Choosing a Kennel or Cattery

Making the decision to leave your beloved cat or dog behind when you go away on holiday can be hard. However, as well as the option to use a friend, family member or professional pet sitter, there are many excellent catteries and kennels available where your pet will be very well taken care of.

It’s important that you feel comfortable with your choice, and therefore it’s always a good idea to ask around – have friends and family used anywhere local that they would recommend? Go and visit a couple of places so that you can compare the options on your shortlist – reputable businesses will happily accommodate your request for a tour and answer any questions you may have.

Here are some practical considerations you may wish to think about when deciding which cattery or kennel to choose:

  • Are the pens clean, draught-free, safe and secure?
  • Is there a covered outside run where your pet can exercise and get some fresh air and sit in the sun?
  • Avoid any establishment that features a communal exercise area – these are almost guaranteed to spread diseases and parasites
  • Reputable catteries and kennels will ask to see your up-to-date vaccination certificate. It’s always advisable that your pet is protected by the vaccinations recommended by your vet, and this is never more important that when they are in the company of unfamiliar animals
  • Equally, you should ensure that your pet’s flea and worm protection is up to date prior to leaving him or her
  • Cats can find the presence of unfamiliar dogs stressful, and therefore cat owners may wish to choose a cattery rather than a boarding kennel which looks after both cats and dogs
  • Are you able to specify that your pet is fed the diet that he or she is used to, and be treated by your own vet in the unlikely event of an emergency whilst you are away? Good catteries and kennels will always accommodate your requests, assuring you of maximum peace of mind
  • Do the cats and dogs that are boarding at the time of your visit look relaxed and happy?
  • Ask to see valid insurance certificates and operating licences

Catteries and kennels are inspected by the local authority in order to be granted a licence – your local council should therefore be able to give you details of approved businesses in your area.

Choosing a kennel or cattery

Helpful UK sites for cat owners:

Helpful UK sites for dog owners:

Until next time, very best wishes.


The Ralph Site

Please note: The Ralph Site is not affiliated with the third-party organisations in any of the links shared here, and the views, ideas and suggestions expressed in this and other blogs are simply shared with the intention of helping you, our friends, take care of the special animals in your lives.

2 thoughts on “Choosing a Kennel or Cattery

  1. John

    I have a good friend that has a cat that gets very skittish whenever it’s around other strange animals. I think the article provides a helpful tip to maybe pick a cat boarding kennel so as to help with its nerves. Do you think allowing your pet to visit the kennel in advance would also help it feel more comfortable?

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    1. TheRalphSite Post author

      Hi John,

      I think it depends on the individual animal but especially on the species in question. For most dogs I would think visiting beforehand makes sense and it would probably be an inquisitive and fun experience for them to visit, meet new people, have some positive reinforcement at the kennel before they come to stay. However for the majority of cats and rabbits, not all but most, I suspect this visit in advance would just be another potentially very stressful experience for them and the cons would outweigh the benefits.

      Just one person’s opinion though.


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