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Cattery Assistant Career Profile

How do I become a cattery assistant?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

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UPDATED:

4 January 2024

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What is a Cattery Assistant?

A Cattery Assistant works at a cattery to assist in the care of the visiting cats. Catteries are places where cat owners can take their feline family to stay over, while they might be traveling. It’s like a hotel for cats. Catteries are also the name given to places where people breed with certain breeds of cats.

Alternative Names

A cattery assistant is someone who works in a cattery, which is a facility where cats are housed and cared for. There are several alternative names or job titles that may be used for a cattery assistant, depending on the specific duties and responsibilities associated with the role. Some alternative names include:

  • Cat Caretaker
  • Feline Care Assistant
  • Cat Attendant
  • Cat Care Specialist
  • Cat Kennel Assistant
  • Animal Care Technician (Specialising in Cats)
  • Cat Shelter Worker
  • Cat Adoption Counsellor
  • Pet Care Associate
  • Animal Welfare Assistant (Cats)
  • Cattery Technician
  • Feline Carer
  • Cat Hotel Attendant
  • Cat Boarding Staff
  • Pet Hotel Caretaker (Specialising in Cats)
  • Cat Rescue Assistant
  • Cat Foster Care Provider
  • Feline Enrichment Specialist
  • Cat Behaviourist Assistant
  • Pet Sanctuary Worker (Cats)

These alternative names reflect the varied roles and responsibilities that individuals working with cats in a professional setting may have. The specific title used can depend on the nature of the facility, the level of responsibility, and the focus of the job.

Career Category

The Cattery Assistant career falls within the following career categories:

  • Animal Care

What does a Cattery Assistant do?

With which Groups of animals does a Cattery Assistant work with?

Cats List Icon
Cats

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With whom does a Cattery Assistant work?

A cattery assistant typically works in a facility that houses and cares for cats. The specific work environment may vary, and a Cattery assistant may collaborate with various individuals and groups. Here are some of the key people or entities with whom a Cattery Assistant might work:

Cattery Manager or Supervisor:

The Cattery Assistant often works under the supervision of a manager or supervisor who oversees the operations of the cattery. This person provides guidance, assigns tasks, and ensures that the cattery functions smoothly.

Other Cattery Assistants:

In larger catteries or facilities, there may be multiple Cattery Assistants working together. They collaborate on daily tasks such as feeding, cleaning, and providing care for the cats.

Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians:

Cattery Assistants may work closely with veterinarians and veterinary technicians to monitor the health of the cats, administer medications, and handle any medical concerns that may arise.

Animal Behaviourists:

In facilities that prioritize the well-being and behavioral health of the cats, Cattery Assistants may collaborate with animal behaviourists to implement enrichment activities and address behavioural issues.

Adoption Counsellors:

If the cattery is associated with an animal shelter or rescue organization, Cattery Assistants may work with adoption counselors to facilitate the adoption process, provide information to potential adopters, and ensure that cats find suitable homes.

Maintenance Staff:

Cattery Assistants may coordinate with maintenance or cleaning staff to ensure that the cattery environment is clean, safe, and well-maintained. This includes cleaning cat enclosures, litter boxes, and common areas.

Customers or Adopters:

If the cattery allows public visits or adoptions, Cattery Assistants may interact with customers, answering questions about the cats, providing information on adoption procedures, and facilitating interactions between potential adopters and the cats.

Administrative Staff:

Cattery Assistants may communicate with administrative staff regarding scheduling, supplies, and other logistical matters related to the daily operations of the cattery.

Trainers or Educators:

In some cases, Cattery Assistants may receive training or guidance from professionals who specialise in animal care and welfare. This could include learning about best practises in cat handling, enrichment, and health care.

Foster Care Providers:

If the cattery is part of a larger animal welfare organisation, Cattery Assistants may collaborate with individuals who provide foster care for cats, especially in situations where temporary housing is needed.

The exact individuals a Cattery Assistant interacts with will depend on the specific organization, facility, or setting in which they work. Collaboration with various professionals is crucial to maintaining the health, well-being, and proper care of the cats in the cattery.

What are the different specialisations or career directions that a Cattery Assistant can venture into?

A cattery assistant typically works in a facility that provides boarding, grooming, and care services for cats. This role involves various tasks related to cat care, management, and customer service. Here are different specialisations or career directions that a cattery assistant can venture into within the animal care industry:

Cattery Manager:

Advance to a managerial position where you oversee the daily operations of the cattery. Responsibilities may include scheduling staff, managing inventory, ensuring cleanliness and hygiene standards, handling customer inquiries and bookings, and supervising the care of cats.

