Running a cattery can sometimes feel like a 24-hour lifestyle that involves long days and weekend and holiday work. Because of the demanding schedule, it is common for owners to live on site to ensure the security and safety of the cats in their care.
If you choose not to live on site, then you will need to hire staff to attend to the cats around the clock. Your clients are trusting you to provide excellent care for their cats, so the animals should never be left unattended for long periods of time.
Facts and stats
- Out of an estimated 33 million pets in Australia, 3.3 million are cats.
- With just over 8 million households, Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, with 36% of households owning a dog and 23% of households owning a cat.
- In 2009, consumers spent $1.4 billion on their cats, including the purchase of pet care products and services.
- In 2009, consumers spent $99 million on boarding services for their cats.
- Based on the assumption that 30% of cats are taken to a cattery for one week per year at an average price of $20 per day, this market is worth approximately $98.7 million.
- Innovative design: To stand apart from the competition, you should offer an outstanding facility with plenty of outside areas as well as an exercise gym full of toys, tunnels, and ladders to entertain your furry guests.
- Luxury accommodations: Renovate and remodel to provide a five-star kitty hotel that will impress even the pickiest of patrons. In addition to luxurious sleeping areas, provide free added conveniences like premium cat food and high-quality kitty litter.
- Variety: Offer various boarding packages—the bigger the boarding space, the higher the cost. Provide optional add-ons like extra time in the exercise area, supervised outdoor time, or a pet pick-up and delivery service for busy or elderly owners.
- Personal touch: Cats are often viewed as part of a family, so it’s important to reassure clients that their cats will receive personal care and attention 24/7.
There will always be a demand for catteries because there are always times when owners simply cannot look after their cats and need a safe place for them to stay—making catteries a stable industry that shows signs of slow and steady growth.
The main benefit of having your own cattery is that you are your own boss and have the freedom to set your hours of operation and plan your schedule as you see fit. Plus, if you live on site, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of a hectic work commute!
Challenges and how to overcome them
If a cattery is your primary source of income, you’ll need to be strategic about your set up, daily operations, and marketing if you want to build a unique business that generates a substantial profit.
It can be challenging to run your cattery at full occupancy year-round, so successful owners evaluate their competition and then offer added perks to set their catteries apart and to drive business growth.
This can be a demanding job with long hours and very little time off. It can also be difficult to take holidays, and if you want to take a vacation, you will need to plan for it months in advance. Plus, you will be extremely busy during Christmas, Easter, and any other bank holidays.
To offset these challenges, take the time to hire and train reliable staff you can trust to represent you well if and when you do choose to take a much-needed vacation.
No specific qualifications are required to own a cattery, but it can be an advantage to have training in cattery management. Some helpful personality traits to possess include:
- Cat lover: You’ll need to be compassionate and loving to all cats in your care—even if they are irritable, unhealthy, or stinky.
- High energy: You’ll need stamina and perseverance to handle the long days, mundane tasks, and weekend work.
- Responsible: You need to be organised and thorough when overseeing cleaning and routine feeding and care.
- Effective communicator: In addition to caring for cats, you’ll spend a lot of time talking to owners and reassuring them that their pets will be fine in your care. It’s essential that you are a warm and engaging person who is able to communicate calmly and clearly.
If you think becoming a cattery owner is the right fit for you, we would love to help you find the perfect established cattery available for sale. Visit here to get started!