What Was the FAB (Feline Advisory Bureau) Cattery Listing Scheme ?

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What Was the FAB (Feline Advisory Bureau) Cattery Listing Scheme ?

The Feline Advisory Bureau (now known as the International Cat Care) was setup in 1958 by a “group of very passionate cat lovers who decided to do something about the dismal lack of information about cat health and welfare.”

This statement pretty much captures the aim of the FAB and from 1958 they set about campaigning for improved cat welfare by educating cat owners, vets, rescue charities and commercial boarding catteries on best practice.

A well known part of the charity was their provision of the FAB Cattery Listing Scheme for commercial boarding catteries in the UK. The idea behind the listing was for the FAB to provide a set of criteria that commercial boarding catteries would be judged upon. If the catteries met the criteria set out by the FAB then they would be given a place on their list and could then advertise their cattery as a ‘FAB Listed Cattery’. This was aimed, two-fold, at helping improve standards of commercial boarding catteries with regards to best practice and raising the standard of accommodation for cats and also to provide cat owners with the assurance that the cattery they choose to board their cat(s) at had met the standards set out by the FAB.

For many years an FAB Listed Cattery was seen as the sign of a good, well run cattery and cat owners would often seek out catteries that had been approved by the FAB. Any cattery owner could apply for a listing but would need to ensure that their cattery met the minimum standards and they would be required to pay a yearly fee amounting to c. £100. Over the years, as the Feline Advisory Bureau developed and grew they began extending their knowledge and education, on cat welfare, throughout the world and as such, re-branded themselves as International Cat Care, in 2010. Part of this re-branding of the FAB involved developing and strengthening certain areas and has allowed them to approach cat welfare concerns holistically and reach more people. Inevitably this meant that other areas were adversely affected. One of those affected was the FAB Cattery Listing Scheme. It was concluded that the Listing Scheme was very labour intensive and that the costs involved in running the scheme would be better spent in other areas. This is what they said on their site regarding the closure of the scheme: International Cat Care – Closure of the FAB Listing Scheme:

“At the FAB* AGM on 16th October 2010, the Chairman announced that the charity trustee directors had made a strategic decision to close the Boarding Cattery Listing Scheme….The Listing Scheme has been labour intensive and the charity has been funding it for many years. More sophisticated accounting mechanisms have enabled the charity to look at apportioning costs in a much more realistic way. “

The historic listings are still available on the International Cat Care website and were due to run until 2014, however they do still have the historic listings live (as of writing this article):

“The List of catteries will continue on the website until 2014 although any current listed catteries that change hands will be removed as there will be no future inspections. However, those who are listed are now self-certified. We still encourage cattery clients to send in their feedback.”

So where does that leave everyone now ?

Well, those that have already been listed still retain a listing on the International Cat Care website, but are now listed as self-certified.

Can a newly built cattery be listed ?

No. As the listing scheme ceased in 2010 there have been no new listings.

Is there any value attached in seeking out an FAB listed cattery ?

Yes and no. By seeking out a cattery that is listed as an ‘FAB listed cattery’ you will be boarding your cat at a cattery that was historically granted a listing by the former FAB. However, as the scheme is no longer supported there will be no guarantee that the cattery still adheres to the same standards for which it was originally listed. This is because no-one from the International Cat Care (formerly the FAB) now inspects and checks catteries for this purpose.

What are the alternatives ?

As it stands there is currently no independent accreditation or standard by which commercial boarding catteries are inspected or judged.

iPAWS (no longer running)logo


Shortly after the FAB closed the listing scheme, iPAWS (which stands for Independent Pet Accommodation Welfare Standard) was being developed in the hope of providing the UK‘s first ever national register of licensed catteries and kennels with information on whether they failed, met or exceeded the UK‘s minimum standards. The scheme was developed by Kay Key of Essential Cattery Design and had the backing of a lot of high profile figures in Cat Welfare, such as Cat Behaviourist Vicky Halls, Dog Behaviourist Gwen Bailey, The Dogs Trust and David Key (to name a few). Unfortunately the scheme was short lived and didn’t get the financial backing and support it deserved. It was certainly the most progressive attempt by an independent body to raise welfare standards for boarding catteries and kennels that has been known to date.

