outlined in this guidance are met.

9.2All people responsible for the care of the animals must be made fully aware of these procedures. 

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

Separate feeding and water bowls, litter trays, litter, a dedicated safe cat basket, bedding and cleaning utensils must be stored in the isolation unit ready for immediate use.

Any cats in the isolation facility must be checked as frequently as other cats as a minimum and unless a separate person is caring for them, they must be visited after the other cats.

Provision must be made for the isolation of sick/injured/infectious animals and those that might reasonably be expected to be carrying serious infectious diseases.

Where isolation facilities are provided by an attending veterinary practice, a letter must be provided by the practice stating that they are prepared to provide such facilities. If a cat is not taken to a veterinary practice, but kept at the cattery for anything more than 12 hours, the isolation facilities must follow the same size and facility requirements as a normal cattery unit.

Protective clothing and footwear must be worn when handling cats in the isolation facility, and cleaning protocols adhered to. Whilst in use, the clothing must be kept in the isolation unit and not be removed other than for cleaning and disinfection. Protective garments must be changed and laundered with an appropriate disinfectant/ disposed of immediately after handling a cat with a suspected infectious disease.

Higher StandardDesignated on site isolation facilities must be available and must follow the same size and facility requirements as normal cattery unit.

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

If there is evidence of external parasites (fleas, ticks, lice) the cat must be treated with a product authorised by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and licensed for use in the UK. Treatment must only be after consultation and as directed by a veterinarian and / or with written consent from the owner or nominated person.

Vaccines used must be licensed for use in the UK. Homoeopathic vaccination is not acceptable.

An up-to-date veterinary vaccination record must be seen to ensure that cats have current vaccinations against feline parvovirus also known as feline infectious enteritis, feline panleukopenia and against feline respiratory viruses (feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus).

Certification from a veterinarian of a recent protective titre test may be accepted instead of a booster vaccination as required by the establishment. The certificate must state that it is valid for the current period. It is up to the licensee whether to accept such a certificate.

9.5All excreta and soiled bedding for disposal must be stored and disposed of in a hygienic manner and in accordance with any relevant legislation.

This must be in a clearly-marked bin which is emptied either daily or when full, whichever is the sooner. Excreta must be removed in accordance with the documented cleaning and disinfection procedure.

Storage of excreta must be away from areas where animals or food is kept.

9.6Sick or injured animals must receive prompt attention from a veterinarian and the advice of that veterinarian must be followed.

When a cat is suspected of being ill or injured a veterinarian must be contacted for advice immediately and any instructions for treatment recorded. Further advice must be sought if there is ongoing concern.

The owner of the animal or nominated person must be contacted.

9.7Where necessary, animals must receive preventative treatment by an appropriately competent person.Any preventative treatment must be administered with the consent of the owner and under the direction of the veterinarian.
9.8The licence holder must register with a veterinarian with an appropriate level of experience in the health and welfare requirements of any animals specified in the licence. The contact details of that veterinarian must be readily available to all staff on the premises used for the licensable activity.

The name, address and telephone contact number, including out of hours provision, of the veterinarian used by the establishment must be displayed in a prominent place, close to the telephone and accessible to all members of staff. The veterinary practice must be in a reasonable travel distance.

Written consent between the cat owner and licence holder must be obtained as to which veterinarian is to be used when cat is first placed with licence holder.

9.9Prescribed medicines must be stored safely and securely to safeguard against unauthorised access, at the correct temperature, and used in accordance with the instructions of the veterinarian.

All courses must be completed to the specifications given by the veterinarian.

Any unused medications must be returned to the owner or prescribing vet.

A fridge must be available to store medicine which requires being kept at certain low temperatures

9.10Medicines other than prescribed medicines must be stored, used and disposed of in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer or veterinarian. 

Cleaning products must be suitable, safe and effective against pathogens that pose a risk to the animals. They must be used, stored and disposed of in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and used in a way which prevents distress or suffering.

Any equipment that has been used on an infectious or suspected infectious animal must be cleaned and disinfected after use or disposed of.

Cleaning and disinfection products must be nontoxic and compatible with other products used. Extra care must be taken to use products not toxic to cats which may be safe for other animals, for example, phenolic disinfectants.

Staff using cleaning products must be competent in the safe use of detergents and fluids. Cleaning products must be kept entirely out of the reach of animals, and must never be left in the cat unit.


No person may euthanise an animal except a veterinarian or a person who has been authorised by a veterinarian as competent for such purpose or

  1. in the case of fish, a person who is competent for such purpose;
  2. in the case of horses, a person who is competent, and who holds a licence or certificate, for such purpose.
  3. a person who has been authorised by a veterinarian as competent for such purpose

Where a licence holder is breeding or purchasing live vertebrate animals that are to be euthanised for the purpose of feeding to other stock held on the premises the method of euthanasia must be assessed by a veterinarian and signed off as to the satisfaction of the veterinarian that the method is humane and effective, and continues to be so. The method of euthanasia must be safe and humane for both the culled animal and the animal being fed.

