Increased public awareness of the welfare and well-being of laboratory animals in biomedical research and related ethical considerations inspired us to review recent developments and recommendations for the care and housing of laboratory cats. The present review focuses on the practical requirements for maintaining domestic cats as laboratory animals - from the construction of animal shelters to the termination of an experiment. An excellent standard of housing and care will reduce the bias of experimental results due to stress. To provide cats with living conditions that best meet their natural physical requirements and permit natural social behaviour, laboratories should spare no effort to achieve high housing standards. Hence, the present report not only aims to be a practical reference for those who are involved in the care and husbandry of cats, but it also aims to motivate researchers to improve their knowledge in this field and to provide humane conditions for all cats kept for scientific purposes.