How to open a cattery | Small business
A boarding house is a business that houses cats whose owners are absent. Another type of cattery, breeding catteries, specializes in breeding cats for sale. If you are a cat lover looking to become an entrepreneur, a cattery might be the perfect place to start. While it can be a rewarding business both personally and financially, opening a cattery takes a lot of planning, thought, and preparation to be successful.
Make sure your area will support a cattery. If there is not enough demand or cat owners in your city, your cattery is less likely to be financially successful. For example, if your area has few middle and high income households, or if there are already several well established catteries, the chances of your business being successful are slim.
Learn all you can about cat care and breeding if you start a cattery. Read books, search the Internet, and consult with local animal shelters, vets, and breeders.
Choose a type of cattery to open. Both types: boarding catteries, which temporarily house cats when their owners go on vacation, for an extended stay in hospital or for various other reasons; breeding catteries, which are used to breed and sell cats to potential pet owners.
Contact your local health department to see if your city and state regulate catteries. Some areas regulate cattery businesses like animal shelters, while other states have very little or no laws regulating catteries.
For example, if the rules passed by the Texas State Legislature in May 2011 are enacted, commercial breeding catteries in Houston that have 11 or more females to breed, or trade or sell 20 or more cats per year, must be approved. , provide their cats with basic grooming, cage cleaning and an annual veterinary check-up, and have an annual inspection.
Contact your town’s small business development center to find out what types of business documents, such as a sales tax permit or employer identification number, you will need for your cattery.
Buy or rent space for your cattery business. Some catteries have an outdoor space, while others have indoor living quarters for the animals they house. Either is fine and depends on your personal preferences, as well as the climate where your cattery will be located. Keep in mind that the number of cats you can keep will be determined by the size of your property – each cat will need enough space to roam, relax, play, eat, and sleep.
Build a home for the cats you keep or raise. Alternatively, you can consult a business or organization that specializes in cattery design, such as the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
Buy cat toys, supplies and food in bulk. Since you’ll need a lot of supplies and frequently have to replace equipment and toys that wear out, it’s best to avoid paying retail prices. Ask your local pet supplier if they have a wholesale or professional discount, or buy what you need through a wholesale supplier on the internet.
Establish professional relationships with veterinarians in your area. No matter what type of cattery you open, chances are you will find yourself in a situation where one of the cats you are raising or keeping is sick or injured. At the very least, have a list of numbers and addresses for the vets closest to your cattery so you can refer them if you ever need them.
Purchase insurance for your cattery. Professional liability insurance should be sufficient and will protect your business and personal property in the event that one of your clients takes legal action against you. Although it is unlikely if you take care of it properly, a cat could die while you have care; if that happens, you’ll want to be prepared.
Hire staff to help you feed, clean and maintain your cattery. Unless you run a small breeding or boarding cattery, chances are you will need people to help you on a daily basis. Cats should eat at least twice a day, their quarters should be cleaned and if you run a breeding cattery other chores will need to be done. It will be difficult to manage the business side of your cattery, customer service and taking care of the cats at the same time.
Promote your cattery. Sponsor a local community event to take stock of your business, start an information website and blog, open social networking accounts, or place brochures, flyers and coupons at complementary businesses, such as veterinary surgeries. and hospitals, pet stores, supply stores, grooming salons and bakeries.
Biography of the writer
Melinda Gaines has been a freelance writer since 2006, her work published online for the Yellow Pages and other websites. His areas of expertise include business, beauty, fashion and sports. Gaines attended the University of Houston where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Sports Administration.