For the pampered cat that has absolutely everything except for a remote pad to crash at for vacation, British cat hotel chain Longcraft might have a solution that's feline fine. Since 2010, the kitty hospice company has been supplying luxury digs for their whiskered wonders, offering amenities from cat paw massages to high-end cuisine offered on an "À La Cat" basis.
Longcraft has become so successful, that it has just opened its fourth location in London, adding to its 12 other operations in England and one in Wales. Abi Purser, the owner, has announced plans to extend beyond the country's borders to accommodate the discriminating tastes of cats worldwide.
“We are the first cat hotel franchise in the world," said Purser on Monday. "We want to launch outside the UK, that’s within our five-year plan. There are lots of other ideas in the pipeline; Longcroft dog hotel might be on the horizon in the next five years, too.”
Purser had no idea that Longcraft would do this well when pondering over the possibilities of establishing a cat hotel, inspired by her rescue cat Norman. The entrepreneur who used to take care of the horses ridden by the British Equestrian Olympic Team had never run a business before, much less operate a bunch of franchise operations. She gave it a shot and found out she was onto something when by Christmas, she had 300 requests from eager cat owners.
Today, each operation can accommodate a maximum of 14 cats, enjoying such luxuries as heated rooms with soundproof walls. The felines can lounge in an array of wrought-iron framed beds and dig into meals ranging from slow-roasted chicken to salmon and prawns, all served exquisitely on bone china. There's also a play area and an attentive veterinary staff on hand to look after any additional needs of the hotel's four-legged guests. The facilities and high-end services will set owners back as high as $22 a day, but they can book their cats in the hotel for months if they want.
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Interestingly, Purser doesn't have a palatial residence of her own. She's still the only human occupant at her first hotel, set up in Welwyn Garden City. She also doesn't believe that her hotel's services are all that expensive, adding that her clients are relieved to find that all the health care needs concerning their feline pets are taken care of. A few clients even retorted that the Longcraft hotels are even cleaner than some hospitality suites for people.