1. I’ve never heard of a cat cafe…what is it exactly?
We’re so glad you asked! Let us explain…
Basically, a cat cafe is a place where people can come and sip on a cup of great coffee or tea, nibble on a yummy snack, and snuggle with adorable, adoptable kitties. In other words, purrrrrrrr heaven…
The cat cafe concept originated in Taiwan and became popular in Japan soon thereafter, where many apartments do not allow pets. These cat cafes housed the same group of resident cats and provided a destination for people seeking feline companionship and comfort. Cat cafes soon caught on in other areas of the world, and upon reaching North America the concept was modified: instead of housing the same group of cats permanently, why not provide a safe and interactive “cafe foster home” for homeless cats while increasing their exposure to potential adopters who visit the cafe?
2. Just how many cat cafes are out there now?
There are now over 100 cat cafes open across the United States and Canada (never mind the MANY more worldwide!) that have saved countless cats from homelessness and euthanization by fostering them at the cafes and introducing them to their furrever humans. And now, Thunder Bay will officially be making that list!
3. So, you plan to serve food and beverages in the same place that you’re housing cats? Is that even safe?
Trust us, we understand the concern regarding serving beverages/food in the presence of animals. We will be working closely with the Thunder Bay and District Health Unit to design a space that is safe and healthy for both our human guests and our feline residents.
Paws & Purr will essentially be split into two separate main spaces: 1) the cafe side, where beverages and food will be prepared and served to our human patrons, and where merchandise will be displayed and sold; and 2) the kitty lounge, a highly “catified” space where the cats will live in the laps of luxury (pun intended) and our human patrons can visit for kitty cuddles and playtime while enjoying their coffee, if they so choose. For the safety of both the felines and our human patrons, at no time will the cats be allowed to enter the cafe side, and every precaution will be taken to ensure this. However, there will also be seating available on the cafe side for those who wish to relax with their beverages and snacks before being lavished with feline adoration.
4. I can’t wait to visit the cafe! When and where will you be open and located?
We are currently in the process of finding the purrfect location for the cafe. We want to make sure it is easily accessible to our community members, students, etc. Our goal is to open by August 2019. We know, we know! That seems soooo long to wait to get your kitty cuddle on! Trust us, we want to be up and purring as soon as possible…we’re about as patient as a kitty waiting for a can of tuna to be cracked open! But given the unique, “brand-spankin-new” nature of this business concept, the start-up process is going to take a bit more time than usual. Keep checking back (or better yet, sign up with your email address and join us on social media!) for regular updates on our progress and sneak peeks.
5. How many cats will live at the cafe and where will they go overnight?
The number of cats that will be living it up at the cafe will depend on the size of the location we end up choosing. Cats are independent animals, and we want to ensure that they have enough individual space to feel safe and happy. Our hope is to be able to house 10–15 cats at the cafe at any given time. Of course, the number of cats will vary depending on availability from the rescue, adoption rates, etc.
As for sleeping arrangements, the cats will sleep in the kitty lounge at the cafe! You could likely find them curled up in their comfy and cozy beds, perches, shelves, baskets…well, you get the idea! We will essentially be a large foster home for our felines, so they will never be caged or crated, and they get to enjoy the home-like comforts of the cafe until they are adopted by their furever humans.
6. Can I bring my cat to the cafe with me?
While we would love to meet all our patrons’ fabulous felines, we ask that you please do not bring your cats to the cafe. Introducing new cats to one another needs to be done carefully as not all cats readily get along, and this process can be stressful for the cats. Furthermore, we will be working closely with Kitty Kare Feline Rescue to ensure that all cats living at the cafe have a clean bill of health, and therefore we cannot risk introducing potential infectious diseases. But we never get tired of seeing cat selfies!!! So please be sure to share all your cute kitty photos with us when you visit the cafe!
7. Will I be able to bring my kids to the cat cafe?
In order to ensure the safety of our cats as well as your tiny humans, we will be enforcing a minimum age requirement for visiting the cafe. While we understand and appreciate that your kiddos likely engage positively with their pet cats at home, both cats and children can be unpredictable in new and unfamiliar settings, and safety is our priority. We will be choosing our age limit based on the requirements set forth by our insurance company, and will update this information as it becomes available.
8. What if I'm allergic to cats?
Not to worry! We will have a full-service cafe with lots of comfortable seating that is completely separate from where the cats live. The two areas will be separated by a glass wall for your comfort (and viewing pleasure), along with two secured doors to ensure that no feline friends can enter the cafe side of the building. No cats will ever be transferred through the cafe side, so you should not have any allergy issues in that space.
9. Can I surrender my cat to Paws & Purr Cat Cafe?
Unfortunately, we are not a rescue, rather a large foster home for felines. All our cats will come from our adoption partner, Kitty Kare Feline Rescue, who will carefully screen our cats to ensure that they are suitable for the cafe lifestyle. We recommend reaching out to Thunder Bay’s other local feline animal rescue organizations:
City of Thunder Bay Animal Services
Thunder Bay & District Humane Society
Caring Hearts Cat Rescue and Sanctuary
10. How will the adoption process work?
Since Paws and Purr will be acting as a foster home, all adoption paperwork and approvals will be done directly through our rescue partner, Kitty Kare. We will have adoption applications available at the cafe that we’ll be happy to forward to the rescue, or you can contact Kitty Kare directly. However, please remember to keep in mind that while our gorgeous feline friends can be quite purrsuasive, adoption should truly be a furever commitment. Check out the following link for some adoption tips and tricks: Click Here