What is a cattery and how do I choose one?

Par Pawtounes 7 Min de Lecture

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When you take on a cat, you have a responsibility to care for it throughout its life. But that doesn’t mean you can always be by her side 365 days a year without interruption.

You can’t always take a cat on vacation with you, so you need an option to make sure your pet is looked after while you’re away.

Fortunately, there are literally thousands of catteries across the country that specialize in pet boarding services. Some are so luxurious that the services offered to cats are worthy of the finest hotels!

In this article, we’ll answer the question: what is a cattery? We’ll also look at what to look for and how to choose the best cattery.

What is a cattery?

Catteries are often called cat hotels, or sometimes even cat boarding facilities (thanks to the predominance of dog boarding services).

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Whatever the term, a cattery is a complex that can be built indoors or outdoors. It offers a safe, warm and enclosed environment for single cats or cats from the same family who know each other well while their owner is away.

Catteries are boarding facilities where cats can expect to be cleaned, fed and cared for according to their character.

Why put your cat in a cattery?

Catteries represent an additional cost. But when you use a cattery, you pay for peace of mind.


The traditional option for many owners is either to leave the cat with enough food while they’re away, or to ask a neighbor or pet-sitter to check on it or feed it. Both options, while saving you money, have their drawbacks.

If your cat is in need, being alone in an environment where he’d normally find company can cause him a lot of stress. If you think your neighbors are too unreliable, or if you don’t have any or don’t know them, your option of leaving the cat alone in the house is not an appropriate alternative.

An unattended cat could feel trapped, not to mention the potential damage a stressed cat can cause to a house itself.

Not only do catteries provide this surveillance, they are also a place where cats can find companionship and stay healthy in case of emergency.

You are paying for a cat lover dedicated to the physical and mental well-being of your beloved pet.

How to choose the best cattery

Catteries are strictly regulated in France. To open a cattery, you need a diploma equivalent to that of a breeder. Legally, each cat must have at least 0.5m². The temperature must be at least 15°C, and heaters are mandatory for indoor spaces. In terms of hygiene, 2 cleaning products are approved by the veterinary services. Litter should be stocked in quantity.

For food, the cattery is required to have a sufficient quantity:

– Junior cat food

– Dry food for adult cats

– Kibbles for senior cats

– Kibbles for feline pathologies: diabetics, urinary problems for cats.

Even if it meets all these criteria, when you’re wondering how to choose the best cattery, it’s still important to respect your own level of due diligence.

You should always visit a cattery. If you don’t have a good feeling about visiting the cattery, you won’t leave your cat there.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is it light or warm enough here?
  • Is it noisy?
  • Do the owners seem enthusiastic and in good spirits?

Google and Facebook reviews can also tell you a lot. A quick e-mail response and a good phone call can go a long way to showing that they care enough (and are present during the day too!).

Beyond these issues, you might as well look at the surroundings, the enclosure and the property on which it sits.

What to look for in a cattery

Catteries should also provide both indoor and outdoor space for your cat, even if this means that an indoor enclosure is divided.

Plenty of space

Modern catteries are specially designed to contain a raised platform that provides an enclosed sleeping area, while the outside space is the exercise area. This gives cats plenty of opportunity to choose their own environment, whether social or more solitary.

The common (false) image of a cattery is that of cats all hanging out together in a yard. If you discover a cattery like this one, you should turn around and leave.

While it’s nice for cats to be around each other in a cattery, they should never be able to interact with each other beyond seeing each other. This will remove almost any chance they have of fighting or – and this is key – sharing germs and potentially incubating disease.

Remarkably clean!

A good cattery will be warm and clean. Traditional wooden constructions should be avoided as they are difficult to clean. The newly-built catteries are constructed from easy-to-clean, fire-retardant PVC plastic and wire mesh. In any case, the cattery should be designed with a corridor between the enclosure and the outside world, to act as a safety lock if your cat runs away.

In any case, you should check during your visit that the cattery is cleaned regularly with appropriate cleaning products (regular antibacterial sprays can be harmful to cats, so cat-specific sprays are necessary). Are litter trays emptied? Is there hair everywhere? Food on the floor?

Good catteries will also insist on your responsibility to them: let them know of any medical conditions your cat may have, whether it needs medication (if it’s epileptic or diabetic, for example) and whether its vaccinations and flea treatments are up to date.

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