Veterinary Assistant/Technician:

Expand your skills and knowledge by becoming a veterinary assistant or technician specialising in feline care. Work in a veterinary clinic or hospital, assisting veterinarians with exams, treatments, surgeries, vaccinations, and client education related to cat health and wellness.

Cat Groomer:

Focus on providing grooming services specifically for cats. Develop expertise in bathing, brushing, coat trimming, nail clipping, and addressing the specific grooming needs of different cat breeds. Offer specialised grooming services such as lion cuts, mat removal, and flea treatments.

Feline Behaviour Specialist:

Specialise in understanding and addressing cat behaviour issues. Work with cats exhibiting behavioural problems such as aggression, anxiety, litter box issues, or compulsive behaviours. Develop behaviour modification plans, provide training to cat owners, and promote positive interactions between cats and humans.

Cat Rescue or Shelter Worker:

Transition to working in a cat rescue organisation or animal shelter. Assist with the care, feeding, socialisation, and adoption processes for cats in need. Educate potential adopters about responsible cat ownership and help match cats with suitable forever homes.

Cat Boarding Facility Manager:

Manage a cat boarding facility, ensuring the welfare and comfort of boarded cats and maintaining a high standard of care. Handle administrative tasks, staff training, customer relations, facility maintenance, and compliance with regulations related to animal boarding.

Pet Store Cat Specialist:

Work in a pet store specialising in cat products, accessories, and supplies. Provide expertise on cat care products, recommend appropriate items for cat owners, assist with cat adoptions or sales, and participate in customer education events about cat care and nutrition.

Cat Behaviour Consultant:

Offer consulting services to cat owners experiencing behaviour issues with their pets. Assess cat behaviour problems, develop behaviour modification plans, provide training sessions, and offer guidance on managing and preventing cat behaviour issues at home.

Animal Welfare Advocate:

Advocate for the welfare and rights of cats and other animals. Work with animal welfare organisations, advocacy groups, or governmental agencies to promote policies, initiatives, and campaigns focused on improving animal welfare standards, preventing cruelty, and promoting responsible pet ownership.

Feline Nutritionist or Dietician:

Specialise in feline nutrition and dietetics. Provide guidance to cat owners on optimal nutrition for cats at different life stages, address dietary concerns or health conditions, recommend appropriate diets or supplements, and collaborate with veterinarians to support cat health through nutrition.

These specialisations and career directions allow cattery assistants to expand their skills, pursue areas of interest, and make meaningful contributions to cat care, welfare, and advocacy within the animal care industry.

What does a Cattery Assistant focus on?

A Cattery Assistant focuses on a range of responsibilities related to the care and well-being of cats in a cattery or similar environment. The primary focus is on creating a safe, clean, and enriching environment for the cats, ensuring their physical and emotional needs are met.

What are the daily tasks of a Cattery Assistant?

The daily tasks of a Cattery Assistant involve a variety of responsibilities related to the care and management of cats in a cattery or similar environment. Here is a list of typical daily tasks:

Morning Rounds:

  • Conduct morning rounds to check on the well-being of each cat.
  • Ensure that all cats have been fed, watered, and are in good health.

Feeding and Medication:

  • Prepare and provide food according to each cat’s dietary requirements.
  • Administer any prescribed medications or supplements as directed by veterinarians.

Cleaning and Sanitation:

  • Clean and sanitise cat enclosures or living spaces.
  • Scoop and clean litter boxes, and replace them with fresh litter.
  • Disinfect common areas, toys, and feeding bowls.

Health Monitoring:

  • Observe cats for any signs of illness, stress, or behavioural changes.
  • Report any health concerns to supervisory staff or veterinary professionals.

Enrichment Activities:

  • Implement enrichment activities to stimulate mental and physical health.
  • Rotate toys, introduce new play items, and provide opportunities for socialisation.

Behavioural Observation:

  • Monitor individual cats for behavioural issues or changes.
  • Implement strategies to address behavioural concerns or improve socialisation.

Record-Keeping:

  • Maintain accurate records of each cat’s health, behavior, and daily activities.
  • Document any medical treatments, vaccinations, or veterinary visits.

Adoption Support:

  • Interact with potential adopters, providing information about cats available for adoption.
  • Facilitate meet-and-greets between potential adopters and cats.
  • Assist with the adoption process, including paperwork and information sharing.

Cleaning and Organizing Supplies:

  • Ensure that cleaning supplies, food, and other necessities are well-stocked.
  • Organize storage areas and maintain an inventory of supplies.

