Pampered paws welcome at moggy motel
Missy investigates the RSPCA's new cat boarding facility, "Tango's Place". Photo: Rohan Thomson
Pot plants and wall art showing Siamese cats luxuriating around fine china and bonsai trees.
Scratching poles, hanging feather toys and a red ribbon on each door.
The RSPCA in Canberra has entered the lucrative market of cat boarding, promising ''luxury suites'' for feline guests in time for Christmas.
RSPCA CEO Michael Linke, with Tickles the cat, inside the organisation's new cat boarding facility, "Tango's Place". Photo: Rohan Thomson
The new cattery - Tango's Place - will give the charity a vital revenue stream and help address the annual Christmas dumping of unwanted cats.
RSPCA ACT chief executive Michael Linke said Canberra had a severe shortage of quality catteries, making summer holidays an annual dilemma for pet owners.
''The limited supply of high quality cat boarding at holiday times [meant] people were surrendering their cats permanently when they went away on holidays,'' Mr Linke said.
The cattery might be in an unused tin shed, but Mr Linke said owners sunning themselves on a beach at Christmas time could be assured theirs were pampered pets.
''These are our luxury suites. We thought about what people expect in four and five star hotels and we have tried to create that kind of ambience for their cats.''
Perspex, high quality finishes and individual lights adorn each room aptly named ''executive suites'' and ''weekenders'' in the spirit of the five-star hotels the cattery emulates.
And owners need not worry that their cat might be adopted - or worse - while they are away.
The cattery will be run separately from the shelter to eliminate the risk of shelter and public cats mixing.
''It's a 100 per cent clean environment. No shelter cats or staff who work with shelter cats will come in.''
Mr Linke said there will also be no risk of confusion between shelter and public cats.
''There is a different computer database, different intake and processing systems and different staff.''
The tin shed used to be called home to more than 200 surrendered kittens that now live in a foster care network.
''We saw lots of disease and a lot of problems in the kittery and we solved that problem by creating the foster care network. Then we had this free space and wanted to use it to improve animal welfare.''
The renovations were made possible by donors Joe and Wendy Lorincz and named in memory of their cat Tango, adopted from the RSPCA in 2001.