Cat Town Cafe

A collaboration between Cat Town and the Cat Man of West Oakland to bring Oakland its very own Cat Cafe.
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Adam Myatt
Email Verified
Animals
Oakland, California
United States
2 Team Members

Hello!

Welcome to the IndieGoGo Campaign for the Cat Town Cafe & Adoption Center! This project is a collaboration between Cat Town founder Ann Dunn, and Adam Myatt [aka the Cat Man of West Oakland, founder of Hoodcats] who had both read about the mythical Cat Cafes of Japan, and thought that the Bay Area, particularly Oakland, would be a great home for this fun and very odd idea. Our goal is to provide a fun and social environment for adoptable cats (and people), while relieving some pressure and freeing up some much needed space at Oakland Animal Services (Oakland’s municipal animal shelter) and bringing a brand new experience to the people of Oakland, and the rest of the Bay Area.

One of the latest Cat Town cats, "Reddick" going from OAS to a foster home.

Cat Town is a non-profit cat rescue organization that specializes in finding great homes for cats who would otherwise be euthanized at the shelter because they are scared there. Since Cat Town's founding in 2011, it's been a goal of Ann's to open a Cat Sanctuary here in Oakland, and now with this new partnership, the time is right! Between Ann, and the other amazing volunteers at Cat Town and OAS, we'll make sure we get the right cats for this playful and very social environment. We've got lots of great ideas and plans, and with your help, they'll become a reality!

Here's Mr.Moo, hiding in his litter box at OAS. Then Mr.Moo again with his new human companion Lauri, who adopted him through Cat Town!

Opening a business like this will come with a lot of challenges, here's what we feel are our top three, and how we're preparing for them!

1. Space/Rent - As you know, the Bay Area is not a cheap place to live in or open a business, especially one as specialized as this. Luckily, we've been able to partner with Bay Area retailer, Pet Food Express, who are willing to help us finance the part of the project that involves cat adoptions! They've got several different adoption centers and donate to rescue groups all across the Bay Area. However, they've never dealt in human food before, which is where YOU come in. We've got the main backing to keep a roof over our animal's heads and food in their bellies, but we need funding to make a comfortable cafe environment for both our cats, and cat-loving-people. Having a company as established as Pet Food Express in our corner will definitely aid in the speed of finding our home.

2. Health codes/zoning - We've met with and showed our initial rough draft plans to the Alameda County Health Department & City Of Oakland’s Zoning Department, and have shown them that we (a.) won't be doing any food preparation on site. We'll have a limited coffee/tea/cold drink selection, and will be bringing in pastries/bagels/snacks from outside vendors; and, (b.) there will be strict separation between the cafe side of things and the Cat Zone. As you can see in our rough design, there will be a hand sanitation station between the two spaces, as well as separate bathrooms and cleaning areas for the cafe and a separate cat-litter-box-room. Below is a top down look at an initial design, to give an idea of what our layout will potentially be.

3. What it takes to run a Cat Cafe - Running a Cat Cafe isn't quite the same as running a normal Cafe, so in March, the Cat Man goes to Japan! Adam will be taking a trip across the sea to go check out first-hand how some of the original Cat Cafes are owned and operated, as well as visit the two feral Cat-Islands on the eastern and western sides of the country. There, he'll talk to shop owners about the ups and downs of running a Cat Cafe, and hopefully pick up some tips and design ideas to bring back here to the states. He'll be documenting the trip all along the way (with video, photo, and blog posts), and compiling a photo-book, that you'll be able to choose as a reward!

FAQs - 

Feel free to send us any questions you've got to cafe@cattownoakland.org, we'll be updating this space as we receive more questions.