Customer Interaction:

  • Interact with visitors and provide information about the cattery and its mission.
  • Answer questions about individual cats, adoption procedures, and care practices.

Team Collaboration:

  • Communicate and collaborate with other Cattery Assistants and staff.
  • Attend team meetings to discuss daily operations, updates, and concerns.

Training and Professional Development:

  • Participate in training sessions or workshops to enhance knowledge and skills.
  • Stay informed about best practices in cat care and animal welfare.

Emergency Response:

  • Be prepared to respond to emergencies, including injuries or health crises.
  • Follow established protocols for evacuations or other emergency situations.

Evening Rounds:

  • Conduct evening rounds to check on the well-being of each cat.
  • Ensure that all cats are settled for the night with access to food and water.

These daily tasks are designed to ensure the health, comfort, and well-being of the cats in the cattery. The specific tasks may vary depending on the size of the facility, the number of cats, and the overall mission of the organization. A Cattery Assistant plays a crucial role in providing quality care for the feline residents and facilitating successful adoptions.

With what kind of tools and technology (if any) does a Cattery Assistant work?

Cattery assistants typically work with a variety of tools and technologies to effectively care for cats and manage cattery operations. While the level of technology may vary depending on the facility’s resources and practices, here are some common tools and technologies used by cattery assistants:

Cleaning Supplies:

Basic cleaning supplies such as brooms, mops, scrub brushes, and disinfectants are essential for maintaining a clean and sanitary cattery environment.

Litter Boxes and Litter Scoops:

Cattery assistants use litter boxes and litter scoops to maintain cleanliness and provide cats with appropriate toileting options.

Food and Water Bowls:

Various types of food and water bowls are used to provide cats with food and water throughout the day.

Enrichment Toys and Accessories:

Toys, scratching posts, climbing structures, and other enrichment accessories are used to provide mental stimulation and promote physical activity for the cats.

Animal Handling Equipment:

Depending on the facility’s practices, cattery assistants may use equipment such as handling gloves, towels, and carriers for safely transporting and handling cats.

Digital Scales:

Digital scales may be used to monitor the weight of cats, especially in situations where weight management or health monitoring is necessary.

Medical Supplies:

Basic medical supplies such as bandages, gauze, and wound cleaning solutions may be used for providing first aid or assisting with minor medical procedures.

Computer and Software Systems:

Some cattery facilities utilize computer and software systems for managing records, scheduling appointments, and tracking information related to individual cats.

Security Systems:

Security cameras and alarm systems may be installed in cattery facilities to monitor activity and ensure the safety and security of the cats.

Temperature and Climate Control Systems:

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems may be used to maintain a comfortable temperature and climate within the cattery environment.

Communication Devices:

Two-way radios or mobile phones may be used for communication between cattery staff members and other personnel within the facility.

Online Platforms and Social Media:

Some cattery facilities utilize online platforms and social media channels for promoting adoptions, sharing updates on available cats, and engaging with the community.

While technology plays a role in enhancing efficiency and organization within cattery operations, it’s important for cattery assistants to prioritize the well-being and comfort of the cats above all else. Balancing technology with hands-on care and interaction is crucial for providing high-quality care in a cattery environment.

The Working Conditions of a Cattery Assistant

Where do Cattery Assistants work?

The working environment for a cattery assistant can vary depending on the specific nature of the role and the organisation they work for. Here’s an overview of potential indoor and outdoor working environments:

Indoor Working Environments:

Animal Shelters:

  • Description: Many cattery assistants work in animal shelters. Indoors, they may be responsible for caring for cats in individual kennels or communal rooms.
  • Tasks: Feeding, cleaning, socialising, and providing enrichment activities for the cats.

Veterinary Clinics:

  • Description: Cattery assistants in veterinary clinics may work indoors, assisting with the care of cats before and after medical procedures.
  • Tasks: comforting cats, monitoring post-surgery recovery, and providing basic care.

Boarding Facilities:

  • Description: In facilities that offer cat boarding services, cattery assistants work indoors to ensure the well-being of cats during their stay.
  • Tasks: Feeding, cleaning, and providing play and interaction.

Cat Cafés:

  • Description: Cattery assistants in cat cafés work in indoor spaces where patrons can enjoy refreshments while interacting with resident cats.
  • Tasks: Facilitating positive interactions between cats and patrons, maintaining a clean environment.

