The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 controls commercial kennels and catteries and home boarding establishments. To run a boarding kennel or cattery, you need a licence from us.

The number of dogs and cats that may be accommodated will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions. The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 covers "premises of any nature", therefore private dwellings must also be licensed.

Cat boarding applications

DEFRA (Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs) and the Feline Advisory Bureau believe that the home boarding of cats should not be encouraged. We therefore, will not consider applications for the home boarding of Cats.

Further information about animal boarding establishments licences


When an application is received, an officer from the Animal Control Service will inspect the proposed premises.

Where a licence is granted, that licence and any subsequent licence will expire on 31 December of the year to which it relates.

You can specify on your application whether you would like the licence to come into force at the beginning of the day on which it is granted or at the beginning of the next following year.


New application fee: £221 and is payable on application.

Licences must be renewed well before 31 December if the premises are to continue as an animal boarding establishment.

Renewal licence fee: £199 - this is due before 31 December each year. Your licence will automatically be renewed subject to a satisfactory inspection report and there being no issues with the premises.

There is no difference in the licence fee whether you propose to run a commercial kennel or cattery or whether you propose to use your private dwelling to board dogs.

Eligibility criteria

An applicant must not be disqualified from any of the following at the time of the application:

  • keeping an animal boarding establishment
  • keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • keeping animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals, dealing in animals or transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals under the Animals Welfare Act 2006
  • owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

Application evaluation process

The following criteria will be considered when the application is being evaluated:

That the animals will be kept in suitable accommodation at all times. Suitable accommodation takes into account the construction and size of the accommodation, the number of animals to be housed in it, facilities for exercising the animals, cleanliness and temperature, lighting and ventilation provisions.

That suitable food, drink and bedding materials will be provided and that the animals are exercised and visited regularly.

That steps are taken to prevent and control the spread of disease among the animals and that isolation facilities are in place.

That adequate protection is provided to the animals in the case of fire and other emergencies.

That a register is kept. The register should contain a description of all animals received, their arrival and departure date and the name and address of the owner. The register should be available to be inspected at any time by our officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner.