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Becoming a cat sitter - from cat owner to successful cat sitting business owner

Why did I give up a career in finance to become a professional cat sitter? And what is life like today as a cat sitting business owner?
Added on: 15 Apr, 2021 Posted by: Sandra James 5 min read (792 words)

In this article:

People often ask me why I chose to become a cat sitter. Some of them don’t understand why or how I could have walked away from a finance career to spend my days ‘going around people’s houses feeding cats’. Well, let me start by telling you that it was the best decision I ever made, and the ‘job’ is about so much more than just popping in, leaving some food and then vanishing!

Finance fanatic - my former life

Back in the noughties, I worked as a financial manager in the City. It was the only career I’d ever really known, and it was one that had allowed me to build a good life for myself and my family. Back then, this family included a beautiful cat called Ziggy. He really was my fur baby, and I loved him to bits.

My parents - a lot of my relatives, in fact - lived in South Africa, which is where I grew up. I had a job that allowed me to travel, but I rarely went back ‘home’. Getting time off work wasn’t the issue, nor was the cost. The reason I didn’t go had four legs, purred whenever I tickled his chin and loved nothing more than a good snuggle on the sofa.

“You gave up holidays for a cat?!”

Well, yes - if you want to put it simply! Ziggy, like most cats, was a creature of comfort. He liked being at home, where he felt safe, and where he was surrounded by familiar things. When we had gone away previously, we’d used local catteries. When we returned, Ziggy always seemed different. Not just in a bit of a huff because we left him, but visibly distressed.

We’d also tried asking neighbours to watch him so that he could stay in his own home. He was certainly happier, but it still wasn’t the answer. I was, of course, very grateful that we had neighbours who could and would help out, but they weren’t able to offer Ziggy the level of care and attention that he was used to.

So, I just didn’t go away. I know that some of you will be reading this and thinking, “is she mad?!”; others, though, will relate on some level.

A change in direction

The life-changing moment came about for me when I was made redundant in 2010 following the financial crash. It was a stressful time, for sure, but there was also a silver lining…

You see, the career wasn’t giving me the same thrill that it once did, and I was longing to do something else. I’d been thinking for a while about going out on my own and starting a new venture - once that centred around my love for animals. So, I set up a general pet care service, which took off in my local area.

A few years later, I started another new venture, one that was inspired by that story about Ziggy that I told you above. I set about creating a cat sitting business with a difference. My vision was to look after cats in their own home, where they were happiest. Rather than just a quick ‘feed and leave’, I wanted to create a cat sitting business whereby we sent trained, vetted and professional cat sitters to feed, groom, pamper, cuddle, and love cats while their owners were away. This is how The Cat Butler was born.

Where are we now?

The Cat Butler has grown to become a highly successful cat sitting business. In the last six years, we have looked after thousands of cats, all in the comfort of their own homes. We’ve trained more than 20 cat sitters and have expanded our cat sitting team across the areas of St Albans, Welwyn Garden City, Harpenden, Wheathampstead, and Hatfield.

We are now expanding again, taking on Cat Butler franchisees across the UK. We are helping cat lovers grow their very own - and very successful - cat sitting businesses in their local area. We’re helping cat owners up and down the country, and we are delivering cats the care they deserve in the comfort of their own homes.

Sound like something you’d love to be a part of? Why not take a look at our franchise packages, and see what your life could look like as a Cat Butler franchisee.

Sandra James

Sandra James

Owner & Founder

The Cat Butler was set up by Sandra James in recognition of the fact that a stay in a cattery can be unsettling for many cats and also their owners.

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