Rescue Organizations:

  • Description: Cattery assistants working with rescue organizations may be based indoors in temporary housing facilities for cats awaiting adoption.
  • Tasks: Socializing cats, promoting adoptions, and monitoring health.

Private Residences:

  • Description: Some cattery assistants may work in private residences with multiple cats, providing indoor care and companionship.
  • Tasks: Feeding, grooming, and spending quality time with the cats.

Outdoor Working Environments:

Shelter Outdoor Enclosures:

  • Description: In some shelters, there may be outdoor enclosures or play areas for cats. Cattery assistants may oversee outdoor time for the cats.
  • Tasks: Monitoring outdoor play, ensuring safety, and providing enrichment.

Events and Adoption Fairs:

  • Description: Cattery assistants may participate in outdoor adoption events or fairs to showcase cats to potential adopters.
  • Tasks: Setting up outdoor displays, interacting with the public, and facilitating adoptions.

Feral Cat Care:

  • Description: Some cattery assistants may be involved in outdoor care for feral cat colonies, including trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs.
  • Tasks: Trapping, feeding, and providing medical care in outdoor settings.

While many tasks are conducted indoors, cattery assistants may find themselves working in a variety of environments depending on the specific needs of the cats and the policies of the organization they are affiliated with. It’s essential for cattery assistants to be adaptable to different settings and to prioritize the well-being and comfort of the cats under their care.

What is the average annual salary of a Cattery Assistant?

Salaries for cattery assistants can vary widely based on factors such as experience, location, and the specific organisation or employer. It’s important to note that the figures provided here are rough estimates, and actual salaries may differ. Additionally, currency exchange rates can influence the reported figures. The figures below are in local currencies for each country or region:

United States (USA):

Average Yearly Salary: $25,000 to $35,000 USD

Canada:

Average Yearly Salary: $25,000 to $35,000 CAD

United Kingdom (UK):

Average Yearly Salary: £18,000 to £25,000 GBP

India:

Average Yearly Salary: ₹2,00,000 to ₹4,00,000 INR

Australia:

Average Yearly Salary: $40,000 to $50,000 AUD

New Zealand:

Average Yearly Salary: $35,000 to $45,000 NZD

Nigeria:

Average Yearly Salary: ₦1,200,000 to ₦2,500,000 NGN

Kenya:

Average Yearly Salary: KSh 400,000 to KSh 800,000 KES

South Africa:

Average Yearly Salary: R80,000 to R120,000 ZAR

South America (Regional Average):

$10,000 to $20,000 USD (varies by country)

Europe (Regional Average):

€20,000 to €30,000 EUR (varies by country)

Southeast Asia (Regional Average):

$5,000 to $15,000 USD (varies by country)

Please note that these figures are approximate and may change over time. Salaries can also be influenced by factors such as the demand for animal care professionals in a specific region, cost of living, and the economic conditions of each country. It’s advisable to research specific job postings and industry trends in the desired location for more accurate and up-to-date salary information.

Can a Cattery Assistant be promoted?

The promotional opportunities for a cattery assistant may vary depending on the organization’s structure, the size of the facility, and its policies. While the role of a cattery assistant is typically an entry-level position, there are several potential levels of promotion or career advancement within the field of animal care.

Here are some possible levels of promotion:

Cat Care Assistant or Entry-Level Position

This is typically the starting point for individuals entering the field. Responsibilities may include basic care tasks, cleaning, feeding, and socializing with cats.

Senior Cattery Assistant

With experience, a cattery assistant may be promoted to a senior or lead role. In this position, they may take on additional responsibilities such as training new staff, overseeing daily operations, and assisting with management tasks.

Cattery Supervisor or Manager

Advancement to a supervisory or managerial role is a common progression. In this position, individuals may be responsible for managing the entire cattery or a section of it. Duties could include staff supervision, scheduling, budgeting, and overall facility management.

Which difficulties does a Cattery Assistant face?

Cattery assistants, individuals who work in facilities that house and care for cats, may encounter various challenges and difficulties in their roles. These challenges can vary depending on the specific environment, the number of cats in their care, and the overall organization’s policies. Here are some common difficulties that cattery assistants may face:

Physical Demands:

Cattery assistants often engage in physically demanding tasks, including cleaning enclosures, lifting heavy supplies, and being on their feet for extended periods. This can lead to fatigue and muscle strain.

Cleaning and Maintenance:

A significant portion of a cattery assistant’s responsibilities involves cleaning and maintaining the living spaces of the cats. This includes cleaning litter boxes, disinfecting surfaces, and ensuring a hygienic environment, which can be repetitive and time-consuming.

