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“I get to play with cats all day – what’s not to love?”

“I get to play with cats all day – what’s not to love?”

A day in the life of a Cat Butler franchisee

The Cat Butler is a premium cat sitting service. As with many pet care franchises, it’s best run as a management franchise – once you’ve learned the business from the litter tray up, of course!

Gregory Deaton bought his Bromley-based Cat Butler franchise in November 2021, after COVID obliterated the high-end office coffee machine market that he’d worked in for many years. Being at home made Gregory realise he wanted to work for himself and spend more time with his wife Romina, their seven-year-old son, William, and their two cats, Loki and Freya.

Crazy for cats

“Our franchisor, Sandra, has made sure we have the best tech to run our business and provide a high level of customer service. We have a convenient business management system where we store vital information about clients and their cats, and where we can schedule visits and invoice bookings. Each evening, I check my schedule for the next day – some cats have one visit and others two visits a day.

“When I arrive at a client’s house, the first thing I do is have a cursory look around the outside of the property, checking for signs of disturbance. We offer this low-level security service to all clients; it helps if a house has a regular visitor coming and going.

“Once I’m happy the house is secure, I let myself in, listening out for miaows as I do so. I’ll introduce myself to the cat and do a quick video, which I then send to the owner to let them know I’m there. We’ll have our initial little play (there’s more to come) and then it’s time to feed them and empty the litter tray.

“While the cat is eating, I might water some plants. Once breakfast is over, it’s time for some serious tummy tickles and chin rubs. All cats are different, but most really enjoy this interactive time

“Once we’re done playing, I’ll do a thorough security check of the inside of the house, making sure windows are closed, and there are no obvious leaks or potential problems.”

Gold service

“If I discover anything on my rounds, I may send the owner another quick video, asking if they want a particular window closed, for example. If I notice the cat wolfed down all their food, I may check if they’d like me to give them a little extra. This is the extra service that we’re so proud of.

“Once I’m happy that the cat has been fed and played with, it’s off to the next house.

“I head home at lunchtime to do my admin chores, returning phone calls, booking visits to meet new clients, and checking invoices; all the normal jobs that come with running your own business. Business is booming at the moment, with people returning to holidays abroad, so it is busy, busy, busy.

“I pick up my son from school at 3.30 pm, listen to his stories about his day, make him a snack, and then it’s time to set off on my PM kitty rounds.

“Owning a Cat Butler franchise really suits me because it allows me to fit my business around my family, and will do even more as I build the business and employ staff. Plus, I get to play with cats all day – what’s not to love?”

At a glance

Established: 2015
Number of franchised outlets: 4
Location of units: U.K.
Franchising fee: £9,999
Contact: Sandra James