Old Windsor Cattery

Old Windsor Cattery

Animals that are unfortunate not to have their forever home need constant care, attention and reassurance. The environment that they are accommodated in can make a vast difference to their stress levels. In turn this affects how quickly they can be rehomed. A calm and relaxed animal is easy to rehome. A stressed fractious one may struggle.

We therefore recognise that the attention to detail that we apply can benefit these animals significantly. We have a responsibility to do our best by them.

Recently we were asked to help modernise part of the Old Windsor site for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. An area of the cattery had been selected to become play pens and chill out rooms.

BDCH are renowned throughout the world as leading experts in animal welfare so it was a privilege to be invited to work with such a client. A clear brief was provided but it was down to Stellex to interpret this and turn things into a reality. Working with a specialist consultant with over 25 years’ experience in catteries and kennels we set about creating a complete new look for this area.

Previously wire mesh had been used extensively in the existing pen area. It was felt that the new pens should have an open, domestic feel to them. The pens needed to be as light and airy as possible with good ventilation but with excellent cross infection control.

Stellex designers worked closely with the expert cattery team at Old Windsor and a minimalist approach was adopted using stainless steel and toughened glass. The whole system was built so that it can be taken apart and moved if required offering a significant advantage over proprietary installations.

The glass is held in place using a unique chemical resistant rubber seal that is easily replaceable and everything simply bolts together. Each pen is keyed alike, and the doors close effortlessly and silently using overhead hydraulic door closers.

The entire installation was then sealed in place using a specialist sealant to walls and floor. Everything was designed to be easy to clean with a minimum of effort.

Above the pens were located the stainless-steel ventilation panels which complimented the sophisticated new heating and ventilation system. All stainless steel surfaces were in a satin brushed finish which allows for easy cleaning and an attractive appearance.

A specialist hard wearing frosting film was applied once the main installation was complete to allow for removal at any stage should requirements change (as opposed to permanently frosted glass that cannot be altered). This specialist film can withstand people walking on it and is very different to the standard window films often seen.

Film was applied to a height of 1300mm on the doors and front side panels to allow for staff to easily and discretely view the cats. All dividing walls were frosted to full height to allow for complete feline privacy from neighbours.

Above each pen were small fanlight windows that allowed maximum light transition without affecting privacy.

Finally, some of the side walls were manufactured with holes in the glass to which custom-made bosses were fitted. These bosses allowed shelves to be quickly located via keyhole slots locking securely into place. Different shaped shelves were supplied including wave shelves that provide great interest and interaction from the cats. Waterproof sockets were provided throughout the pens.

One of the main criterion for the new play pens and chill out rooms was that they should be easy to clean. Great care was taken to ensure that not only were the low-level surfaces and details smooth, sealed and water tight, but that the high-level ones were treated in the same manner.

The ceiling ventilation panels were shaped in such a way that cleaning is simplicity itself. Channels were fitted to take up any tolerance and to seal these units to the new plaster ceiling.

All corner joints were carefully mitred and finally everything sealed. Even the special rubber glazing seal was used with the upper fanlights ensuring hygiene standards of the very highest level.

As you can see the overall result is spectacular and a truly state of the art cattery has been created. The room has been transformed into one with a very light, modern, airy feel to it. Installations in existing buildings are always far harder than new builds and this was no exception.

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