Handling Difficult Cats:

Some cats in a cattery may have behavioural issues, be frightened, or be aggressive. Cattery assistants need to handle and care for all cats, including those that may be challenging to work with.

Emotional Challenges:

Cattery assistants may develop strong bonds with the cats in their care. Dealing with sick or injured cats, as well as saying goodbye to cats that are adopted, can be emotionally challenging.

High Turnover and Staffing Levels:

Catteries may experience high turnover, leading to a constant need for training new staff. Managing workload and ensuring adequate staffing levels can be a recurring challenge.

Limited Resources:

Some catteries may operate on limited budgets, impacting the availability of resources for proper cat care. This can include limitations on medical care, enrichment activities, and supplies.

Adherence to Protocols and Regulations:

Cattery assistants must adhere to specific protocols and regulations regarding cat care, cleanliness, and safety. Ensuring compliance with these standards can be challenging, especially in busy environments.

Risk of Injuries:

Cattery assistants face the risk of scratches, bites, or other injuries when handling or interacting with cats, particularly those that may be frightened or aggressive.

Balancing Care and Administrative Tasks:

In addition to direct care responsibilities, cattery assistants may need to manage administrative tasks such as record-keeping, scheduling, and communicating with potential adopters. Balancing these responsibilities can be challenging.

Limited Career Advancement Opportunities:

In some organisations, there may be limited opportunities for career advancement within the role of a cattery assistant. Advancement options may be constrained, leading to concerns about professional growth.

Public Interaction:

Cattery assistants may interact with the public, including potential adopters. Managing public expectations, answering questions, and providing information about cat care can be demanding.

Changing Policies and Procedures:

Cattery assistants may need to adapt to changes in policies and procedures, which can impact their daily routines and the way they provide care.

Despite these challenges, many cattery assistants find the work highly rewarding, knowing that they contribute to the well-being of the cats and help facilitate successful adoptions. Effective communication, teamwork, and ongoing education can help address and mitigate some of these difficulties.

Career growth and possibilities

Some general trends and possibilities that could influence the future of the animal care industry, including the cattery assistant profession:

Increased Awareness of Animal Welfare:

Growing public awareness and concern for animal welfare may contribute to an increased demand for professionals in the animal care industry, including cattery assistants. People are becoming more conscious of responsible pet ownership and the well-being of animals in shelters.

Expansion of Animal-Assisted Therapy Programmes:

The recognition of the therapeutic benefits of interacting with animals may lead to the expansion of animal-assisted therapy programmes. Cattery assistants could play a role in these programmes, contributing to the well-being of individuals in healthcare and community settings.

Advancements in Animal Behaviour and Enrichment:

Ongoing research and advancements in understanding animal behaviour and enrichment could influence how cattery assistants interact with and care for cats. Implementing evidence-based practises for improving the mental and physical well-being of cats may become more prominent.

Technological Integration in Animal Care:

The integration of technology, such as tracking and monitoring systems, may enhance the efficiency of animal care facilities. Cattery assistants may need to adapt to technological tools for managing records, monitoring health, and improving overall care.

Demand for Specialised Training and Certifications:

As the importance of specialised knowledge in animal care grows, there may be an increased demand for cattery assistants with specific training or certifications. Specialisations in areas like feline behaviour, nutrition, or veterinary assistance could become more prevalent.

Remote and Flexible Work Options:

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work and flexible scheduling in various industries. While hands-on care is essential for cattery assistants, administrative and educational aspects of the role may incorporate more flexibility.

Collaboration with Veterinary Professionals:

Closer collaboration between cattery assistants and veterinary professionals may enhance overall animal care. This collaboration could involve shared responsibilities and a more holistic approach to health and well-being.

It’s essential to stay updated with industry news, attend relevant conferences, and participate in professional development opportunities to remain informed about emerging trends and possibilities within the cattery assistant career market and the broader animal care industry.

Availability of Jobs

Good

Which Skills are required?

The skills required for a career as a cattery assistant can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills and personality traits, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills and Personality Traits

Cattery assistants play a crucial role in caring for cats in boarding facilities, catteries, or animal shelters. They are responsible for the day-to-day care and well-being of cats under their supervision. Here are some specific personality traits commonly found in successful cattery assistants:

Compassion and Empathy:

Cattery assistants must genuinely care about the welfare and happiness of cats. Compassion allows them to understand and respond to the individual needs and emotions of each cat they care for, providing comfort and support as needed.

