First check your love of cats! Your prospective clients will want to feel confident they are leaving their feline friends in the hands of a true animal lover. Running a cattery can be satisfying for the right type of person but if you don’t really love cats, you should think about something else. Cleaning cages, feeding, medicating and playing with cats will be all part of your day.
Next you will need to check your local council’s regulations regarding cat boarding. Most councils limit
the number of cats allowed on a property, with extra cats possibly being allowed for larger allotments.
Victorian State Government does not allow multiple owners’ pets to be kept in the same cage without consent.
Visit a few existing catteries (find them here) to develop a feel for the type of cattery you want to run. You’ll need space for good sized cages and preferable some outdoor runs for cats that are used to being outside.
You will need to bear in mind of course the policies you will be requesting from your local council – other catteries you visit may be following a different council’s guidelines.
You’ll need to keep careful records of the requirements of each guest so you will need a filing system.
This will include the owner’s contact details and the individual feeding, medication and exercise requirements etc of each cat.
Check prices of other catteries near you to determine a reasonable pricing schedule. Some catteries charge extra for administering medication.
Befriend local vets and pet shops to help promote your business. You’ll also need a relationship with a local vet to make regular health checks and to respond if you have any medical emergencies. Don’t forget
that your local vets may already have a relationship with an existing cattery, or even run a cat boarding facility themselves, so if you are relying on referrals
from vets, you should visit them first.
When seeking employees for your cattery, ensure they share your love of cats and check their references.
Consider doing a pet first aid course.
Invest in a few books about cat behaviour, cat care and cat breeds.
Consider becoming accredited by the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA).