The Grand Feline Hotel & Salon
Unique Services for Cats
By Deborah Daley
As you may have heard, Omaha has its very own Catwoman. She is not technically a superhero, but for the pets she cares for, along with their families, she is. Jenny Christopherson, the owner of The Grand Feline Hotel & Salon, has found an important service niche: taking care of the unique needs of cats. Jenny’s feline-specific business is thriving! “There is a huge demand for cat grooming,” she says. “Most cat owners were taking their felines to a vet or to a dog groomer. Cats are very territorial and do not feel comfortable in these environments.”
Jenny worked at a veterinary clinic for many years as a vet assistant, learning about cat grooming, cat behavior, and much more. She struck out on her own in September 2011. “I started my business while I was a stay-at-home mom. Business was booming, so I moved to a storefront in 2017. This gave me the opportunity to expand into pet boarding, which was also in high demand. In 2020, I moved to the current location and changed the name of the business to reflect all of our services—grooming, boarding, and retail.” She chose the name The Grand Feline Hotel & Salon because the company is the biggest cat facility in the Midwest, with over 5,500 square feet and 22 boarding suites.
“Our facility is unique in several ways,” Jenny shares. “Cats can be aggressive and scared, so some vets sedate them during grooming. We don’t.” One of the ways they combat this behavior is by scheduling grooming appointments so that cats don’t have to wait around with other animals. “At many other places, pets are just dropped off, and your cat can be in a cage for hours,” she points out.
Cats who board at The Grand Feline Hotel & Salon aren’t stuck in cages, either, Jenny continues. “They get the first-class treatment with their own boarding suite.” (Suites come in four luxurious sizes, and cats from the same family can board together.)
Requests for services are in massive demand, and Jenny now has seven staff members to keep up with their client base. “I started this business in my laundry room, and I can’t believe how it has expanded,” Jenny says. “I think our single focus on making the cat comfortable is why people trust us and use our services. We take a personalized approach, and our customers are like family.”
Jenny’s human clients return the sentiment. Kay Dortman brings her cats Mulligan and Justin to The Grand. She believes it is the best place in the area for cats. “I have been coming to Jenny for 10 years, even before she had her new place,” Kay says. “Jenny really cares about the animals. She handles the cats professionally and with great compassion. She really gets cat owners and their pets.”
Jenny finds the work very rewarding because there just aren’t any other businesses like The Grand Feline Hotel & Salon in the area. “My staff and I get a great feeling when we can help families. Many cats come in with extremely matted fur…when we are done, they purr with satisfaction. Because we are so focused on the individual animal and our boarding is so specialized, we often find other health issues we can tell owners about.” They can administer medications as needed. For health issues encountered during boarding, they work closely with Completely Cat Clinic. Emergencies outside of business hours can be handled by nearby Backlund Animal Hospital or Urgent Pet Care West.
Like many business owners, Jenny faces staffing challenges. “The need for our services is overwhelming!” The popular “lion cut,” which consists of shaving the cat’s body but keeping the hair at the head and tail, is in great demand—often, the demand is so great that customers have long wait times. “We have had to tell new clients who wish to schedule lion cuts that our next appointment is two months out.”
Her advice to others who might want to start their own business is to understand that it doesn’t happen quickly. “It takes many years to grow a business,” she points out. “Don’t expect a lot in the first years! At the beginning, I did a great deal of one-on-one marketing, leaving information at every pet store, vet, and groomer in the area.” At the end of the day, Jenny feels that all the hard work was absolutely worth it. She is thrilled to be able to provide cat owners and their precious pets with the specialized services they need.
The Grand Feline Cat Hotel & Salon is located at 2611 S 159th Plaza, in West Omaha. For more information, visit grandfeline.com or call 402-708-7341.
L-R Shiloh, Sarah, Amanda, Denali (cat), Jenny (Owner), Faith, and Mackenzie