Patience:

Working with cats requires patience, as they can be independent, cautious, or even skittish in unfamiliar environments. Cattery assistants should remain calm and patient when interacting with cats, allowing them to build trust and form positive relationships over time.

Gentle Demeanour:

Cats appreciate gentle handling and soft, soothing voices. Cattery assistants should possess a gentle demeanour, ensuring that their interactions with cats are positive and stress-free.

Observation Skills:

Understanding cat behavior requires keen observation skills. Cattery assistants should be attentive to the body language, vocalizations, and habits of cats, allowing them to interpret their needs and preferences accurately.

Adaptability:

Cats can be unpredictable, and their behaviour may vary from day to day. Cattery assistants should be adaptable, able to adjust their approach based on the individual needs and personalities of each cat in their care.

Physical Fitness:

Cattery assistants may need to perform physical tasks such as lifting, carrying, or cleaning large enclosures. Good physical fitness enables cattery assistants to handle these tasks safely and efficiently.

Communication Skills:

Effective communication with cattery managers, fellow assistants, and cat owners is essential for providing updates on cat behaviour, health, and well-being. Cattery assistants should be able to communicate clearly and professionally with others involved in the care of cats.

Attention to Detail:

Cattery assistants are responsible for monitoring the health and cleanliness of the cattery environment. Attention to detail ensures that cats receive proper nutrition, sanitation, and medical care, contributing to their overall well-being.

Love for Cats:

Cattery assistants should have a genuine love for cats, motivating them to pursue opportunities to care for and interact with feline companions. This love forms the foundation of their dedication and commitment to providing excellent care for cats.

Successful cattery assistants possess a combination of compassion, patience, gentle demeanour, observation skills, adaptability, physical fitness, communication skills, attention to detail, and a deep love for cats, enabling them to provide nurturing care and support to the cats under their supervision.

Life Skills
50%

Career Skills

  • Basic animal handling and care techniques
  • Customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Basic computer literacy
Career Skills
50%

Which subjects must I have at School to help prepare for the career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become a Cattery Assistant?

Minimum educational requirement

Generally, Cattery Assistants must have at least a minimum of a high school diploma (certificate), when working for an established cattery. Although further education is not necessary, the best cattery workers learn additional skills on the job, or acquire skills through completing short courses.

Study Focus

Subjects for Further Study:

Animal Science or Biology:

Further study in animal science or biology provides a deeper understanding of animal anatomy, physiology, and behavior—key components of caring for cats.

Veterinary Technology or Assistant Courses:

Courses in veterinary technology or assistant programmes offer specialised knowledge in veterinary care, including basic medical procedures and health assessments.

Business or Management Courses (Optional):

If you are aspiring to move into supervisory or managerial roles, consider taking business or management courses to develop organisational and leadership skills.

Advanced Studies (if Necessary):

Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology:

Pursuing an associate’s degree in veterinary technology can provide advanced training and knowledge relevant to working with animals, including cats.

Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science or Related Field:

For those seeking higher-level positions or roles involving more complex responsibilities, a bachelor’s degree in animal science, biology, or a related field is beneficial.

Optional Short Courses:

Feline Behaviour and Welfare Courses:

Short courses focused on feline behaviour and welfare can enhance your understanding of cat behaviour and help you create enriching environments for them.

Pet First Aid and CPR Certification:

Obtaining certification in pet first aid and CPR is valuable for handling emergency situations and ensuring the well-being of cats in your care.

Animal Handling and Restraint Courses:

Short courses on animal handling and restraint provide practical skills for safely and confidently interacting with cats, especially in a shelter or veterinary setting.

Professional Grooming Courses (Optional):

Courses in professional cat grooming can be beneficial if grooming services are part of the cattery assistant’s responsibilities.

Duration Focus

The duration of short courses differ, but can range from a few days to a few weeks.

FREE Career Path Plan

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A preparation path is like a road map to where you want to be.

​Possible Paths:

Here’s a suggested career preparation path for a high school student interested in pursuing a career as a cattery assistant:

  1.  Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

Attend career guidance sessions at school or in the community to gain insights into various career options, including animal care and cattery assistant roles.

2.  Research Possible Careers:

Conduct thorough research on careers related to animal care, with a focus on cattery assistant positions. Understand the responsibilities, qualifications, and potential career paths in this field.

3.  Explore Educational Paths:

Identify educational paths that lead to a career as a cattery assistant. This may include programs in animal science, veterinary technology, or related fields.

4.  Align High School Subjects:

Choose high school subjects that align with the educational requirements for pursuing a career in animal care. Focus on science courses, biology, and any available animal science classes.

