Club Cat Hotel & Resort for Felines
It's the Cat's Meow
By Kathy Hosler
Photos by Mily Cooper Photography
“I admit it,” says Shana Martin with an infectious grin, “I am a lifelong cataholic and I’m proud of it. Cats have enriched my life since I was a baby.”
Shana is the founder and owner of Club Cat, a boutique luxury feline–only hotel and resort. They opened their doors in early 2019.
Cats have always been an integral part of Shana’s life. When she had to go away on business or wanted to take a vacation, she stressed about who would care for her cats.
“I had a great neighbor, but she was not always available when I needed her,” says Shana. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have family nearby to help me out.
“Hiring a pet sitter wasn’t an option either because I never felt comfortable giving a complete stranger access to my home and personal belongings. And, I didn’t want to put my babies in a facility where they would just be kept in a small cage, and possibly be exposed to the constant noise of strange, barking dogs.”
Studies have overwhelmingly revealed that cats crave human interaction. Being gone for a week and leaving your cat alone with food, water and three litter boxes just doesn’t cut it.
Shana knew that, and dreamed of opening a cat–only luxury hotel someday. When she went on business trips, she would visit cat hotels and boarding facilities in those areas. That gave her ideas of all the things she wanted to include in her cat resort. Soon, Shana began to design the facility of her dreams—Club Cat.
“I did not want the cats to be in cages,” Shana shares emphatically. “I wanted them to be in very large suites, with walls—not bars. I did not want to go cage–free either. That presents too many chances for disease transmission or a cat fight. And, I personally would never want my cats to be with cats that they didn’t know.
“It was a lengthy process to find the right location,” says Shana. “It needed to be easily accessible, convenient and centrally located. We found a great spot in Irvine, California. It’s two miles from the John Wayne Airport, near many freeways, and right next to the Southern California Specialty Veterinary Hospital.”
Club Cat’s unique suites have been designed just for cats. Each suite is eight feet tall which allows the cats to pursue their natural desire to explore vertically. And each has an enclosed sky–box balcony.
The fifteen large suites are 8′ x 3 ½’ x 3½’, and the five deluxe suites are 8′ x 5½’ x 3½’. They each have a private bed and bath (litter box) and several shelves and ledges for climbing and exploring.
Shana, who is a freelance writer, wanted Club Cat to have a literary theme.
“Cats and books just really go together,” she says. “Curling up by the fire with a good book and a cat on your lap, what could be better than that?”
Shana decided to combine her passion for cats and literature by using cat-themed puns to name the suites. Romeow and Juliet, A Tail of Two Kitties, Catterpurry Tails and The Great Catsby are a few of the suites available.
Technology enables the feline guests to enjoy their vacation, and their owners to have peace of mind and stay connected with their precious kitty. Feline guests are treated to CatFlix, cat friendly programming that is streamed on flat-screen TV’s. And each suite has CatCast, a live webcam so that the cat parents can view their kitty 24/7. An owner can be enjoying themselves on a beach somewhere, and not have to worry about their cat. They can check in on him/her anytime on the webcam. If just watching their fur kid is not enough, owners can schedule a CatChat by phone or mobile device using Face Time.
Guests even get to enjoy Happy (Club Cat) Hour during their stay. Club Cat has a large salon play area, complete with toys and climbing structures that can be enjoyed by one cat family at a time. It is sanitized between each play date.
The resort features amenities such as Pawi–cures, Derrière trims and calming therapy, as well as a nightly purr–down service. And, all throughout the day the staff members share lots of cuddles and play time with their guests.
An easy to navigate website and social media presence are crucial to a business’s success. Club Cat’s website, www.clubcatusa.com, allows visitors to tour their amazing facility and view their suites. All of their services and amenities are listed on the website and owners can select them when they book their pet’s reservation online.
“I’ve worked in corporate and non–profit marketing for many years,” says Shana. “So I realize how important it is. Today, social media, and online and digital marketing pretty much dominate our industry, particularly retail. While social media is a great tool, small businesses still need to be strategic with their media promotions. For us, there is nothing better than word–of–mouth advertising from a satisfied client.”
When Shana visited other facilities, she paid close attention to their staff and how they treated her. Did they make eye contact? Was she greeted as soon as she entered the lobby?
“I don’t care what industry you are in, customer service is number one! We are taking care of beloved members of the family,” says Shana. “It’s important to me to hire people who are customer service savvy. When a client comes through our doors, I want them to feel that their needs and wants, and certainly those of their cats, are of the utmost importance to us.”
Club Cat was founded to fill a niche that cats and their owners have needed for a long time—a place that they can turn to that gives them comfort and where they really know they don’t have to worry about their cat.
“Cats are very important parts of our lives and give us such happiness,” says Shana. “They deserve as much from us.”
Thanks to Shana Martin, everyone at Club Cat is a specialist in The Art