The CIEH Model Licence for Boarding Catteries


As a legal requirement every new cattery must obtain a licence from their local authority. This has been the case for a number of years and the minimum requirements are set by each individual local authority. The minimum standards that local authorities work within are set out in a document called the CIEH Model Licence Conditions for Boarding Catteries. This was a document that was originally written in 1995 (for which we, Pedigree Pens Ltd. were original sponsors). The guidelines were re-written in 2013 and now form the most up-to-date set of minimum requirements for establishing and running a boarding cattery. As each cattery has to renew its licence on a yearly basis this should ensure that minimum standards are met year on year.

So what should i check for when looking for a good boarding cattery ?

Firstly you should check that the cattery is properly licensed by their local authority licensing officer and i would recommend that you do your own thorough research by visiting and inspecting the accommodation at any cattery you are thinking of using. To help you choose a good cattery we have provided a guide and checklist here: Choosing a Good Cattery… and Checklist

The Pedigree Pens Cattery Directory…

Cattery Directory

All of our catteries are built to meet or exceed the minimum standards set out in the CIEH Model Licence Conditions. You can find your nearest Pedigree Pens cattery by searching our Cattery Directory Site.

All of the catteries that have our pens installed are listed with contact details and photos of the cattery.






Chelmsford Cats Protection

PVC, PVCu, uPVC: What’s The Difference?

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Is There Any Difference to PVC, PVCu and uPVC?

Technically, uPVC and PVCu are the same.

PVC is short for Polyvinyl Chloride. Its a plastic we are all used to seeing used for shoes and bags for example.

PVCu or uPVC is an unplasticised version which, with a few additives, makes it strong and durable and suitable for making frames for cat pens and kennels.

In the 1980’s, it was common to call it uPVC. To make it fit with the European market, the u was placed at the end, and became PVCu. Today you will also see PVC-U to add to the mix!

PVCu makes the perfect choice for cat pens: it’s adaptable to any design, easy to install and will last for a lifetime. Best of all, its naturally more hygienic than any other material (like wood) and a doddle to keep clean.

Many commercial catteries have opted for PVCu cat pens; see a list of our installations here.

Lulus Cattery, Essex

We Make PVCu Cat Pens & Kennels

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Pedigree Pens is the UK’s premier and original manufacturer and installer of PVCu cat pens and kennels. We pioneered the use of PVCu in cat pen design and have been the first choice for over 200 clients nationwide. We have over 25 years specialist knowledge of PVCu cat pen construction and installation.

To talk to an expert in PVCu cat pens or kennels, call us today on 01684 299567

Telscombe Cattery, East Sussex

Why Choose Pedigree Pens?

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Pedigree Pens: The original PVCu cat pen

Pedigree Pens revolutionised the cattery industry 25 years ago with the introduction of PVC constructed animal housing. Since the early nineties, Pedigree Pens has been the preferred choice for commercial boarding, rescue, charity and private cat pens. Pedigree Pens have installed over 200 pens nationwide for some of the UK’s best love animal charities, including the RSPCA, Cat’s Protection, Blue Cross, Wood Green Animal Shelter, Mayhew Animal Home and many more.

Call us today on 01684 299567

More Information:

Why Choose A PVCu Cat Pen?

What is PVC, uPVC and PVCu?

See Our Pen Installations

Chelmsford Cats Protection

Why are PVCu cat pens better?

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PVCu: The best material for modern animal housing.

Pedigree Pens pioneered the use of PVC for cat pens and other types of animal housing (read about the difference between PVC uPVC and PVCu). Up until then, the choice for cattery builds consisted of timber frames, masonry or metal cages. If you’re not sure of the benefits of PVCu cat pens over timber, masonry or metal, then feel free to call us on 01684 299567 and we will be happy to talk you through the pros and cons. In the meantime, here’s a short run down of the pros and cons of construction materials:


One of the biggest advantages of PVC over another materials is the increased hygiene and ease of cleaning. Timber and masonry constructions can be very awkward and time consuming to keep clean and hygienic; PVC on the other hand takes just a quick wipe over the surfaces with any standard cleaning product.

