If you love cats, then a business serving feline owners can be rewarding and profitable. Here, visitors ask questions about businesses featuring cats.
Cat Boarding Facility
I'm considering opening a cat only boarding facility. I currently work part time in a vet clinic where we board. The cats do not have a cat room, but are housed in stainless cages in the same room as the dogs. Many of the cats seem really stressed, partly I think from the barking dogs. I also feel the small cages the cats usually get are way too small by the time a litter box and food dishes are placed inside. I live in a rural area with a building I can convert to a boarding unit. There are three towns of small to medium size about fifteen minutes away, a fairly large metro area 30 minutes away, and the state capital is one hour away. I've been doing a lot of internet research on cage sizes, construction, rules and services. Your input would be appreciated, along with some additional places to look for ideas and information. Thanks!
What a wonderful idea and it sounds like something that is very much needed in your area. One thing you'll want to do is contact your local health authority to find out what rules and regulations they have on how many pets you can board, what kind of licensing you might need and other requirements.
There are a few of these kitty hotels around the country. I would highly recommend taking a road trip to a few in surrounding states and seeing how they have things set up. Since you will be from another state, they will likely be willing to offer you advice and answer questions, since you won't be in direct competition with them.
You may also want to discuss your ideas with the vet you work for. He will likely support your idea, especially for long-term solutions, and may even steer some business your way. If you admire his work, you can also refer your clients to him for services.
I'm not sure how much space you have in your building, but if I were a potential client, here are the things I would look at before boarding my cat:
- How much space does the cat have to move around? I would recommend a dog run built for a small dog, for example.
- How comfortable does the space feel? Perhaps a small, washable cot in each unit would create a feeling of home for the cat.
- Is someone on the premises at all times or regularly?
- How are emergency health issues handled?
- Are there shot requirements? For example, you should probably require that all felines staying at your facility have proof they've been vaccinated against highly contagious diseases such as Cat Flu.
I would also recommend that you have a separate area for people coming in to check in their cat. Perhaps a simple wall to create an entry area and then the cats in the back, for example. This will reduce stress for a lot of the cats, who may not be used to a lot of people coming and going.
As your business grows and your budget, you may also want to consider adding walls between each containment space to create a secure cocoon for the felines. Good luck! This sounds like a wonderful business that will be very rewarding.