Quietly tucked in Metropolitan Square in Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya is Catzonia, which was founded by Muhammad Syahir Zainal in 2015. When his cat-boarding business started, Catzonia was based in Flora Damansara just down the road, with a somewhat different concept.

“We started in 2015 in Flora Damansara with a different concept — a wooden one — as we thought that cats were happier in more natural surroundings. However, we found that it was very challenging to maintain wooden facilities.

“So we decided to work around the concept and level it up a little to the VIC (very important cat) concept that you see today,” he tells

“The design we have provides a ‘homey’ feel,” adds Syahir who is an engineer.

Syahir relocated Catzonia to Damansara Perdana in December last year to a corner shop unit in the mixed development of Metropolitan Square. He used his expertise as an engineer to work out a better ventilation and air-conditioning system with his team of six to integrate it with the loft design of the unit. He also added a mezzanine floor.

“We have 35 ‘rooms’ which can fit up to 200 cats, as there are owners who have more than one cat,” he notes, adding that the VIC room (at RM69.90 per night) is the customers’ favourite. Room rates at Catzonia start from RM25 and can go up to RM150 per night.

Syahir plans to open five cat hotels this year within the Klang Valley as well as in the northern and southern regions of Peninsular Malaysia.


So what makes Catzonia a five-star cat hotel?

Besides having different categories of rooms akin to a real hotel for cat owners to choose from — ranging from economy to super VIC — Catzonia also provides grooming services.

Moreover, some of the rooms are equipped with closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) so that cat owners can watch and check on their beloved felines from their smartphones.

According to Syahir, more than 40% of Catzonia’s customers are frequent travellers.

“The biggest challenge for us in running a cat hotel is to capture a niche market, which is the luxurious and personalised or very important person (VIP), or in this case VIC, market.

“So far, we have captured a few celebrity customers and to have them endorse our business has definitely helped us a lot,” says Syahir.


This story first appeared in pullout on May 5, 2017. Download pullout here for free.

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