Read more about How To Keep Your Cat Pen Hygienic

Thermal Efficiency

PVC cat pens are manufactured from the same thermally efficient materials as modern windows, doors and conservatories. Pedigree Pens keep animals warm in the winter and cool in the summer, ensuring standards of animal welfare are a priority. Each pen is thermally insulated to keep the warm in and the cold out, and enhanced by our optional thermostatically controlled heaters. The white frames reflect heat and direct sunlight in the warmer months to keep the cat pens comfortable all-year-round.


PVCu maintains its strength, shape and durability for many years, unlike timber which is prone to warping, weathering and degradation. Cheap wood products end up costing many more times the cost of PVCu in repairs and replacements over the years, whereas a Pedigree Pen will last a lifetime.


Because Pedigree Pens manufacture cat pens using the latest computer aided design technology, our pens can be tailored to your exact dimensions and specifications. Every piece of the PVC construction is built to a strict ‘machine’ tolerance to match your design to the millimetre. This takes the guess work out of the installation and ensures you have the right pen to fit your space.


Pedigree Pens are quick to install and can be erected in a matter of hours. You can buy the pen as a flat-packed kit, or opt to have our installation team do the job for you. You can even dismantle and re-site the pens should you decide on a different location at a later date.


Thinking of Starting A Cattery?

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The Joys of Running Your Own Cattery Business

There is no doubt that owning and running your own business is very satisfying. If you’re thinking about turning your love for cats and some spare garden space into a cattery business then we’re here to help. There are many hurdles to jump when starting down the road of setting up your own cattery, but our helpful guide will take you step by step the the pros and cons and give you valuable insight into how to make your dream a reality. Common questions are answered in the guide including:

How much money could I make?

Do I need planning permission?

Do I need a qualification?

How much will it cost to set up?

Download your copy here or call us today on 01684 299567 with any questions you may have, and we’ll be glad to help.

Find a Good Local Cattery…

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Find a Good Local Cattery

Finding a good local cattery can be quite a headache for a lot of cat owners and deciding where to board your cat whilst you go away on holiday can be a difficult decision. Many owners don’t like the thought of leaving their furry loved ones with someone they don’t know and in a strange environment. In fact, we have heard stories of many cat owners that choose to stay at home, rather than go away on holiday because they simply can’t find a suitable cattery for their cats.

How do You Find a Good Cattery ?

You will need to look around. Fortunately we can point you in the right direction and give you some pointers on what to look out for.

A good place to start is by searching online. You are obviously wanting to find a quality cattery as you have found and have begun reading our article. Do a search in Google and view the websites of catteries. Most high quality catteries will include lots of photos of the accommodation as they will want prospective customers to see how wonderful their facilities are. Be wary of those that do not include photos or give much information about their facilities (they may have something to hide!).

Did you Know ?

You can search for a high quality local cattery by searching our website. We Pedigree Pens have been manufacturing high quality boarding catteries for over 20 years and now have over 200 installations throughout the UK, Ireland and France. You can do a simple search via our easy-to-use Map Page:


Visit the Cattery

Is the cattery family run ? Do they include reviews of their cattery ? i.e. what do others think about their cattery. Give them a call and speak to them. And then arrange a visit !

When you visit the cattery make sure you are prepared….Read our article on Finding a Good Boarding Cattery and download our checklist to help you decide if the cattery you have found is suitable. Click on the link below:


Why Choose a Cattery with Pedigree Pens Units Installed ?

We solely manufacture catteries and kennels and use the highest quality of materials. Please read our articles on Timber vs PVCu catteries and view our materials comparison below:



We invest in the highest quality of materials and construction standards and for these reasons our customers invest in us. You can therefore be assured that by searching for a Pedigree Pens cattery you will be searching some of the highest quality catteries within the UK.

We hope this article has been of help and if we are able to help with your search in any way please like the article, below and get in touch with us or any of our customers via our website.

Pedigree Pens Ltd.



