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Boarding structural requirements for cats

Boarding structural requirements for cats


1. The establishment must, at all times, be laid out and operated in accordance with an approved plan, to be attached to the licence. Before carrying out any alterations, plans must be submitted to and approved by the licensing officer of the local authority.

2. All new units must be built on a concrete base with a damp proof membrane to Building Regulation standards. This should have a minimum fall of 1 in 80.

3. All exterior wood must be smooth and properly treated against wood rot. Only products which are not toxic to cats may be used. Chemicals containing phenol, or creosote, must not be used.

4. All internal surfaces used in the construction of walls, floors, partitions, doors and door frames to be durable, smooth and waterproof. There must be no projections or rough edges liable to cause injury. The use of scratching posts is quite acceptable, but care should be taken to ensure that the post is properly fixed and frequently replaced.

5. Sleeping areas of units must be so insulated as to prevent extremes of temperature.

6. Fencing material must be secure and safe. All exercise areas and the safety passage should be covered with mesh and waterproof material, a proportion of which must be translucent. Welded mesh must be galvanised, not less than 16 gauge wire (1.6mm), and not greater than 2.5cm mesh size.

7. The construction must be such that security of the cat is ensured.

8. All areas to which cats have free access must be roofed.


9. The walls with which cats may come into contact must be of smooth waterproof materials, capable of being easily cleansed. Where concrete or other building blocks or bricks are used, they must be sealed so as to be smooth and waterproof, and resealed as necessary.

10. Junctions between vertical and horizontal sections should be coved. If impractical in existing premises, these joints must be sealed.

11. Full length sneeze barriers must be provided where the gap between units is less than 625mm (2ft). the sneeze barriers must be at least 1.2m (4ft) high. If a shelf is provided the barrier must be extended to at least 0.5m above the shelf, and at least 150mm beyond the shelf within the exercise area.

Floors and Concrete Bases

12. The concrete base and floors of all buildings and units, must be of smooth, waterproof materials, capable of being easily cleansed. In new catteries, this must incorporate a damp proof membrane.

13. Floors of all units and individual exercise areas must be constructed and maintained in such a condition as to prevent ponding of liquids.


14. Doors must be strong enough to resist impact and scratching and must be fitted to be capable of being effectively secured. A cat flap should be provided in the door to the sleeping compartment to permit easy access to the exercise area. The flap should be closed at night. All main entrance doors or gates must be lockable.

15. Where metal edging is used, this must not present a risk of injury to the cat.

16. Adequate constructional precautions must be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious disease particularly by droplet infection.


17. All windows which pose a security risk must be escape proof at all times. Protection should be provided by using welded mesh reinforced glass, polycarbonate or other impact resistant material. Each sleeping compartment should have its own window, with a shelf beneath it to allow natural daylight into the unit, and to permit the cat to look out.


18. Kitchens must be connected to mains drainage or an approved, localised sewage disposal system.


19. During daylight hours light must be provided to exercise and sleeping areas so that all parts are clearly visible. Where practicable this must be natural light.

20. Adequate supplementary lighting must be provided throughout the establishment. Natural and artificial lighting must be sufficient to allow efficient and safe working after daylight hours.


21. Ventilation must be provided to all interior areas without the creation of excessive, localised droughts in the sleeping area.


22. Maintenance and repair of the whole establishment must be carried out regularly.

Unit Size

23. In new construction each unit must have a sleeping area and an adjoining exercise area, which is exclusive to that unit.

24. In new construction each unit must be provided with a sleeping area of at least 0.85sq.m(9sq.ft) for one cat, 1.5sq.m (16sq.ft) for two cats, 1.85sq.m (20sq.ft) for up to four cats. The sleeping area may be at ground level, or in the form of Penthouses (raised sleeping areas) which must be at least 1m above floor level, with a maximum depth of 1.2m.

Units may be designated as suitable for a specific number of cats, greater than 4, at the discretion of the licensing authority.

25. Units must have a minimum internal height of 1.8m (6ft)

26. The height of the sleeping area must be at leas 3ft. (91cm) in existing and 4ft. (1.22m) in new buildings.

27. In new construction, each unit must be provided with an exercise area of at least 1.7sq.m (18sq.ft) for a single cat, 2.23sq.m (24sq.ft) for two cats, 2.78sq.m(30sq.ft) for up to four cats.

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


29. A written training policy must be provided. Systematic training of staff must be demonstrated to have been carried out. This should cover permanent, part time and seasonal workers.

Temperature in Units

30. Heating facilities must be available in the unit and used according to the requirements of the individual cat and the season. A safe system of heating must be used to avoid risks of electrocution and burning. Open flame appliances must not be used.

31. In isolation units, there should be a means of maintaining the temperature at a level suitable for the conditions of the cat and dependent of veterinary advice. This should generally be above 15°C, unless otherwise advised by the Veterinary surgeon.

Waste Disposal

32. Facilities must be provided for the proper reception, storage and disposal of all waste. Particular care should be taken to segregate clinical waste arising from the treatment and handling of cats with infectious diseases. The final disposal route for all such waste must be incineration.

Pest Control

33. Measures must be taken to minimise the risks from rodents, insects and other pests within the establishment.

Kitchen Facilities

34. Exclusive facilities, hygienically constructed and maintained, must be provided for storage and preparation of food for cats.

35. A sink with hot and cold water must be provided for the washing of food equipment and eating and drinking vessels. A separate wash hand basin with hot and cold water must also be provided for staff use.

Isolation Facilities

36. Isolation facilities must be provided at the rate of at least 1 isolation unit for up to 30 units, and pro rata above that.

37. In existing catteries these isolation facilities must be in compliance with the other boarding requirements but must be separate and physically isolated from the main units. This must be a minimum of 3m (10ft).

Communal Exercise Areas

38. These are not generally permitted, and any existing will be phased out as a matter of priority.


West Lindsey District Council
Guildhall, Marshall's Yard
DN21 2NA

Email:  licensing.2003@west-lindsey.gov.uk

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