Only a veterinarian can euthanise a cat.

Euthanasia must be humane and effective.

The licence holder must keep a record of all euthanasia and the identity of the qualified veterinarian that carried it out.

Unless imperative for the welfare of the cat, euthanasia must not take place until consent is given by the owner or nominated contact

9.13All animals must be checked at least once daily or more regularly as necessary to check for any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour. Vulnerable animals must be checked more frequently. Any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour must be recorded and the advice and further advice (if necessary) of a veterinarian  must be sought and followed.

Presence or absence of excrement and urine must be monitored daily. Any abnormalities must be recorded and acted upon as appropriate. Cats staying long-term (staying for over three weeks) must be checked for weight-loss or gain and, if there are any concerns, advice must be sought from a veterinarian.

9.14Any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour must be recorded and the advice and further advice (if necessary) of a veterinarian (or in the case of fish, of an appropriately competent person) must be sought and followed.



A written emergency plan, acceptable to the local authority, must be in place, known and available to all the people on the premises used for the licensable activity, and followed where necessary to ensure appropriate steps are taken to protect all the people and animals on the premises in case of fire or in case of breakdowns for essential heating, ventilation and aeration or filtration systems or other emergencies.

All electrical installations must be maintained in a safe condition for health and safety of staff and animals. There must be an effective contingency plan for essential heating, ventilation and aeration/ filtration systems, as appropriate, if electricity failed.

All equipment must be maintained in a good state of repair and serviced according to manufacturer's guidelines.

There must be a documented policy in place for dealing with extremes of temperature and weather conditions (both hot and cold).

Entrances and fire exits must be clear of obstructions at all times.

Suitable firefighting, prevention and detection equipment must be provided and maintained in good working order. Any buildings must have at least one working smoke detector (or other suitable fire detection system) installed in a suitable location on each separate level / floor of the property and, where appropriate, there must be at least one carbon monoxide detector.

An emergency drill programme must be in place with annual testing, or as determined by fire risk assessments. All new members of staff must have this as part of their induction programme.

There must be a plan for accommodation of the cats should the premises become uninhabitable.

10.2The plan must include details of the emergency measures to be taken for the extrication of the animals should the premises become uninhabitable and an emergency telephone list that includes the fire service and police. 
10.3External doors and gates must be lockable. 
10.4A designated keyholder with access to all animal areas must at all times be within reasonable travel distance of the premises and available to attend in an emergency.

In a non-domestic setting, an emergency contact name / number must be displayed on the outside of the premises.

A reasonable distance would, in normal conditions, be interpreted as no more than 30 minutes travelling time.

Higher StandardA competent person must be on site at all times.

Part B - Specific Conditions

1.0Suitable Environment

Cats within the premises to which the licence relates must be prevented from coming into direct contact with other animals from outside the premises.

Sneeze barriers must be in place on the end walls of the exercise run, and at each end of the cattery block to prevent contact with animals from outside.
1.2There must be a safe, secure, waterproof roof over the entire cat unit.For the exercise run, materials used must be capable of filtering UV light and providing adequate shade.
1.3A cat unit may only be shared by cats from the same household. 
1.4Communal exercise areas are not permitted.A one-page synopsis of the cat or cats must be outside each unit or kept in an easy to locate manner. This must include the name of the cat, the age, sex and any relevant medical, behavioural or dietary information.
1.5Each cat unit must be clearly numbered and there must be a system in place which ensures that information about the cat or cats in each cat unit is available to all staff and any inspector. 

Each cat unit must provide the cat with sufficient space to:

  • a) walk,
  • b) turn around,
  • c) stand on its hind legs,
  • d) hold its tail erect,
  • e) climb,
  • f) rest on the elevated area; and
  • g) lie down fully stretched out without touching another cat or its walls.

For new builds the measurement of the run area for penthouse units must include only the area in front of the penthouse (not that underneath it) as cats do not use this area. The 'one cat' size option has also been removed for new builds. Older catteries will have one cat size units and shorter runs and this is acceptable. New builds must use the bigger dimensions.

The size of a cat unit includes the sleeping area plus the run area. (See actual Guidance for sizes).

State what type of accommodation is provided:

  • Walk in unit with sleeping area on floor
  • Walk in penthouse unit

Facilities must be easily accessible and provide safe easy access (ramp/steps) to the penthouse.

Extra consideration must be given for elderly, ill, very young or disabled cats.

Higher StandardUnits must be 1.5 times the minimum sizes stated
1.7Each cat unit must have sufficient space for each cat to sit, rest, eat and drink away from its toilet area.Each unit must have space to allow for at least 60 cm separation between the litter tray, resting place and feeding area. This allows cats to sit, rest and eat away from areas they use for toileting.

