Your Cat

CAT HOTEL FRANCHISE GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH

- info link For further informatio­n, visit www.longcroftc­athotel.co.uk

The twenty-fifth Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel has opened amid a surge in UK cat ownership.

Since the first Longcroft Cat Hotel was founded in Welwyn Garden City in 2010, the company has grown rapidly thanks to its revolution­ary approach to cat boarding. Longcroft has just opened its 25th location, which has been driven by the increase in pet ownership in the UK, as people understand­ably crave the love and companions­hip that cats can bring.

The 25th hotel to open under the successful Longcroft brand is Longcroft Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, owned and run by Lady Lorna Belhaven. Lorna is an avid cat lover and was keen, like many others during the pandemic, to re-evaluate her working life by combining her love of cats with a business that she could run from home.The new business venture takes full advantage of Longcroft’s huge following of loyal customers, most travelling for up to an hour to use their services. It answers the recent surge in demand for high quality feline accommodat­ion.

Lorna says:“After working as a property developer in London for many years, I craved a move to the country.This new lifestyle offers a change of life pace and the chance to run my own business doing something I absolutely love. Our pets have become our co-workers while so many of us have been working from home, so it’s even more important that we take care of them like they are part of the family.This is where Longcroft wins hands down, because our hotels give owners the peace of mind that their cats are being looked after as well, if not a little better, than they would be at home.”

“I came across Longcroft by accident. We have two gentle, shy, and loving British Shorthair kittens, Bluebelle and Poodles, who we love dearly.We wanted the type of care a family member might be able to offer. But sadly, we didn’t have close family nearby so began researchin­g options and came across Longcroft.The concept was perfect and cat owners were leaving rave reviews.We decided this was the place and tried to book our babies in but were shocked to find they book almost 12 months ahead in all of their locations! This got us thinking.We have the space and the love of cats, so we called Abi and the Longcroft Team, and the rest is history!”

Longcroft founder Abi Purser opened the first Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel in the garden of her home in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordsh­ire in 2010. Christmas that year saw 300 cat owners who wanted their pets to stay at Longcroft disappoint­ed because of lack of availabili­ty.This led Abi to go onto perfecting the Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel model and offering it as a franchise four years later.The successful cat hotel chain now has 25 locations, with an impressive four locations being opened in lockdown.Abi said:“I believe Longcroft’s continued success and resilience is down to our absolute focus on quality and commitment to animal welfare. Our customers share this passion and have remained very loyal to us.We will continue to champion greater enrichment and to educate and share our expertise in all things feline to improve the lives of cats across the UK.”

WE DON’T LIVE THERE! BY RACHEL ARMITAGE (AUSTIN MACAULEY PUBLISHING)

Your Cat features writer Rachel made the most of being on furlough during last year’s Covid-19 pandemic to put pen to paper and write her first children’s book! A tiger somehow finds himself stuck upside down in a beehive, but he doesn’t live there, does he? Not to mention the poor bee who ends up under the sea and the mole who is left shivering in the Antarctic! Why don’t the animals belong in these places and where do the animals really live? Aimed at children aged three and over, Rachel’s book is a delightful bedtime story which aims to teach children about animal habitats in a fun way.

£9.99

JEOFFRY: THE POET’S CAT BY OLIVER SODEN (THE HISTORY PRESS LTD)

Jeoffry was a real cat who lived 250 years ago, confined to an asylum with Christophe­r Smart, one of the most visionary poets of the age. In exchange for love and companions­hip, Smart rewarded Jeoffry with the greatest tribute to a feline ever written. Prize-winning biographer Oliver Soden combines meticulous research with passages of dazzling invention to recount the life of the cat praised as “a mixture of gravity and waggery.”The narrative roams from the theatres and bordellos of Covent Garden to the cell where Smart was imprisoned for mania. At once whimsical and profound, witty and deeply moving, Soden’s biography plays with the genre like a cat with a toy. It tells the story of a poet and a poem, while setting Jeoffry’s life and adventures against the roaring backdrop of eighteenth-century London.

£9.99

WHAT THE CAT DRAGGED IN — WHITMAN STREET CAT CAFE BY KATE MCMURRAY (SOURCEBOOK­S, INC)

When Paige Danvers isn’t managing events for the Whitman Street Cat Cafe, she is busy navigating dating disasters as a single woman in Brooklyn. Paige volunteers with a cat rescue organisati­on, where she meets law school grad Josh Harlow.When his boss requires him to do some volunteer work, Josh’s sister sets him up to help capture feral cats. Partnered with Paige, Josh is drawn to the dynamic event planner and sparks between them fly.

One problem: after a steamy night together, Paige discovers Josh is Lauren’s brother and dating him would be a spectacula­rly awful idea, particular­ly considerin­g Paige’s track record.They’re both in too deep to walk away — but if they let the cat out of the bag, it’s going to wreak havoc with friends, family, and jobs alike.

£11.99

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The opening of the Longcroft Bury St Edmunds.
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The suites are high quality.
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