If history is anything to go by, cats are supposed to be treated like royalty, and they seem never to forget it. Unfortunately, not all cat owners treat their fur babies with the affection they deserve. Some prefer leaving their cats home alone when traveling, which is not the best option because cats hate being confined. A couple realized that the felines needed a first-class boarding service, thus started a new luxury cat lodge that brings owners “peace of mind” whenever they are away from home. Let’s tell you more about this cat lodge and tips for starting your own cattery.
Necessity, the Mother of Invention
Dan Dalton was dating Patti, who is now his wife, and they got into the habit of taking in stray cats. According to Carroll County Times, the lovebirds got married, and despite Dalton never having been a cat lover, the couple continued rescuing stray cats. Everything was going on well until they needed to travel and realized that they had nowhere to leave their cats and be at peace. While there were boarding facilities and veterinary offices, the Daltons were not comfortable confining their cats for the period they would be away.
That problem resulted in a business idea’s birth, and they decided to start a luxury cat lodge themselves. The couple wrote down a business plan, which took a while to be approved. Within six months, their facility was up and running, and as the name suggests, it is a luxurious lodge indeed. Besides the climate-controlled environment, cats get to live in suites where they can enjoy the view outside through large windows and multi-level perches. If you cannot go a day without seeing your fur baby, then you can keep up with whatever the cat is doing through the webcams. This ensures that you have optimal peace of mind wherever you are.
What You Need to Start Your Own Cat Hotel
- Passion – Anything done with passion has a high chance of success, and cat hotels are no exception. The Daltons have been able to get to where they are because they already were passionate about having a luxurious space for their cats. Furthermore, they operate 24/7 means they barely have any time for themselves because even with staff, you will need to be there to supervise. Additionally, cleaning up, emptying litter boxes, feeding, and other essential duties can be tiring, so if you lack the zeal for it, you will likely give up.
- Experience – According to Dumb Little Man, you do not need to be trained or have a specific set of certificates to start a cattery. However, experience in anything is always the best teacher. If you have ever been a cat parent or sitter, the chances are that you will do well in the business. All you have to remember is taking care of one cat is not the same as caring for dozens of cats. Therefore, you can gain experience at a shelter or boarding facility before taking the plunge.
- Licensing – Like the Daltons, you will need to find out if your home is zoned to operate that kind of business within your county; zoning usually applies in semi-rural areas. Also, check to see that you have adhered to the licensing requirements within your state.
- Funds – Luxury does not come cheap so ensure that you have enough funds to install webcams, buy food and toys, make perches, and any other adjustments to the building to make it ideal for the felines. Moreover, ensure that the space you are buying or leasing is enough to cater to the number of cats you plan on boarding. Since it can take a while before you start getting cat residents, it is wise to have another income source to sustain you.
- Insurance – As much as you want the cat owners to have peace of mind, you should also prioritize your own peace by obtaining insurance for your business. Houston Chronicle advises cat lodge owners to have enough liability insurance. No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen while the animals are in your care, and their owners can sue you, so it is better to be prepared for such unfortunate scenarios.
What to Do When Leaving Your Cat in a Boarding Facility
According to Figo Pet Insurance, there are a few tips when leaving your cat in a boarding facility.
Medication – Unfortunately, sometimes we have to leave our pets even when they are sick. Ensure that you have visited the vet and sought the right medication before boarding the cat to the hotel. When you do, always remember to alert the staff about the cat’s illness and the medication he is taking. Keeping the meds in the original bottle with the right dosage is important if they need to refill the prescription.
Spaying and Neutering Status – If you are not ready to welcome another cat into your family, yet your cat can still reproduce, it is better to let the staff aware of the spaying and neutering status. That way, they can keep your fur baby separate; the same applies to male cats since other cat owners may also not be interested in more cats.
Contact Numbers for Emergencies – Just because you are going on holiday does not mean that accidents are; your cat can fall ill, and the staff will need to know whom they can contact in such a case. If you are too far not to access the facility in time, you should leave a friend’s or relative’s number who can pet sit until you get back from your trip.
Cat’s Personality – Like people, cats have varied personalities, so if there is anything your cat particularly hates, tell the staff. On the other hand, if there is one thing that soothes him, also let them know. You can leave your piece of clothing behind so that your scent makes the cat comfortable.
Photo via Dylan Slagle / Baltimore Sun Media Group