Hideout Cattery is the bosom of feline luxury
Cats, like humans, all have their own unique personalities. And like people, they don’t respond well to stressful situations like being separated from their human families, being surrounded by strangers, and acclimating to a new space to call home.
So what should a pet parent do when life throws these situations on the family? Call Tricia Hunter.
Tricia and her husband Barry operate a cattery in Cody. But it is not simply a matter of ordinary management of the boarding school of the factory which accommodates cats. It was designed for cats. The front door opens into a small vestibule and a second door opens into the cat area. Double doors prevent escapes.
“Because cats are fast,” laughs Tricia. She laughs a lot.
The idea of a cattery came to her while she was living in England. There are catteries in every town there, more common than dog kennels. Hunter visited several and knew that was what she wanted to do.
She had the background. She is a trained veterinary assistant, shelter manager, animal control officer and animal sitter. But it took a while to put the plan in place.
The couple lived in California where Barry, an engineer and builder, became fascinated with the idea and designed and built the Country Cattery. They sold this business and, after a short stint at Wapiti, moved to Reno, Nevada.
There, they rented a commercial building and installed 90 log cat condos. It has been dubbed the Cozy Cattery Boarding Resort Just for Cats. During the 2008 recession, they moved seven cabins from the building into their own homes. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as pet owners turned out to like their feline family around the clock.
They were fortunate enough to sell the house in 2014 and return to Cody, Barry’s hometown. There they built the house of their dreams and that construction included the Hideout Cattery.
Now there are the seven log cat condos in their own section of the house. It has an air exchange system that refreshes the atmosphere every five minutes. It is air conditioned and the large windows fill the space with light. An air freshener outlet is designed to use feliway, a soothing pheromone that mimics that emitted by a mother cat. The room also has calm and soothing music.
But it’s not just about staying calm. Every cat has its inner kitten, and these rambunctious babies have plenty of time to play. Each cat has time to walk around the cattery accompanied by his roommate from the same family. They can climb a specially constructed cat tree, sleep in its padded cribs, and look out the large window for birds, rabbits, or any passing wildlife. Tricia spends this time at the cattery, often cuddling the cats.
“I’ve always loved cats,” she said, again with that infection laugh.
It’s not just the locals who use the business, however. There are currently clients from Omaha, Nebraska, and one who is deployed with the military. Customers find the cattery on the Internet and arrange to take their fur babies on board with the hunters, often for a year or more.
Cats happily live in three-story condos, which have separate levels for the litter box, a feeding area, and a penthouse for dozing and playing.
Because cats are notoriously picky about their food, every human customer brings food or has it shipped directly to the cattery for the duration of the stay through services like Amazon or Chewy.
Tricia is adamant that future residents come to visit the facilities before leaving their beloved pets. This reassures everyone.
The other very strong suggestion she has is that they make arrangements early.
“If you think you’re going to travel, even though the dates aren’t firm yet, give me a call. I can write to you and we can adjust the dates if they change, ”she said. The slots are filling up quickly. There are four cat condos with long-term boarders, leaving only three open for short-term vacationers.