Sequim’s cool condos for cats

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Ah, to be away from home in your own sunny and airy condo with staff seeing to your every need.


Such is a cat’s life at Uptown Cats, a Sequim boarding facility owned and operated by Doreen Emerson.

The pampered pusses are able to stay from a day to several months at the cattery.


“I retired in 2006 and moved from Hawaii to Sequim. I wanted to do something so I looked at the community and it had a lot of cats and dogs,” Emerson said, “but there wasn’t a place only for cats.

They’re just really happy here because there are no barking dogs.”


Emerson put two additions on the cattery that hold eight cat condos each and a play area on each side, where cats from the same family can come out together for a little friskiness and tender, loving care.


“Cats are very territorial so only family groups are let out together,” Emerson said.


Each cat condo has windows to the outside and inside with a perching place to lounge in the sun and a cat tent in which to hide. They also can observe other cats through the glass.


“It’s really about peace of mind, when the owners place that trust in me to take care of their cat it’s very humbling,” Emerson said. “It makes me feel really good and hopefully they see I’m genuine. It just gives people comfort when they’re away.”


Staying in touch

Cat lovers want to know how their feline friends are coping away from their homes, so Emerson e-mails clients with tidbits on how their cat is doing. She also asks owners to take a photo of themselves to put in their cat’s condo.


Although a cat stereotype is aloofness, cats get lonely without their owners if left to fend for themselves at home, Emerson said. Even if someone housesits it’s not the best solution, she added. “When you’re going into the cat’s territory, they don’t know you, so they’ll hide. This (place) is a totally different scenario where they get a lot of attention,” Emerson said. “Their personalities are all unique so I try to bring out the fun and get their minds engaged.”


The condo life

The clean, bright, comfy and cozy condos can hold two cats each, although Proton and his friend Pukka each had their own to laze away the day. The play area includes toys and a climbing perch. Amazingly, the cattery was as quiet as a church mouse, another sign of contented cats, Emerson said.


“I provide basic care, give them medication and brush them and we have ‘purr parties’ — I try to be a substitute parent and ask my clients a lot of questions about their cat’s likes and dislikes. I also pay attention to make sure the animal is doing well,” Emerson said. “I ask owners to bring in their own food because it’s hard on their digestion if we change it.”


The best part, Emerson said is, “The cats and the people because of the love you get from the cats and the people because they appreciate what you provide ­— great services for people with cats. The only downside is litter box detail, Emerson said.
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