Financing Your Cattery Build

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Raising the Finance to Start Your Cattery Business…

Starting a cattery can be a relatively expensive venture and raising money, for some, can seem like a daunting prospect. Luckily there is more help out there than you might think.

There are a number of options available for raising the finance to start your cattery business. Below are some options worth exploring:

Business Loans

There are many online resources for information on Business Loans. A simple Google search will yield some great results of sites to visit. If you need to discuss a loan in more detail you should arrange a visit to your bank or building society and speak to a business advisor.

Non-Traditional Lending Services

In addition to banks there are an increasing number of alternative lenders around and in March 2013 the government announced a £70 million boost to the finance available for lending to small to medium size businesses. Here is a list of just some of the alternative lenders around:


1) Market Invoice
3) Beechbrook Capital
4) Funding Circle
5) Zopa
6) BOOST&Co.
7) Credit Asset Management

Rural Grants and Funding

The government are keen to provide funding for rural development and as such many people in rural areas are eligible for funding. For more information on the funding available you should visit: www.gov.uk. Not everyone is eligible for funding but it is certainly worth investigating. It may be the difference between starting your cattery or not.


You may be eligible to Lease your cattery. Leasing provides a tax efficient way of purchasing your cattery. There is no capital outlay (apart from a 25% deposit) and you pay fixed costs over the term of the contract. For more information on leasing your cattery you should contact Tim Gammon at Lease UK on (01372) 466955. We have worked with Lease UK for over 20 years.

Be Careful with Your Money…


The cattery building will be the single largest capital outlay when starting your cattery business.

Once you have raised enough money to finance starting your cattery, careful consideration should be given to which company(s) you choose to undertake the build of the cattery. With this in mind, we actively encourage anyone thinking of starting a cattery to undertake a credit check on the company(s) you choose to build your cattery.

You will be paying a large amount of money (in some cases it may be your life savings) to the people that you choose to construct your cattery, so you will want to know that whoever you hand your money over to, is safe, trustworthy and reputable. Don’t just take theirs or our word for it, do a credit check.

A simple credit check can be done in minutes online, for free by using a company called DueDil.

To carry out a credit check and for more information please visit: www.duedil.co.uk 

Find us on Google+

Cattery Design Advice Book | Starting a Cattery

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Did you know ? Pedigree Pens Ltd. are featured in Cattery Design by Leading Kennel and Cattery Designer David Key.

Cattery Design

His book contains step-by-step cattery building guidance and advice on plans, construction, materials, equipment and all aspects of your design. This book is a complete reference guide and takes you through all the options you need to think about before building or updating your cattery.

It features advice from cat welfare experts, Dr. Irene Rochlitz and Nadine Gourkow. It also features fascinating case studies from successful boarding catteries, and world renowned charities such as Blue Cross, Cats Protection, Feline Advisory Bureau, RSPCA and Wood Green Animal Shelters.

This essential guide is an easy to read, encouraging and inspirational overview of cattery systems, equipment and materials. It contains step-by-step guidance for creating the perfect cattery with real life case studies. This book will help you understand how catteries can be improved with cat welfare knowledge.

It also contains some 400 large colour photographs, many of which are full or double-page spreads showing lots of detail.

From Amazon: “How many of us dream about changing our lives, starting our own business, working from home in a beautiful countryside location, spending more time with our beloved pets, and making a difference to the lives of cats and their owners? You probably already have a multi-cat household, but whether you have always dreamed about working with cats, have just realised that this is what you want to do with your life, are already lucky enough to be working with cats, or you are just interested in cat welfare (generally or professionally) – you will adore this inspirational book. If creating a cattery is what you dream of, then naturally you will want to provide the best accommodation and care, earn a good living, have fun and love what you do: providing a healthy, safe, loving environment for cats. Whether you are interested in what makes good housing for your own cats, boarding, rescue or breeding – the foundation should be good cat welfare.

As well as looking the part, your cattery must be easy to live in, visit and work with on a daily basis – and this book will provide you with the ideas, practical information, design advice and inspiration to help you create your perfect cattery.”

You can view an excerpt here: Cattery Design Excerpt

If you would like to purchase Cattery Design, you can do so by visiting our Amazon Store.