The world’s first cat café was opened in Taiwan all the way back in 1998, and since then the unique attraction has been popping up all over the world, and it looks like New Zealand has finally caught up.
The Cat Lounge is poised to be New Zealand’s first Cat Café, and its founders have a launched a campaign on crowd funding site Kickstarter to get it up and running.
The lounge will be based on the North Shore in Auckland, and according to the project’s profile on the Kickstarter website, it promises to be have a modern fit out and relaxed atmosphere.
The Cat Lounge will be half café, with coffee and baked treats available for purchase, and half “a cat lover’s dream.”
“Huge TV playing movies & the best and funniest cat clips we can find, and of course home to 10 - 15 of the cuddliest, smoochiest cats and kittens around, who we will source from rescue shelters around Auckland,” the profile explains.
The room will be filed with cat toys, scratching posts, fluffy rugs and pillows.
The Cat Lounge’s founders, listed as Mike and Vicky, says, “The welfare of our cats will be our top priority. They will live in our Café and will have regular vet check-ups to make sure they are happy & healthy.”
They say they will work with local cat rescue shelters to only bring suitable cats into the café.
The duo plan to give back to the community by having special days and rates for community groups and clubs, including seniors, people with disabilities, the Blind Foundation, IHC and Cancer Kids. “There are proven health benefits of interacting with cats,” they say.
The Cat Lounge is hoping to be open in July or August this year.
Mike and Vicky say the have reached out to Kickstarter because opening a small business in New Zealand is “no easy task.”
“We have done a lot of the hard work already but there is still some way to go. We are putting our own money into this venture but we are also hoping to raise some donations & pre-sales to try and help with the high cost of opening a business,” they say.
“There will always be challenges trying open a small business, especially with a concept that hasn't been tried in NZ before.”
The team is also looking for potential partnerships with cat food suppliers and local vets, and donations are always welcome.
Currently the project has raised $3,229 of its $35,000 goal, with 81 backers so far.