Fe­line B&B

Thanks to these cat meow-li­day inns, you and your furry pal can both kick back on va­ca­tion.

The Coast - Pets Halifax - - Contents - BY ASH­LEY COR­BETT

If you’re plan­ning a lengthy trip down south this win­ter but you aren’t sure what to do with your fe­line friend, don’t fret—your kitty can have a get away all of its own.

Have you ever heard of lux­ury board­ing ken­nels? If not, it’s time. There are two op­tions within the HRM where your cat can re­lax in a pri­vate room of its own, com­plete with an en-suite bal­cony. To get the scoop on these spots, we spoke with the two en­trepreneurs about the ins and outs of their posh pet cares.

Both Kitty Care Inn (2376 High­way #2, Mil­ford) and The Cat’s Inn (145 Fer­gu­son’s Cove Road, Hal­i­fax) of­fer nightly rates for fe­lines while own­ers are out of town. Ser­vices in­clude a clean place to stay, feed­ing, light groom­ing, nec­es­sary med­i­cal care and op­tional so­cial­iza­tion and cud­dle op­por­tu­ni­ties.

And these inns aren’t just any old place for your kitty to rest its head— their suites are akin to palaces for cats.

When Mar­i­lyn Wea­gle moved from On­tario to Nova Sco­tia 15 years ago, she was on the look-out for a bed and breakfast to take over. In­stead, she stum­bled upon a unique piece of real es­tate in Mil­ford: An es­tab­lished cat board­ing house up for sale, lo­cated on res­i­den­tial land.

“I just knew as soon as I walked onto the prop­erty,” she re­mem­bers. With the help of her part­ner, Wea­gle runs the Kitty Care Inn seven days a week, host­ing any­where from five to 50 cats at a time.

Christ­mas is Kitty Care’s busiest time, and when it’s that full, the two are pretty much work­ing non­stop. “It’s a crazy time for us,” she says.

Wea­gle says the care the cat re­ceives de­pends on their tem­per­a­ment—if they’re play­ful, play­time will be pro­vided, but if they pre­fer some alone time, that should be re­spected.

“The longer I deal with cats, the longer I re­al­ize they’re very much like peo­ple,” she says. “They all have their own per­son­al­i­ties, and their own lit­tle quirks,” she says. “Re­ally, they com­mu­ni­cate pretty clearly to some­one who takes the time to try and un­der­stand a cat.”

Lisa Wash has al­ways spent her time with an­i­mals in some ca­pac­ity. Be­fore open­ing her Cat’s Inn busi­ness 22 years ago, Wash worked at the An­i­mal House pet store, and then for a lo­cal vet­eri­nar­ian for six years. Dur­ing her time there, she no­ticed the need for a long-term board­ing house where cats wouldn’t be kept in ken­nels the way they are in vet hos­pi­tals (which are meant for surgery re­cov­ery).

Plus, she wanted a life­style change. “I had al­ways known I’d wanted to do my own thing one day,” she says, “and then we bought our prop­erty out in Fer­gu­son’s Cove and thought it would be per­fect here.”

Wash and her hus­band built a cat ho­tel in their back­yard, “and it’s been go­ing great ever since,” she says. Like Kitty Care, her inn is ex­tremely busy over Christ­mas, when they’ve had up to 60 cats with a wait­ing list of 30 or more.

“I should prob­a­bly open a cat cafe,” she says, laugh­ing while de­scrib­ing the ex­cite­ment peo­ple get when they drop off their fe­line and get to visit with the other kit­ties.

“It’s a pretty good job ac­tu­ally, I never re­ally think of it as a job,” she says.

With a prop­erty that over­looks the har­bour, Wash feels very for­tu­nate to spend her days at home along­side new and old fe­line friends.

Kitty Care Inn prices start at $16 plus tax. Monthly fees are also of­fered, start­ing at $375. The Cat’s Inn ranges from $16.50 to $24.50 a night, de­pend­ing on suite se­lec­tion.

The claws won’t be out dur­ing a va­ca­tion at these homes away from homes.

Talk about a purrr-fect hol­i­day!

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