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How to Choose a Boarding Kennel or Cattery: 9 Questions to Ask

How to Choose a Boarding Kennel or Cattery: 9 Questions to Ask

At Campus Vets and Pets, we know what an important decision choosing where to board your pet is. Take a look at our tips and advice about how to choose a boarding kennel or cattery that is right for your pet…

The best way to ensure you find the right place for your pet and have peace of mind when you go away, is to plan ahead and do your research first. Before choosing a boarding service, make sure to ask the following questions…

  1. Are you licensed and insured?

Any organisation running a commercial boarding kennel or cattery must have the appropriate level of insurance and public liability cover to protect the interests of the animals in their care; and should also be licenced to look after cats and dogs.

All licenced boarding establishments have to demonstrate that animals are kept in suitable accommodation, provided with adequate food, drink and bedding, regularly exercised, safeguarded in an emergency and protected from infectious disease. Knowing a cattery/kennel meets these requirements should give you confidence that your pet is going to get this level of care as a minimum.

Many businesses will have their relevant certifications clearly visible in their building or office, but if you are in any doubt be sure ask to see evidence of their coverage/license.

  1. What makes your staff qualified to look after my pet?

It’s worth having a chat with the staff members who will be responsible for your pet’s care, to understand more about their career history, qualifications and experience. It’s always a comfort to know your pet is in the hands of the most qualified, knowledgeable and experienced people possible! They should also be more than happy to discuss your pet’s individual needs.

  1. How much interaction will my pet get?

When deciding on which kennel or cattery to choose, you should ask questions about how much attention and interaction your pet will receive each day. You don’t want your pet stuck indoors or left alone all day for the whole time you’re gone. For example, inquire about how often your pet will be taken out for exercise and if your pet is allowed to interact with other animals (if appropriate).

  1. What additional services do you offer?

A boarding service often goes beyond basic care like feeding and exercising! Asking about additional services can help you understand what added extras may boost your pet’s happiness and experience during their stay. For example, they may offer a dog grooming service, training classes, check-ups at the vets, or playtime with other pets if appropriate.

  1. What do other people say about your service?

A positive review goes a long way to making you feel more confident with your choice of boarding kennels or cattery; but remember that what works for one pet may not work for another – so only use reviews as a guide. Your first port of call for a recommendation might be local friends, family or neighbours. You could also check out the kennel or cattery’s social media pages or google reviews to read more about other people’s experiences.

  1. What is your security like?

Although boarding facilities are built with pet safety in mind, it’s reasonable to ask about staffing hours at the facility and any additional steps that have been taken to ensure your pet’s security, for example lock down procedures, alarms or CCTV security.

  1. What happens if my pet has a medical problem or becomes sick?

Depending on your pet’s individual needs, you may need to know how pets with certain medical problems are catered for i.e will staff administer medication if your pet needs it, or do they cater for special diets? You should also ask what the procedure is in the case of a veterinary emergency. It’s unlikely your pet will fall ill or injured under the care of trained professionals, however it’s good to feel reassured that your pet will be cared for quickly and effectively in an emergency.

  1. What happens if my pet has separation anxiety?

A boarding kennels or cattery should be able to explain how they can help pets that suffer from separation anxiety to feel more comfortable about coming to stay with them. Are they open to social calls and short day-stays to help your pet build confidence in their facilities and feel more familiar with their staff?

  1. Can I come and visit your facilities?

Before choosing a boarding facility it’s always a good idea to take a look around a few of them so you can decide which is most suitable. Any reputable boarding facility will be open to prospective customers paying a visit to have a look around the facilities and ask any questions they may have. During your visit you may wish to consider:


Take a look at the living space and assess the temperature; is it too hot, too cold? If the space receives sunlight, are there areas with shade too? Kennels and catteries should have the temperature controlled and adjusted appropriately to ensure the comfort of the pet’s in their care.

Exercise areas

Exercise is incredibly important for both cats and dogs, so have a look at the exercise areas to ensure they are fit for purpose and there is enough space for your pet to explore or run around.

Feeding times

Understand more about how often your pet will fed (for example, is it a similar time to when your pet is fed at home, or is there a set schedule?), as well as what food is provided. If your pet is used to a particular brand or fussy with food you may prefer to take a supply of your pet’s usual food with you.

Living/sleeping area

Check the living area is warm, secure, clean and dry with plenty of comfortable areas. Make sure there is enough space for your pet to sleep, stretch out, stand up and turn around easily.

Just like humans, all pets are different and have their own unique needs. What could be the perfect place for one animal could be completely unsuitable for your pet. You know your pet; so plan ahead, ask the right questions and you’ll be sure to make the right choice!

At Campus Vets and Pets, pets staying at our luxury boarding service benefit from 24/7 CCTV, an on-site veterinary practice, state-of-the-art dog grooming facilities and friendly, caring staff. As animal lovers and pet owners ourselves, we will ensure your dog or cat is looked after in a way we would want someone to look after our own pets.

If you would like to have a non-obligatory chat to discuss your pet’s needs, call a member of our boarding team on 0113 467 8650 or request a callback. To read more about our facilities and service please visit our boarding page. 

Find out more about the Campus Vets and Pets Kennels and Cattery