5.  Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent:

Ensure successful completion of high school with a diploma or equivalent qualification.

6.  Learn About Animals:

Gain knowledge about various types of animals, particularly those commonly found in catteries. Understand their behaviour, health, and general care requirements.

7.  Align Post-School Path:

Decide whether to enter the workforce directly after high school, pursue further studies in a related field, or explore entrepreneurial opportunities such as starting a pet care business.

8.  Gain Experience:

Volunteer at local animal shelters, veterinary clinics, or catteries to gain hands-on experience. Consider internships or mentorship programs to learn from professionals in the field.

9.  Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Participate in extracurricular activities related to animal care, such as joining a school’s animal welfare club or participating in community service projects involving animals.

10. Join Professional Associations:

Research and join professional associations related to animal care. This provides networking opportunities and access to resources that can aid in career development.

11. Gain Specialized Skills:

Develop specialized skills relevant to the cattery assistant role, such as handling and caring for cats, understanding feline behavior, and basic veterinary care.

12. Network with Professionals:

Attend industry events, conferences, and networking sessions to connect with professionals in the field. Building a network can open doors to job opportunities and mentorship.

13. Enter the Job Market or Further Studies:

Depending on the chosen path, enter the job market, pursue tertiary studies in a related field, or explore options for starting a pet care business.

14. Stay Updated and Pursue Continuing Education:

Stay informed about advancements in animal care and continue education through workshops, online courses, or additional certifications to stay competitive in the field.

By following these steps, a high school student can lay a solid foundation for a successful career as a cattery assistant.

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you studied and you are already working in a specific career, but the knowledge and experience gained can also help you to have a second paying job or secondary income career.

Possible Alternative(s):

Stepping Stone Career

A stepping-stone career refers to a job or position that serves as a transitional or intermediate step towards a long-term career goal. Individuals may take on a stepping-stone job as it requires minimum education or finances to enter, or to gain relevant experience and develop skills, or to make professional connections that will ultimately help them progress towards their desired career path.

These interim positions may not be the ultimate or dream job, but they provide valuable learning opportunities and contribute to the individual’s overall career development. Stepping-stone careers are often seen as a strategic approach to building a successful and fulfilling professional trajectory, allowing individuals to gradually move closer to their desired roles or industries.

A career as a cattery assistant can serve as a valuable stepping stone, providing individuals with a foundation in animal care and welfare. The skills and experiences gained in this role can open doors to various related careers within the broader field of animal care and other related industries.

Here are some potential career paths that individuals may pursue after starting as a cattery assistant:

Training and Apprenticeship

Becoming a cattery assistant often involves gaining hands-on experience through in-house training, on-the-job learning, or apprenticeships. While specific requirements can vary between employers and organisations, here are some common types of in-house training or on-the-job experiences that may be required or beneficial:

Orientation and Facility Policies:

New cattery assistants typically undergo an orientation to familiarise themselves with the facility’s policies, procedures, and safety protocols. This includes understanding the organization’s mission, values, and expectations.

Shadowing and Mentoring:

New hires may have the opportunity to shadow experienced cattery assistants or animal care professionals. This allows them to observe daily routines, learn handling techniques, and understand the unique aspects of the facility.

Basic Animal Care Training:

Training in basic animal care principles is crucial. This includes learning about feeding protocols, maintaining hygiene, cleaning procedures, and recognising signs of distress or illness in cats.

Behaviour and Communication:

Training on understanding feline behaviour is essential. Cattery assistants need to learn how to communicate with and interpret the body language of cats. This knowledge helps create a positive and stress-free environment.

Health and Safety Training:

Training in health and safety practices is vital for both the well-being of the cats and the cattery assistant. This may include learning how to use personal protective equipment, handle medications, and respond to emergencies.

Cleaning and Sanitation Protocols:

Cattery assistants need to be trained to maintain a clean and sanitary environment. This includes the proper cleaning of litter boxes, bedding, and play areas to prevent the spread of diseases.

Medical Care Basics:

Depending on the facility, cattery assistants may receive training in basic medical care tasks, such as administering medications, monitoring vital signs, and recognising signs of common health issues in cats.

Customer Service and Adoption Processes:

If the cattery is part of an adoption facility, training may be provided on customer service, adoption processes, and how to interact with potential adopters.

Continuous Learning and Professional Development:

Cattery assistants may have opportunities for continuous learning and professional development. This could include attending workshops, seminars, or online courses to stay updated on industry best practices.

Performance Evaluations:

Regular performance evaluations may be conducted to assess a cattery assistant’s progress and identify areas for improvement. Constructive feedback helps individuals enhance their skills and capabilities.