  1. Q. What's a Cat Cafe, and where are they? A. Cat Cafes are places where people go to hang out, have a drink, and of course, observe and play with cats! The first Cat Cafe started in Taiwan, and they are quickly spreading all over the world. Japan probably has the most Cat Cafes in operation right now, with cafes popping up in Germany, Hungary, Spain, Paris, London, and now the USA! There have been several attempts to bring Cat Cafes to the US, and we feel between our partnerships with Pet Food Express, Oakland Animal Services, and YOU, we'll put Oakland on the map as the first Cat Cafe in the USA!
  2. Q: Are the cats adoptable? A: Yes! All Cat Town Cafe cats will be adoptable, the cafe is sort of a fun buffer space and socializing zone for the cats. We'll be posting updates to our blog when cats get adopted, and as new cats are brought into the cafe. Every adoption means we can get another cat out of the shelter!
  3. Q: Where will your cafe be? A: We're currently looking into spaces between North Oakland, Piedmont, Uptown, and Jack London Square. 
  4. Q: Will it cost money to go in? A: No, we won't be charging to hang out in our cafe, we will, however, be implementing a time limit (and have a suggested-donation-station). We'll be using a guest-pager system/app to enforce this, sorta like when you go to a crowded restaurant and have to check in to wait for a table. You can hang out in the cat-free side of the cafe while you wait, or go run errands and we'll notify you as it becomes your turn to visit the cats.
  5. Q: What will the time limit be? A: During what we're considering will be peak hours (most nights & weekends), it will be between 60-90 minutes. During non-peak hours, it will be 90 - 120 minutes. We want the space to be a comfortable place for people to come and spend a bit of time, and don't want to have so many people coming in and out that it overwhelms our cats.
  6. Q: How many cats will you have, and where will they be from? A: We anticipate having a rotating group of 6 - 12 cats (mostly depending on the final size of the space. We'll be working with cat behaviorists to make sure whatever we do is great for the cats). All of our cats will come from Oakland Animal Services (OAS), Oakland's city shelter. Cat Town has an existing partnership with OAS and already gets all its cats from there. We'll be working with a small staff to run the cafe, and a group of volunteers to keep patrons and the cats company during regular business hours.
  7. Q: Will there be cages? A: Absolutely not! Cat Town's mission is to get cats out of cages. The Cat Town Cafe is meant to be an open, fun, and safe space for them.
  8. Q: What will your hours be? A: This is yet to be determined, but we'r  e anticipating somewhere between 10 or 11am to 8pm
  9. Q: What if you don't get your funding? A: Regardless of where we end up with our funding, we'll still be able to make the Cat Town Cafe happen! We've secured some extra funding via Cat Towns partnership with Maddie's Fund, who gives grant money to Cat Town for every cat they get adopted. While Cat Town uses the majority of that money on the cats they care for, we're setting a little aside to build up a little financial safety net.
  10. Q: I want to volunteer! How can I help? A: We'd love to talk to you! Please drop us a line at cafe@cattownoakland.org
Find This Campaign On
$40,695USD
raised by 574 people in 1 month
68% funded
0 time left
Verified Nonprofit
$60,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on March 8, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Featured
    Cat Town Cafe Drink Ticket

    A pre-paid drink ticket, useable for any drink (hot or cold) once we've opened our doors to the general public!

    31 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $2USD
    Cat Town Cafe Cam

    A thank you and special link to our Cat Cafe Cam that will be live streaming for backers once we start our 'soft-open' sessions so you can check out the Cat Town Cafe no matter where you are in the world!

    25 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $15USD
    Cat Town Cafe Drink Card

    #3 A Cat Town Cafe Drink Card good for 12 coffee or tea drinks!

    95 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $20USD
    Cat Town Cafe Mug Pack

    #4 A Cat Town Cafe mug, stickers, and 1 drink voucher.

    77 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $30USD
    Cat Town Cafe T-Shirt Pack

    #5 A Cat Town Cafe t-shirt, stickers, and 1 drink voucher.

    59 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $30USD
    Pop-Up Cafe

    On Saturday 3/8 we'll be hosting a Cat Town Cafe & Adoption Center Pop-Up from 11am - 4pm! The first 40 people who choose this perk, will get a complimentary coffee, bagel, and 15 minutes of play time in our kitten zone! We'll e-mail backers with a print at home ticket that you'll have to bring to redeem your snacks and play time, and be scheduling visit times via e-mail. The kitten zone will rotate with groups of 3-4 people every half hour (15 mins. "on" and 15 mins. "off").

    9 out of 40 claimed

    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $40USD
    Cat Man goes to Japan Book

    #6 A photo-book from the Cat Man of West Oakland featuring photo's from his upcoming trip to the Cat Cafes of Japan, and the feral cat-islands on the eastern and western sides of the country. Plus 2 drink vouchers and stickers.

