The Cats Whiskers Cattery Hotel received 5 Gold Stars from SODC
The new legislation has come in (finally) this year 2019, its aim is to bring all catteries/kennels and home boarding up to a good standard.
Previously boarding facilities were given a licence but the criteria was very low and some facilities were unfortunately badly designed/operated and with very little in the way of any requirements for the welfare of the animals in the cattery or kennels care.
These new conditions have been in the pipeline for a few years and because this is the 3rd cattery we have built and operated, we have learned what is best practice, what customers want and more importantly what is best for your beloved cats.
When we built the current Cats Whiskers Hotel 6 yrs ago we built it knowing all these new requirements would be implemented in time.
These requirements go a long way to improving the conditions of all catteries, although some will either not be able to be compliant because of the design or age of their building. Many will be forced to close if they cannot bring their cattery up to the new regulations or stay at their lower star rating losing customers who will want the better facilities for their beloved cats.
The conditions required for 5 stars are that all the surfaces/walls must be plastic (better cleaning) tiled floors (concrete is porous and cannot be cleaned properly) Radiator heating/electric heat beds (not overhead bulbs) and the cat litter and food not in the same area (this sounds obvious) but its amazing that some catteries do not have the room to separate these items. The chalets must be a minimum size now for this reason and for the comfort of the cat being able move about freely.
The paper work is also of importance. Ensuring that one asks the right questions regarding owners wishes in the event of illness (or worse). Insurance details are noted and a microchip number is obtained, if the cat is an older cat these details are also noted and discussed. Also noted is the owners details of their holiday destination (in case of delays/problems with flights, traffic etc) and mobile number.
Our chalets are more than the minimum size. They are well insulated to keep the heat in in winter, but are cool in summer keeping the heat out. We also have an outside play area which because the passage way/service area is set in front of the chalets means the cats do not have rain or wind blowing on them. We also have a glass front for added security and to keep the rain/wind/snow completely off your cat when its cold in the winter or unseasonable weather. This also enables your cat to use its outside play area even when the weather is bad, not restricting it to only using the back area because its cold or wet in the play area.
Why pay for a chalet that your cat can only use for a minimum period of time because of the British weather when it can have the whole area given the correct design.
When the weather is better/summer time the windows are opened for fresh air, with blinds to keep out too much sun/cool if like summer 2018!
The cattery faces our field, not a wall or courtyard or small area but a whole 10 acre field filled with deer, rabbits, kites and birds of every variety and lots more wild life. This all helps your cat from becoming bored and makes for a happier cat when you pick up your precious cat at the end of your holiday.
All catteries now have to have a Policies and Procedures book which is available to any customers who would like to read our policies for all and any event in the day to day running of a cattery.
It gives details of bookings procedure, checking in, the details of your requirements for your cats stay. Feeding/bedding/litter. Your cats daily needs and requirements for medicine. What we do in the case of a cat needing to go to the vets. Even in the sad circumstances that further treatment is needed or even euthanasia! Its all in the Policy book!
Catteries should no be about collecting payment up front regardless of the outcome or circumstances. A degree of flexibility should be followed.
However, we have all had the serial bookers of 6 weeks covering July/August that ends in a weekend as they make their minds up when or if to go away! Therefore all the days/dates you booked are charged for at the end of the booking.
We therefore reserve the right to ask for a deposit, whether its for a first time customer or circumstance’s change as in lots of people not turning up. We ask that people honour their bookings or at least give a reasonable amount of notice, normally 14 days if possible. Deposits are NON refundable.
These requirements are all in our Policies and Procedures booklet in the cattery office. They can be discussed on the phone prior to arrival or upon arrival.