Advanced Training for Specialized Roles:

For cattery assistants who demonstrate proficiency and an interest in specialized areas (such as behavior modification, grooming, or veterinary assistance), there may be opportunities for advanced training in those specific areas.

It’s important for individuals aspiring to become cattery assistants to inquire about the specific training programs offered by the organization they are interested in working for. Additionally, obtaining relevant certifications, such as those in animal care or veterinary assistance, can enhance a candidate’s qualifications.

Average level of education of those entering the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certificates, Registration and Professional Associations

The specific licenses, certificates, and legal requirements needed to become a cattery assistant can vary depending on the country, state, or region, as well as the employer’s policies. Here are some common requirements and certifications that may be relevant for individuals pursuing a career as a cattery assistant:

Training and Certifications:

While not always mandatory, obtaining certifications related to animal care and welfare can enhance your qualifications. Relevant certifications may include:

  • Pet First Aid and CPR Certification: Demonstrates the ability to handle emergencies and provide basic medical care.
  • Animal Care or Veterinary Assistant Certification: Offers specialized training in animal care and health.

Health and Safety Certifications:

Depending on the nature of the work, employers may require health and safety certifications, especially if the cattery assistant is involved in handling medications, cleaning chemicals, or dealing with potential hazards.

Local Business Licenses (if starting a cattery):

If you plan to start your own cattery business, you may need to obtain local business licenses. Check with your local government or municipal office for specific requirements.

Compliance with Animal Welfare Laws:

Cattery assistants must comply with local and national animal welfare laws and regulations. This includes ensuring proper housing, care, and treatment of animals.

Vaccinations and Health Clearances:

Depending on the setting, employers may require cattery assistants to provide proof of vaccinations and health clearances to ensure the safety of both the animals and the staff.

Driver’s License (if transport of animals is involved):

If the role involves transporting animals, a valid driver’s license may be required. Additionally, knowledge of animal transport regulations may be necessary.

Insurance (if self-employed):

If you operate your own cattery business, it’s advisable to explore insurance options, such as liability insurance, to protect yourself and your business in case of unforeseen events.

It’s crucial to research and comply with the specific regulations and requirements in your local area. Contacting local animal control offices, health departments, or relevant regulatory bodies can provide information on legal requirements for animal care professionals, including cattery assistants.

Professional Associations

There isn’t a specific international professional association exclusively dedicated to cattery assistants. However, there are broader animal care and welfare organisations, as well as feline-focused groups, that may provide resources, networking opportunities, and support for professionals working with cats. Keep in mind that the availability of organisations and their websites may change, so it’s advisable to check for the most up-to-date information. Here are some relevant associations:

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC):

  • Website: https://iaabc.org/
  • IAABC provides resources and support for professionals working in animal behaviour, which can be beneficial for those focusing on feline behaviour.

National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS):

  • Website: https://www.petsitters.org/
  • While not specific to cattery assistants, NAPPS offers resources for pet care professionals, including those who work with cats.

American Association of Professional Cat Trainers (AAPCT):

  • Website: https://professionalcattrainers.com/
  • AAPCT is a community of cat trainers, behaviour consultants, and enthusiasts. While it is not exclusive to cattery assistants, it may provide relevant insights into feline behaviour.

The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA):

  • Website: https://cfa.org/
  • CFA is focused on the well-being of cats, cat shows, and breed standards. It can be a valuable resource for individuals working with a variety of cat breeds.

International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM):

  • Website: https://icatcare.org/isfm/
  • ISFM, a division of International Cat Care (iCatCare), is dedicated to feline medicine. While it is not an association for cattery assistants, it provides resources on feline health and care.

Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT):

  • Website: https://www.apdt.com/
  • APDT focuses on dog training but may provide valuable insights into positive reinforcement training techniques that can be adapted for cats.

Remember to explore local or regional animal care associations that may provide networking opportunities, educational resources, and support for professionals working with cats. Additionally, the field of animal care is dynamic, and new associations may emerge. Consider joining relevant online forums, social media groups, or attending conferences to connect with other professionals in the field

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal care.

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in figuring out a path to prepare, as well as help you to gain further knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you FREE career development tools. There are almost a dozen free tools, but these are the three primary ones:

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But, if you are still uncertain about choosing this specific career, and even where to start, then have a look at our special series of WHAT NEXT courses (link below). They take you through all of the questions you might have on how to choose the right career, what to do while at and after school, and even how to start your own business.

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  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
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