    14 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $50USD
    1 "Soft-Opening" Ticket

    #7 A special invitation to an hour long 'soft-opening' visit. We'll schedule a date & time for small groups of backers to come in and help get the first batch of cats acquainted with the space before our grand opening. Plus free drinks, snacks, and stickers!

    63 out of 150 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $75USD
    Cat Town Cafe Sweatshirt

    #8 A combo, including a Cat Town Cafe hooded sweatshirt, stickers, and a CTC Drink Card good for 12 coffee or tea drinks.

    36 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $100USD
    Cat Town Cafe Combo Pack

    #9 A combo, including a Cat Town Cafe t-shirt and mug, a copy of the "Cat Man goes to Japan" photo-book, stickers, and a CTC Drink Card good for 12 coffee or tea drinks.

    27 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $150USD
    Sponsor a Cat Town Cafe Cat!

    #10 Sponsor a Cat Town Cafe cat! Your funding will help provide food, vet care, and waive the adoption fees for a Cat Town Cafe cat. You'll receive an 8x8 print of the cat you sponsor, as well as an invitation for you and a guest to a scheduled 'soft-opening' event, and a CTC Drink Card good for 12 coffee or tea drinks.

    34 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $200USD
    Cat Town Cafe Sweatshirt Combo

    *newly added perk* A combo, including a Cat Town Cafe Hooded Sweatshirt, mug and stickers, a copy of the "Cat Man goes to Japan" photo-book, 2 Drink Cards good for 12 coffee/tea drinks each, and 1 ticket to one of our 'soft-opening' events!

    5 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $300USD
    Private Group "Soft-Opening"

    #11 We'll schedule a private, 90-120 minute 'soft-opening' session for you and your closest crazy-cat-loving-friends (up to 7 other people!), with drinks and snacks provided for all. Plus you (the backer) will also get a Cat Town Cafe t-shirt, mug, stickers, and a CTC Drink Card good for 12 coffee or tea drinks

    8 out of 25 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $500USD
    Year Long Membership

    *new perk* A year long Cat Town Cafe membership card which gives you priority check-in for you and a guest, a CTC Drink Card good for 24 drinks, and an invitation to a 'soft-opening' session for you and a guest. You'll also receive a Cat Town Cafe T-Shirt, Mug, "Cat Man goes to Japan" Photo Book, and stickers.

    3 out of 20 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $750USD
    Sponsor a Litter of Kittens

    *new perk* Your funding will help provide food, vet care, and waive the adoption fees for a mama cat, and her litter of kittens. You'll receive an 8x8 print of the kittens you sponsor, as well as an invitation for you and a guest to a scheduled 'soft-opening' event, a year long membership card, and a CTC Drink Card good for 12 coffee or tea drinks.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Build a Crane Play Structure

    Part of our inspiration for play/sleep structures is the Port of Oakland Cranes, you'll provide the funds for the building of one of these structures, and get naming rights for the crane (i.e. Port of 'insert your name here')! You'll also get a year long CTC Membership card, 2 CTC Drink Cards good for 12 drinks each, and an invitation to a 'soft-opening' for you and a guest. You'll also receive a CTC Shirt, Mug, "Cat Man" Photo Book, and stickers!

    1 out of 5 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $2,500USD
    Build a part of the Skyline

    Another piece of inspiration for play structures is the Downtown Oakland Skyline. For this perk you'll directly fund the building of one of these structures (we'll co-ordinate with you on which building), and place a special plaque on the structure you fund! You'll also get a year long CTC Membership, 2 CTC Drink Cards good for 12 drinks, and an invitation to a 'soft-opening' for you and a guest. You'll also receive a CTC Shirt, Mug, "Cat Man" Photo Book, and stickers!

    1 out of 6 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $5,000USD
    Lifetime CTC Membership Card

    This perk will get you a Lifetime Cat Town Cafe Membership Card, which gives you priority check-in for you and a guest, a CTC Drink Card good for 24 drinks, and an invitation to a 'soft-opening' session for you and a guest. We'll hang a thank you plaque in the cafe, and name one of our incoming cats after you! You'll also receive all the CTC merch that we've got in the works >^. .^<

    1 out of 12 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
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