Picture this: you’re sitting down at a lovely neighbourhood cafe, enjoying a hot beverage. Suddenly something warm and furry brushes up against your leg! Usually, this would be cause for alarm, but it’s all par for the course at Meow Cat Cafe (556 Mt Pleasant Road). This cute cafe near Greenrock at Davisville Village combines coffee and cats, so you can get a dose of caffeine and cuteness all at once.
We asked owner Erica Yun what inspired her to open such an adorable business in the heart of Mt. Pleasant Village:
My mom and I love coffee. We were always thinking of opening a small cafe but we didn’t want our cats to stay at home, lonely, without anyone who could care of them during the daytime. So the cat cafe was the solution.
If you’re as curious as a cat about this business concept, you’re not alone! It’s trend that is cropping up all over North America, after becoming popular in Asia. The first cat cafe opened in Taipei, Taiwan in 1998. It became something of a tourist destination. The idea slowly spread and cat cafes began to pop up across South East Asia. A cat cafe is essentially a place where customers can find coffee, companionship and comfort.
The kitties that roam Meow Cat Cafe all belong to Erica and her mother. They are six well-loved and friendly felines who spend most of each day playing with toys and taking catnaps within the cafe. There is a placard on the wall where patrons can learn the name, age and breed of each cat.
It’s not all smooth sailing — customers are expected to follow ground rules to avoid stressing out the cats during their visit.
The most basic rule is that ‘each visitor purchases a drink to stay at our cafe.’
And because this is a cat cafe, the’ happiness and safety of our cats is a priority.
‘Respect the cat’s mood while staying at the cafe.’ Remember this and keep good manners to[ward] my cats, that is all.
Some cat cafes charge a cover, but at Meow, all they ask is that you purchase a drink and respect the animals. There is a more detailed list of rules to observe on the corkboard as you come in. Common sense applies here — don’t disturb sleeping cats, don’t feed them people food, and don’t use flash photography. Visitors are encouraged to read the posted list before they enter. Families are more than welcome, as long as your children can respect the rules.
The atmosphere at Meow Cat Cafe is clean and bright. There are seating arrangements at the front and back. The place is full of cats, but it doesn’t smell like a place that is full of cats! They also carry a variety of cat toys and supplies to bring back to your own cat – but they do ask that you keep your kitty at home. Cats are territorial and introducing new four legged friends can cause stress – and Meow Cat Cafe is all about reducing stress. If the idea of chilling out with a coffee or tea, while petting a cat or two, appeals to you, then you need pay a visit to Meow!
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