Purfect: Popular cattery reopens under new ownership

Heather and John Chapman have reopened the Garden Cattery in Bunwell. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Heather and John Chapman have reopened the Garden Cattery in Bunwell. Picture: Ella Wilkinson - Credit: Archant

A popular cattery has reopened with new owners in charge of the business.

Heather and John Chapman have reopened the Garden Cattery in Bunwell. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Heather and John Chapman have reopened the Garden Cattery in Bunwell. Picture: Ella Wilkinson - Credit: Archant

Heather and John Chapman have taken over at The Garden Cattery in Bunwell, between Attleborough and Long Stratton, and are now taking bookings for furry friends to stay.

The couple, who met in Norwich and lived together in the city, decided last year to relocate and began searching for properties in more rural parts of Norfolk.

During the house hunt they stumbled upon the hotel for cats, which closed in January having developed an impressive reputation over the course of its previous owners’ 13-year tenure.

And for Mr and Mrs Chapman, both cat lovers, it represented an exciting venture they simply couldn’t turn down.

Heather and John Chapman have reopened the Garden Cattery in Bunwell. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Heather and John Chapman have reopened the Garden Cattery in Bunwell. Picture: Ella Wilkinson - Credit: Archant


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“We were looking for somewhere with more of a countryside feel, and when this came up it was too good to refuse,” said Mrs Chapman, 28.

“The house with the cattery was out of our price range, but we made it happen and considered it a business opportunity. Because of Covid we had all sorts of delays, but we finally moved in four weeks ago.”

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Mr and Mrs Chapman’s next chapter is a step into an entirely new livelihood, with neither having run their own business in the past, let alone a cattery.

But a warm welcome from local people and customers keen to use The Garden Cattery again has eased the transition into unfamiliar territory.

Heather and John Chapman have reopened the Garden Cattery in Bunwell. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Heather and John Chapman have reopened the Garden Cattery in Bunwell. Picture: Ella Wilkinson - Credit: Archant

Last week they received the necessary license to reopen, and the hotel for cats had its first guests over the Bank Holiday weekend.

“It has been wonderful so far,” added Mrs Chapman. “We’ve had a few cats in already and there have been plenty of enquiries.

“When we announced on Facebook we were reopening, we got so many lovely comments and it really cemented that we were doing the right thing.

“People in Bunwell have been so friendly too. We’ve had more communication with them in four weeks than we did in years living in Norwich.”

Heather and John Chapman have reopened the Garden Cattery in Bunwell. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Heather and John Chapman have reopened the Garden Cattery in Bunwell. Picture: Ella Wilkinson - Credit: Archant

To book your cat into The Garden Cattery, call 01953 788387 or email info@thegardencattery.co.uk.

Bookings received by September 30 this year for a stay between now and September 30, 2021, will receive a 10pc reopening discount.

For more information visit thegardencattery.co.uk.

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