Animal Boarding Establishments and Kennels

The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 requires cat and dog boarding establishments to be licensed, whether they are at commercial or domestic premises.

This means that anybody who is boarding cats and dogs for commercial gain MUST have a local authority licence before they start their business, and to remain licensed whilst they remain in business.

These licences help to ensure that animals are properly looked after, by setting standards for the premises and for the level of care given. We regularly inspect these premises for safety, and a vet may accompany us to ensure that animal welfare standards are met.

If you would like to set up cat or dog boarding or home boarding business, including crèche and play facilities or similar, you can download the application forms and fees. The renewal of licences follows the same initial application process. 

 As part of the licensing process, we use standard licensing conditions - these show the standards that each type of premises must meet, and ensures that, amongst other things: 

  • the animals will be kept in suitable accommodation at all times, taking 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
  • suitable food, drink and bedding materials will be provided and that the animals are exercised where appropriate and visited regularly
  • steps are taken to prevent and control the spread of disease among the animals and that isolation facilities are in place
  • adequate protection is provided to the animals in the case of fire and other emergencies 
  • a register is kept which is available to be inspected at any time by a local authority officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner 
  • the person keeping the boarding establishment is a fit and proper person

Following a consultation process, new licensing conditions came into force on the 15th April 2013. These new licensing conditions not only look at the structure of the premises, but also how animals are cared for.  These conditions are available to download as follows:

Only cats and dogs are covered by the animal boarding legislation at present, although we also look at standards of boarding for other animals at any premises that we inspect.

If you are looking to board your cat or dog, you should make sure that the premises you use have their local authority licence on display, or you can contact us for details of licensed premises in the Torfaen area via email to

If you have a complaint about a service that you have received from a kennelling or cattery service, we would always advise that the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

If you have any queries or concerns about welfare conditions at a licensed premises, or are worried that a premises may be boarding cats or dogs without a licence, please call or email us so that we can investigate and take action as necessary. We can also look at standards of care for pets other than cats and dogs, using our powers under Animal Welfare Act.

Last Modified: 26/08/2021
For more information contact:


Tel: 01633 647286


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