Boutique hotel for the discerning cat
Claiming to the be world’s first boutique hotel for cats, the Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel is now available as a franchise.
The founder, 36-year-old Abi Purser opened her first unit with the help of her husband Matt at Welwyn Garden City in 2010 with wrought iron designer cat beds, soft pillows, individually-decorated bedroom suites and gourmet menus. She has perfected her idea for all aspects of the business from gaining planning permission for the hotels to the modular design of units of six to nine suites.
She says she was prompted to set up the business in response to what she sees as the poor standard of care offered by most catteries.
“There are 11 million cat owners in the UK and only 2,000 registered boarding catteries for the animals of cat owners who want to take a holiday, or are facing a crisis, and need their cat to be looked after,” she says. “We experienced this ourselves and couldn’t find anyone offering what we were looking for. We wanted more than a cattery and needed to know that our cat would be loved and looked after while we were away.We couldn’t find it. So we created it ourselves.
“We knew that there was a demand for a truly five-star cattery dedicated to looking after our customers’ much-loved feline guests. We massively underestimated the demand which led to the runaway success of our first hotel. We are now ready to expand and offering our successful and proven business formula to others.”
Abi (right) points out that the business suits a mum with a young family, but she has attracted interest from people with completely different profiles. A retired woman is setting up her business to supplement her income, another is adding the hotel to her livery business, and a candidate in her 40s wants to operate the franchise as an addition to the cleaning business she runs from home.
She says prospective franchisees must run their hotel with responsibility and a deep understanding of animal welfare and wellbeing.
“More people today are looking for a better work/life balance by running their own business from home,” she adds. “We are looking for partners who want to operate a sustainable and profitable business, which fits perfectly around any type of lifestyle or family commitments.”