A COUPLE of cat lovers have turned their passion into a business, which will see feline friends in the Dorset area cared for in the comfort of their own home.

Poundbury residents Paula and Carl Steffensen have launched the Cat Butler Dorchester, a unique business which delivers cat sitting services to homes across Dorchester, Poundbury, Weymouth, Sherborne and the surrounding areas.

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Caring for cats in their own homes, trained and vetted 'cat butlers' will visit the pets each day to feed, groom, pamper and fuss over them while their owners are away.

Mrs Steffensen said: "“During lockdown, many families across the country adopted new pets. Between April 2020 and the end of March 2021, the UK cat population alone increased by 63 per cent to 12.2 million.

“As a nation, we absolutely love our pets - we really do dote on them - and spending so much time at home over the last 18 months has made this even more apparent.

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“Our cats have always been happier at home, and this is something that many cat owners will know themselves. They deserve the best, and that’s what we aim to deliver, carefully tailored care in the comfort of the cat’s own home, and peace of mind for owners while they are away.”

The Cat Butler has been operating in other areas of the UK since 2014. The organisation announced plans to expand earlier this year and Mr and Mrs Steffenson have become the company's first franchisees.

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Just weeks after launching the business, the couple say they have been inundated with booking requests, and are already considering expanding their team as demand continues to rise.

Mr Steffensen said: “As the holiday market reopens, the demand for pet care has risen dramatically with many families now struggling to find reputable companies to look after their animals while they are away.”

“The pandemic has also brought about a shift in people’s expectations, with more and more families now seeking in-home care services for their cats.”