Our 3 Tonkinese and Lia (aka the Cat Whisperer)

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I have cats.

There.  I said it.  And I feel so much better now …

We have 3 Tonkinese.  As a breed, they bond very closely to their owners (or staff as they refer to us).  They are 100% house cats and as such are used to round-the clock companionship which they actively seek out – pretty much like dogs but without so much slobber.

Along with having cats, I also have a life.  Life means sometimes having to step away from the cats to do other things.  Like holidays.

Our last holiday was about two years ago.  We did some research and found a cattery that looked good and paid it a visit.  It looked ok and clean enough – so we decided to book them in.  However, when we arrived with the cats, it was pretty different to our visit.  It was dirty, untidy and smelt strongly of other cats and dogs.   The second we put them into the cages, they became like different animals – stressed – almost feral.   We were completely distraught – but we were due to fly in 6 hours so we had no choice but to reluctantly leave them.

We received maybe one text message while we were away telling us “Your cats are ok.”  We were pretty worried I can tell you …

We returned after two weeks to find our cats in a shocking state of traumatised stress and complete anxiety.  And this was supposed to have been a top-class cattery!  (More like Meowswittz as it turned out) .. So we decided never again would we board our babies.

Unfortunately, this year we HAD to vacate our house for two weeks.  We were in complete despair – after all – it had taken 3 months for our kitties to settle down after the last experience – we thought that to traumatise them again would push them over the edge.

My wife spent many days investigating cattery after cattery – all making the same promises, all offering the same services – we were quite despondent about it all.  The clock was ticking and we had no choice in having to move out.

And then, she found Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel in Pamber Heath.  It is about an hour’s drive from us – and as you know cats travel REALLY well – but we were at our wits end.  So we paid it a visit.

From the moment we entered the business premises, we became aware that this was a steep change from the places we had seen before.  The “rooms” were spotless and bigger than the average and were equipped with climate control, toys, climbers – everything a cat could want!  The environment calm and clean – clean – clean.

Lia was completely sympathetic to our horror story and went out of her way to assure us that her business truly holds the welfare, care and comfort of her charges in the very forefront.  My wife and I just looked at each other and said “Hell yeah!”.

In the run up to the stay, Lia was very careful about the paperwork – ensuring the vaccinations were up to date, understanding the food requirements, litter type etc. – all of which reinforced our belief that we had made the right choice and that this was much more than just a business for Lia.  And I have to say, Lia delivered in spades.

On the day we checked them in, after an hour in the car – our cats (and me) were pretty wound up. Somehow Lia (aka the Cat Whisperer) – with her calmness and presence soothed them and after a couple of minutes in their rooms, they were completely at ease.  We left them with a huge sense of relief.

Almost every day we were away, Lia sent us photos and messages – showing just how settled and happy they all were.  Those messages were so welcome and really allowed us to relax in the knowledge that they were well and truly cared for.

When I collected them, it was like I was walking into my own house.  They were completely chilled and normal.  Lia on the other hand, was quite teary about seeing them go  … I almost felt bad taking them away from her…

Lia is a remarkable woman and her business completely reflects her personal ethics.  While with the cats, she is completely present.  Even though our brood seemed glad to be home, they spent the first couple of days wandering around with a “where has that nice lady with the treats, cuddles and tickle stick gone” look on their ungrateful little faces  …

I have no hesitation at all in recommending Lia’s Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel.  The rates are completely reasonable for the level of care and service Lia and her team provides.  The environment is spotless and the customer-care experience second to none.  If there was Sky TV in the rooms – damn – I would stay there myself!

Robert and Monique Watkins – East Wichel, Swindon


To schedule a visit or book a suite contact Lia on  0118 970 1297 or pamberheath@longcroftcathotel.co.uk

Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel Pamber Heath, Hampshire


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