Cats must have constant access to their sleeping area. Access between the exercise and sleeping accommodation must be through a securely fitted and suitably sized cat flap which is capable of being securely propped open if necessary.

A cat must not be left without bedding, unless instructed otherwise by the cat's owner. Soft bedding materials must be provided and adapted if necessary for old, young or infirm cats to help regulate their body temperature.

A raised bed may aid in the avoidance of draughts. All beds and bedding areas must be kept clean, dry and parasite free.

Bedding must be made of a material that is easy to wash/disinfect, or be disposable.

Bedding must be changed, cleaned and disinfected between cats.

1.9A litter tray must be provided at all times in each cat unit. A safe and absorbent litter material must be provided. Litter trays must be regularly cleaned and disinfected.

In a multiple cat unit, the number of trays must be appropriate to the number of cats.

Trays must be impermeable, easy to clean and disinfect, or be disposable. The tray must be large enough (average size is 30 x 42 cm) to let the cat turn around and the litter deep enough (a minimum of 3 cm is recommended) to allow digging activity.

Loose sawdust, shredded or sheet newspaper, or soil, are not considered acceptable as litter material.

1.10Each cat unit must include an elevated area.

These must be large enough for a cat to lie on and be available in the sleeping accommodation or the run.

Facilities must be available to provide safe easy access to elevated areas for elderly, ill, very young or disabled cats if required.

Higher StandardEach cat must have access to at least two raised areas - one of which must be in the sleeping area and one must be in the exercise area.
1.11Adjoining cat units must have solid barriers covering the full height and full width of the adjoining wall.

For new builds, sneeze barriers must be at a minimum translucent (allowing light to pass through, but only diffusely so that objects on the other side cannot be clearly distinguished) to reduce stress caused by cats seeing one another.

New build using gaps between units must have a full height full width translucent sneeze barrier on one side of the gap.

Higher StandardThere must be completely opaque sneeze barriers rather than translucent up to 600 mm and behind any shelves.
1.12Any gaps between cat units must be a minimum of 0.6 metres wide.Most modern catteries use full height sneeze barrier between units rather than gaps because it reduces the build size. The width of the corridor between facing units must be at least 1.2 m. If the width of a corridor is less than 1.2 m sneeze barriers must be applied to the front of the units.
1.13Any cat taken out of a cat unit must be secured in a suitable carrier.A spare cat carrier must be kept at the cattery for situations where owners do not arrive with their cat in a secure carrier.
1.14The sleeping area must form part of the cat unit and be free from draughts. 
2.0Monitoring of behaviour and training
2.1There must be an area within the unit in which the cat can avoid seeing other cats and people if it so chooses.Cats must be provided with a hiding place. This can be as simple as providing a cardboard box, an igloo-type bed or other structures within the unit. Leaving the cat's own carrier in the unit can provide a familiar place to hide.
2.2Each cat unit must include a facility for scratching. Any surface within a cat unit available for scratching must either be disinfected between uses by different cats or disposed of.Each cat must have access to a tall sturdy scratching facility. If provided by the owner it must be kept within that cat's unit and used solely for that cat and returned to the owner and the end of the cat's stay.
2.3All cats must be provided with toys or feeding enrichment (or both) unless advice from a veterinarian suggests otherwise. 
2.4All toys and other enrichment items must be checked daily to ensure they remain safe and must be cleaned and disinfected at least weekly.

If provided by the owner, toys or feeding enrichment equipment must be kept within that cat's unit and used solely for that cat and returned to the owner and the end of the cat's stay.

All toys and enrichment equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between different cats.


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

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

Consent forms must cover veterinary treatment, consent to share or separate cats if needed, consent regarding toys / interaction preferences, record of baskets/items left at the cattery

4.0Protection from pain, injury, suffering and disease
4.1A cat must remain in its assigned cat unit, except when it is moved to an isolation cat unit or to a holding cat unit.


4.2Where any other activity involving animals is undertaken on the premises, it must be kept entirely separate from the area where the activity of providing boarding for cats takes place.Units housing rescue/breeding cats must be separated by a door or solid partition. Extra precautions must be taken to prevent the spread of disease. Ideally a separate member of staff should attend to these cats.
Higher StandardWhere applicable there must be a completely separate unit for any other activities such as rescue or breeding.
4.3All equipment must be cleaned and disinfected before a cat is first introduced into a cat unit. 
4.4A preventative healthcare plan agreed with the veterinarian with whom the licence holder has registered under paragraph 9(8) of Schedule 2 must be implemented. 
4.5A holding cat unit must only be used in an emergency and must not be used for longer than is necessary and in any event for no longer than a total of 12 hours in any 24-hour period. 
4.6In this paragraph, "holding cat unit" means a cat unit, separate from any other cat unit, in which a cat may be housed temporarily. 

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