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Animal activities licensing: guidance for local authorities – Cat Boarding

Complying with cattery licencing conditions


As of the 1st October 2018, all new catteries must now comply with new guidance issued from DEFRA.

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 – Guidance notes for conditions for providing boarding for cats is a document to help commercial catteries and cat boarding businesses to comply to minimum standards of care for cats whilst in the care of the boarding establishment.

The new guidance replaces the CIEH Model Licence Conditions for Boarding Catteries (of which we sponsored the original publication).

It is essentially the same as the CIEH Model Licence Conditions for Cat Boarding Establishments, 2013 (Revised 2016) but with the addition of a Higher Standards section. Every cattery must (at the very least) meet the minimum standards set out in the main document. In order to achieve a licence for the higher standard then you are now required to meet a set of additional criteria relating to the size, design and operation of the cattery (some of which are compulsory and some of which are optional).

Pedigree Pens Ltd. have always been at the forefront of cattery design and have long championed hygienic, larger, spacious accommodation.

The Guidance notes for conditions for providing boarding for cats is used by local authorities to help ensure that minimum standards are met and it is the basis on which they will approve an application to run a cattery or commercial cat boarding business.

Although the document is aimed at local authority licensing officers and commercial catteries and cat boarding businesses, it is also useful for anyone wishing to use a cattery or cat boarding establishment to see what minimum requirements a cattery should comply to.

The main areas the Guidance notes for conditions for providing boarding for cats covers are:

  • Providing the cat(s) with a suitable place to live/stay
  • Providing the cat(s) with an appropriate diet
  • Allowing the cat(s) to express normal behaviour patterns
  • Providing the cat(s) with the appropriate company
  • Protecting the cat(s) from pain, suffering, injury and disease

Improved conditions for new cattery builds

Higher standards for new catteries is a clear focus of the improved guidelines. The main updated conditions for new catteries are:

  • In new build any wood to which the cat has access must be clad with an impervious smooth material to prevent damage and make cleaning and disinfection easier
  • In new build 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
  • For new build the smallest unit must be large enough for up to 2 cats and to allow for adequate staff space for cleaning
  • Higher Standard – There is now a 5 star rating for new catteries. To achieve highers standards the cattery must adhere to a set of additional required standards as well as 50 % of further optional standards.

Cat Boarding

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