Monday, September 20, 2021

Ailing tourism spells hairy times for cat hotels, too

Owners have nowhere to go, which means pets have no need of hotels either.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has continued to wreak havoc on Malaysia’s hotel industry, and not just establishments normally frequented by tourists eager for a change of scenery.

For months, border closures have meant an absence of visitors, both international and domestic, whose travels under normal circumstances would bring in a tidy sum of revenue.

With globetrotting, or even trips to the next district or state, now out of the question, hotels have been suffering badly with knock-on effects on other areas of the hospitality sector as well.

For two years, Izzroy Isahak had taken care of cats whose owners were away on trips or vacations.

For RM25 a night, her cat hotel in Kuala Lumpur would provide air-conditioned units with room service thrown in.

A cat prowls around its unit at the Izzlisha Majesty Cattery.

Every unit would be cleaned on a daily basis with any waste disposed of twice a day to ensure maximum comfort for its feline guests.

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, Izzroy said the Izzlisha Majesty Cattery was once the go-to boarding house for pet owners in search of a place to leave their furry companions during their time out of town.

“But not anymore,” she added.

With Covid-19 restrictions still in place across most industries, her business is now fighting tooth and nail to survive.

Apart from the cat hotel, Izzroy also runs a cat spa and provides grooming services to keep felines’ bad hair days at bay.

“We also sell cat litter products in the shape of tofu,” she said. “Thankfully the sales have helped us stay afloat. At least we can make a little to cover the declining hotel business.”

When the Covid-19 crisis first hit, she said, the cat hotel had been able to limp along.

“We would still get maybe five or six cats sent to us,” she said.

But with the lockdown came a host of restrictions that all but put paid to the struggling business.

With revenue on a downward spiral, Izzroy tries to remain positive.

“I hope the pandemic ends soon,” she said. The survival of her business, like that of countless others, depends on it.

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