A cattery may be either or a professional kennel service for cat owners, a purebred cat breeding business, or a combination of the two. Which path you decide to pursue depends upon the customers you have available to you in your local market, how much space, time and money you have to dedicate to the business, and your professional goals.
Plan your business. While being a breeder is usually a part-time endeavor, operating a boarding cattery is a more than full-time job. Determine how much time and resources you can dedicate to the business. Research the size of the customer base in your area for cat boarding and the competition provided by other kennels or veterinary offices. Compare the prices you can get from your services against the costs of starting and maintaining the business as well as paying yourself a salary once the business is profitable.
Apply for permits and licenses. You may need building permits to create kennels on your property, an animal boarding license and a business license. Each state and community differs in its laws, so check your state's website, your local ordinances and consult an attorney, if necessary, to ensure you are in full compliance.
Set up your cattery space. You may need to have professional quality cat kennels constructed or to rent a kenneling facility. Customers who want to board their animals with you will judge the quality of your business based on the cleanliness and attractiveness of the kennel facilities. If you are simply running a breeding business, you should still have separate areas for pregnant cats deliver their kittens and to convalesce, and separate areas for male and female cats.
Select the breed in which you will specialize and purchase highly decorated cats in that breed if you will be breeding purebred cats. Consider starting by buying and showing a spayed or neutered cat in order to get familiar with the breed. Take classes in animal husbandry or do significant research into breeding cats for the features necessary for them to be show champions. Usually the more highly decorated the animals and their ancestors, the higher the price their kittens will fetch.
Market your kenneling services or advertise your kittens for sale. Your website should show professional photos of your facilities, or of your cats and their ribbons or awards. Advertise your boarding services to local pet owners, potentially at the local pet store or at local pet-related events, and in the Yellow Pages. Send newsletters to your customers whenever you have kittens available.
You should carry professional and liability insurance, especially if you will be hosting other people's pets, and you may want to invest in pet health insurance for your breeding animals.
Evangeline Marzec is a management consultant to small high-tech companies, and has been in the video games industry since 2004. As a published writer since 1998, she has contributed articles and short stories to web and print media, including eHow and Timewinder. She holds a Master of Business Adminstration from Thunderbird School of Global Management.