The Ascott Makati takes pride in being one of the city’s few pet-friendly establishments, allowing guests to bring their furry friends inside their respective serviced apartments and practically enjoy the same luxuries. But the truth is the property’s friendliness to animals goes beyond that. Did you know its parking space actually provides a home for stray cats?
The Cattery is located at the building’s Basement 3 parking. It’s a project initiated by Ascott Makati to provide shelter for the growing number of cats roaming the area. “Since the pandemic, we’ve noticed that day in and day out, we have more cats crossing from one parking [lot] to another and entering our parking area,” Cecille Teodoro, general manager of Ascott Makati and Somerset Millennium Makati, tells ANCX.
The Cattery is big enough to house at least seven to 10 cats, although there are about 14 cats that frequent the area. It provides the furry creatures comfortable space, food and water, toys, and litter boxes. The “home” was built by the hotel's engineering department using existing materials—with the support of the Ascott staff, Ascott’s social project committee, and Scott Philippines Inc., the company assisting the rest of the Ascott Philippines cluster.
The initiative started when Teodoro was browsing through Pinterest and came across photos of spaces created for cats. She then sent the images to Jacky Gallardo, Ascott Makati’s operations manager, who communicated with the engineering department to bring the idea to life.
According to Teodoro, many have previously raised their concerns for the cats roaming the area, worried they might get run over by passing vehicles. Additionally, some guests and even hotel associates, were already feeding the cats on their own, even before the creation of The Cattery. These motivated Teodoro and company to push through with the project. It was officially launched last July 27.
In June, Ascott Makati met with PAWSsion Project, a non-profit dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming animals in need. It was originally a meeting for another activity but the team took the opportunity to discuss their plan for The Cattery. The Ascott team received assistance from the animal organization with regards how-tos in looking after the community cats and understanding their behavior.
Instead of adopting the cats, the team was advised instead to spay (for females) and neuter (for males) the cats to control their growing number— while still providing the animals with housing and other essentials. Teodoro and company sought the support of CARA Welfare Philippines for the cats’ sterilization. To date, 13 of the 14 cats have been spayed/neutered. The plan is to contact the organization again should there be more cats who will join the com-meow-nity (Sorry, we can’t help it).
For now, all of the cats’ needs, from food and water to toys and litter boxes are provided by Ascott. The housekeeping team is in charge of maintaining The Cattery’s cleanliness while the security personnel ensures vehicles in the parking lot observe the right speed with the help of signages. The marketing team, for their part, is working to come up with reflectorized signages for guests.
The initiative was met with a lot of paw-sitive feedback from guests. Some have even made the habit of visiting the cats during their stay. Ascott Makati is planning to create another Cattery sometime in late August and is looking to adapt the initiative in its 11 other properties this year and in eight more properties next year. Should all of these materialize, that would be a purr-ty impressive accomplishment.
Photos from Ascott Makati's Facebook account