Cattery opens as police officer swaps catching criminals with caring for cats

·2-min read
Emma Turner and Scott Salmon at the Purton Cattery
Emma Turner and Scott Salmon at the Purton Cattery

A SWINDON police officer and lifelong animal lover has opened a cattery in Purr-ton.

Emma Turner spent 10 years with the force as a PCSO in Wroughton but has decided to have a change in career which focuses less on catching criminals and more on caring for cats.

The 37-year-old and her partner Scott Salmon moved to Purton and invested thousands of pounds into building safe and comfortable enclosures in their spacious back garden for 21 domestic cats having a holiday break and rescue cats who are being rehomed.

They opened the business on Wednesday after fostering 150 cats in the last year and a half while volunteering with Cats Assistant Trapping Service and gaining experience at another cattery in the area.

Swindon Advertiser: Emma Turner with Bobby and Ronnie in one of the enclosures
Swindon Advertiser: Emma Turner with Bobby and Ronnie in one of the enclosures

Emma Turner with Bobby and Ronnie in one of the enclosures

Emma said: "I suffer from anxiety and, though I loved working for the police and the community, I struggled with the confinement of the office.

"Sometimes you just need a change and want to go stroke a cat rather than tell someone off for carrying cannabis.

"The goal was to continue with the rescuing and fostering for a while before eventually opening a cattery, but we fast-forwarded through our plans.

"After a decade in the police, I thought I'd seen it all, but some of the rescue situations were horrific. We've dealt with many angry and poorly cats, people's pets are much easier because they just need a little love and attention.

"It's a nice quiet environment, the cats are very relaxed, we have had really good support from the public and already have lots of bookings for the autumn."

Swindon Advertiser: Emma Turner and Scott Salmon in the block for rescue cats
Swindon Advertiser: Emma Turner and Scott Salmon in the block for rescue cats

Emma Turner and Scott Salmon in the block for rescue cats

Scott, 34, is an engineer who spends his spare time helping out with the cattery at home. He refurbished, sanded down and repainted the second-hand blocks so they look and feel brand new.

Each enclosure is for two cats, with a ground floor and 'penthouse' floor, the pets' favourite toys, and a personalised picture hung at the top of each space.

The unvaccinated rescue cats are in a separate enclosure from the domestic ones as they may have health or socialisation issues that require extra attention. There are isolation pens for felines who need to be seen by vets, and an area in the garage for feral rescue kittens before they go to rescue centres.

The couple also look after four of their own cats and five free-range rescue chickens. There are fans and ice packs to keep the cats cool during this unusually hot summer.

Swindon Advertiser: A Purton Cattery guest relaxes in his room
Swindon Advertiser: A Purton Cattery guest relaxes in his room

A Purton Cattery guest relaxes in his room

Swindon Advertiser: One of the rooms in the Purton Cattery
Swindon Advertiser: One of the rooms in the Purton Cattery

One of the rooms in the Purton Cattery

Swindon Advertiser: One of the cats staying at Purton Cattery
Swindon Advertiser: One of the cats staying at Purton Cattery

One of the cats staying at Purton Cattery

Swindon Advertiser: The main block in the Purton Cattery
Swindon Advertiser: The main block in the Purton Cattery

The main block in the Purton Cattery

Swindon Advertiser: Chickens rest among catnip at Purton Cattery
Swindon Advertiser: Chickens rest among catnip at Purton Cattery

Chickens rest among catnip at Purton Cattery