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Fat Cats Pet Shop and Travel Tuffies

This month I visited Fat Cats Pet Shop in Torry, owned by Anna and assistant, Ruby, the Springer Spaniel. We talked about the famous picture wall, Ruby’s work/life balance, and the perfect dog diet.

Poppy the Collie

Poppy the Collie


Anna opened Fat Cats pet shop 9 years ago when she was made redundant from a large company after 26 years of service. She admits that the name was probably influenced by the wealthy owners of the corporation she used to work for. At that time the pet shop was split roughly 50/50 between cat and dog supplies, nowadays the cat section has been dwarfed by the demand for dog supplies in Torry.

Fat Cats Pet Shop

Fat Cats Pet Shop


The Pet Wall

The first thing you notice walking in is that you can’t see the walls because they are 100% covered in pictures of customers’ dogs. It was a hobby of Annas that quickly became the best-known feature of her shop. She told me that one of the first things customers do when they get a puppy is come down and get a photo taken for the famous wall and that even if she wanted to stop now, she couldn’t. It’s been going that long that some dogs have 3 generations’ worth of photos. “I think folk get bored of me. I make them wait until I can show them their dog and entire family tree on the wall. Sometimes I can tell their eyes are glazing over but I can’t stop myself, I’m just enthusiastic about it.” Some owners who have since lost their pets even pop by to see their old companion on the wall and remember them.

Lexi, the Staffy, Politely Waiting for a Treat

Lexi, the Staffy, Politely Waiting for a Treat


It’s clear to see how this relationship with customers and their dogs has contributed to the success of her shop, but that’s not why Anna does it. “We don’t really speak to the customer until we’ve petted the dog and given them a sausage. In fact, if the owner leaves the dog in the car, I’ll go out and find them and give them a sausage. They’re always happy to see me, probably because they look at me and just see a giant sausage… now I’m describing myself, I’m a bit of a weirdo!”

Hundreds of Photos on the Pet Wall

Hundreds of Photos on the Pet Wall



Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby

Ruby belongs to Mike, a friend of Annas, and she’s been coming to work with Anna since she was 9 weeks old. When she was younger she was very anxious, so being at the pet shop helped her massively because it’s a social environment but also has a section behind the counter that she can retreat to. When Anna said that it struck me as a great solution to the impending post covid problem of having to go back to the office. If you must go back to a workplace that won’t allow dogs, let someone you trust take them to their work. Lots of puppies over the last 18 months haven’t been given a fair shot at socialising so that could be a great way to get them out and meeting people. Obviously, it would have to be someone you trust but if you can arrange something with a friend even once a week then it’s far better than leaving them at home by themselves. Don’t forget to pack your Travel Tuffie, more on this later on…

Ruby, the Springer Spaniel Behind the Till

Ruby, the Springer Spaniel Behind the Till


I’m not sure who enjoys the other’s company more, Anna or Ruby. “When there are no customers I just sit and brush her, it’s like we both go into this kind of trance”. Ruby is so well known by the locals that once when Mike (her owner) was taking her for a walk, he was stopped and asked “why have you got the pet shop dog?”. There is, of course, a dedicated Ruby section on the pet wall.

The VIP Ruby Framed Section. Travel Tuffie

The VIP Ruby Framed Section


Good Dog Diet

Fats Cats is known mainly for its raw food and Anna is well-read on the subject. A good dog diet is 80% meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ, and that’s what raw food is composed of. It’s also good for their teeth because the bone element helps scrape off plaque. Her advice for fussy eaters, whatever kind of food they’re on, is to not give in too easily if they decide they don’t want to eat it one day. If your dog decides to turn their nose up at the food bowl and you immediately swap it out for something else they’ll get used to that privilege and eventually go off that as well, holding out for something tastier. Continuously pandering to them will lead you to feeding them expensive processed food that isn’t any good for their health. Anna also recommends using a large variety of meats because it keeps it interesting and each meat brings something different.

Kiwi, The German Shepherd, Ready for Tasties. Travel Tuffie

Kiwi, The German Shepherd, Ready for Tasties


Travel Tuffie

If you have a dog with a similar lifestyle to Ruby’s then travelling with a Durasoft Mattress isn’t ideal. After all, they are designed to be heavy-duty and last you a long time wherever they’re kept. That’s why we created the Travel Tuffie, an easy to pack and carry alternative.


Kayne, Extremely Ready for a Treat. Travel Tuffie

Kayne, the French Bulldog, Extremely Ready for a Treat


Supporting Local

Anna couldn’t be better suited to what she does and that’s what has made Fat Cats such a success. She admits that she’ll never be rich because her focus is probably too much on the dogs and not enough on the bank balance. I did suggest that the number of free sausages might be an area of concern profit-wise!

So if you’re in the area, pop into Fat Cats Pet Shop in Torry or look them up on Facebook. If you’re further afield consider supporting a local business like this one for your raw food requirements.

Thanks Anna and Ruby!