GLASGOW’S first dedicated cat-sitting business is to expand into Edinburgh and Ayrshire due to growing demand for the home visit service.

Candyfloss Cats was launched by former model and artist Emily Devine in 2009 when the only other option for pet owners going on holiday was a reliable neighbour or a stress-inducing trip to the cattery.

What started out as a ‘pocket money’ hobby for Emily is now a five-star rated business which boasts around 1500 clients and a staff list of 14, who are all trained in feline first aid.

As well as feeding and clearing out litter trays, Emily and her sister Lucy’s team of ‘cat concierges’ also water plants, take out the rubbish and administer plenty of cat TLC of “games, cuddles and love.”

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Emily, who recently moved from Glasgow to Maybole in Ayrshire, says:”We had been saying for a while that we need to expand but it’s that whole thing that you don’t want to lose the quality of the service.

“Handing over a franchise to a stranger is such a risk so we just didn’t do it.

East Kilbride Connect:

“But with me moving down here and Lucy’s manager Becky moving to Edinburgh we can actually do it now so its worked out perfectly.

“It was just supposed to be a fun pocket money job for me. I was thinking I could do this alongside my art but it became such a money maker that my art kind of disappeared.

“I think the secret to our success is giving out what I would expect back as a pet owner and putting yourself in the customer’s position.

“And also to keep those high standards, even when other people are working for you and not be afraid to say to someone, ‘you didn’t wash this cat bowl.’ We do have very strict quality control.

“You also need to work every single day and keep on top of the five star rating!”

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With a reliable team, Emily now has more time to focus on her art and designs a range of personalised pet products including a collection dedicated to her beloved bull terrier, Kasper (her new home is called Bully Manor.)

Emily, who modelled for designer Christopher Kane during her time on the London catwalks, is also keen that the business has a social conscience. She created a mural featuring some of the hundreds of kittens and cats her team look after to raise funds for the charity Cat Flap.