MEET THE OWNER
After a successful career in data processing, Anne Klein followed her passion for felines and opened Backdoor Friends Cat Shoppe on November 22, 1997. The idea of combining a luxury boarding facility with a cat-themed boutique became a reality after eight years of part-time entrepreneurial operations. . Since opening day, the cat hotel has housed hundreds of felines with numerous needs and personalities. Her staff is proficient in dispensing medications and offers care for diabetic cats and cats requiring subcutaneous fluids. Most importantly, however, all staff members are passionate about the hotel guests.
After one year of business, Anne helped organize a 501©(3) corporation dedicated to rescuing homeless and displaced cats. To date, hundreds of cats have found permanent homes through Backdoor Friends Purebred Rescue.
Anne Klein, Owner
Backdoor Friends, Inc.
Q: How did you get interested in cats? How old were you when you had your first kitty?
A: I grew up in a household that always had at least one animal. We had several cats and a poodle that dominated my elementary school years. In addition, we had parakeets, turtles and even one alligator. By the time I moved away from home, I was well versed with taking care of pets. My first cat as an adult was named Monkey because she crawled up my legs and back like a little monkey so she could be held. She was the love of my life and lived until she was almost 19 years old.
Q: Please describe your facility and what is available there.
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A: I own Backdoor Friends Cat Shoppe in Farmington Hills, Michigan. It is a luxury cat hotel and a retail boutique which offers cat themed giftware and cat toys and supplies. The hotel is very unique in that we only board cats and we do not use cages. We have individual rooms for each family of cats that are themed decorated. The hotel has sixteen rooms and each one is designed for felines to ensure a comfortable visit. The rooms surround a play area which has cat trees, toys and the latest cat video. Each guest is given time in the play area during the day. We also offer a variety of spa services for our guests such as foam shampoos, conditioning comb-outs, zoom groom massages, and toenail clipping. The retail portion of my store has a variety of toys including a vast selection of catnip toys and wand toys. We also have a nice selection of cat themed clothing, paper goods, and giftware.
Q: What was the inspiration for the cat hotel?
A: Several years ago I visited a small cat shop in Houston which featured a very small boarding area for cats next to their retail area. This was my introduction to the concept of boarding cats. Once I decided to leave my career in data processing, I designed my own version of a cat hotel. I love cat products so having the gift store attached was a natural choice for additional revenue.
Q: Do you think that cat hotels could exist throughout the USA and worldwide?
A: Most definitely! Recent polls indicate that more people own cats than dogs. Since people are more active than ever, cats are an ideal choice of pets. Pet owners are spending more time and money to ensure their pets a healthy and happy life. Cat owners are very loyal to their pets and love buying cat related items for themselves and their cats. Pet resorts have been growing in popularity around the country. These resorts are, however, designed mainly for dogs. I wanted to create a resort hotel for the comfort of cats. I think that a Backdoor Friends Cat Shoppe would do well in any city where there are people who own cats.
Q: What are some of your biggest challenges at the Backdoor Friends Cat Shoppe?
A: During our peak season which are holidays and summer, out biggest challenge is accommodating all our guests. We routinely have a waiting list for the busy times. I do everything I can to find space for all our regular guests.