Did you know, Toronto is home to over 100,000 stray cats? Shelters across the city are overflowing with amazing felines who are waiting to find a loving, nurturing "forever" home.
Our city is also overflowing with kind, generous people who would love nothing more than to spend time enjoying the company of some sweet cats.
Kitty Cat Café wants to bring them together, in what will be one of the most exciting new ventures to hit Toronto's already-vibrant café culture.
I'm intrigued! Tell me more.
Kitty Cat Café will be a space where animal lovers can get their caffeine and kitty fix all at once. You can hang out with friends (two legs or four), work, study, enjoy free WiFi, or just relax...all in the company of furry felines.
We're also planning ongoing special events, like Cat's Pyjama's movie nights, talks by veterinarians and animal nutrition and behaviour specialists, and Litter-ature nights through the Dundas West Animal Hospital, where kids can read books to cats!
Cat Cafés have proven insanely popular all over the world, including Japan, Taiwan and the UK. Canada is poised to open cat cafés in Vancouver and Montreal.
Many cat cafés have turned to crowd funding to help with start-up costs. Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium in the UK raised over $108,000 pounds!
Kittea in San Francisco exceeded their goal of $50,000US dollars.
Our goal is $60,000 and with your help, when we reach it, EVERYONE who has contributed to our campaign will receive a Kitty Cat Café canvas bag AND will have their name posted on a permanent poster at the café.
It's time for Toronto to be a part of the cat café movement!
Here's what some of the press had to say about us when we first introduced our idea a few months back.
(Note: Smitten Kitten Café has been changed to Kitty Cat Café.)
CTV News "The new culture of Cat Cafés"
Toronto Star "The perfect business for Toronto"
Canadian Living "Toronto to get its first cat café in 2014"
Aren't the cats better off in shelters?We want to make one thing clear: the volunteers and employees of our city's shelters do an AMAZING job of loving and caring for all of the wonderful cats and kittens waiting to be adopted. The goal of the Kitty Cat Café is to provide another route to adoption, in an entertaining and relaxing environment. Maybe you don't have time or space in your life for a cat, but you love watching them play. Maybe you miss your kitty and want to pop in for a fur-fix. Maybe you're looking to add to your family but need some one-on-one time. Or, maybe you just love cats and coffee, and are tired of having to choose!
Kitty Cat Café respects all animals and we are driven by our love for cats. Our philosophy is CAT first, meaning we are doing this for the cats. We will not exploit the cats for profit or use them for forced entertainment and amusement. The cats at the café will live like kings and queens. It's no surprise they will rule the house!
Think of Kitty Cat Café as your living room but with cute cats all around... and a superb cup of coffee in the mix.
Where will the cats come from?
We couldn't do this without our fantastic partners at TEAM Cat Rescue.
They're a non-profit, volunteer and foster based cat rescue organization in Toronto that assists and rescues displaced cats that find themselves homeless, either in a high kill shelter or on the streets. The cats at the café will be from Toronto and will not be feral. They will be social, adoptable and ready for some love!
Rest assured, every cat will be screened by a veterinarian prior to entering the café. They will also receive regular veterinarian check-ups.
Together with TEAM Cat Rescue, Kitty Cat Café will host monthly adopt-a-thon's, showcasing additional furry felines looking for forever homes.
What will the space be like?
Kitty Cat Café will be located in Toronto's central, west end. We are in the process of securing a space near U of T, where all of the action is.
The comfort, safety and health for both cats and people are our #1 priority. Kitty Cat Café will work with a shelter hygiene specialist through the Royal Canin Shelter Program, to ensure an optimal environment is provided for cats and people.
To comply with the City of Toronto's food safety regulations, the café area and the cat common area will be two completely separate spaces, with separate entrances.
CAT CAFE AREA: this is where you can purchase your goodies, merchandise and take a break from kitty love.
CAT COMMON AREA: this is where all of the action is. Cat furniture, iPads, cat treats and cat toys will be there for the enjoyment of our furry companions. Books, WiFi, televisions and comfortable seating will be there for your enjoyment. The cats will also have a human-free zone to retreat to when they need their space.
You can take your purchased goodies into this space, we just can't serve them to you.
Why should I go?
Did you miss the part about the adorable, friendly, cuddly cats??? But seriously, when you visit the Kitty Cat Café, you'll help bring awareness to Toronto's homeless cat problem. You may even learn something new about cat ownership. Ideally, you'll find your furry companion and give a misfit kitty a forever home. Regardless of your purpose of visit, you will be improving a cat's life and even your own, with all the affection these kitties have to give.
Where is my money going and what happens if you don't reach your goal?
Your generosity will go directly towards the start-up costs of the business.
For the cats: Renovations for an optimal kitty experience, human free cat zones, ventilation systems, litter area, cat furniture, interior design
For the café: Renovations, café equipment, permits, plumbing, furnishings, wifi, furniture, televisions and iPads, licenses, legal fees, salaries, signage, rent, utilities.
This list is endless!
In exchange for your donation, you'll receive an awesome perk (and good karma).
Don't forget, once we meet our goal, EVERYONE who has made a contribution will receive a Kitty Cat Café canvas bag AND will have their name on a permanent poster at the café.
Check out some of our perks below. T-shirts can be ordered in any size and colour. The front features the adorable Kitty Cat Café logo. The back can be blank or can include a kitty quote such as "People who hate cats come back as mice in their next life."
We are here TO STAY. Kitty Cat Café will open regardless if our goal is met but your help will be greatly appreciated!
Any amount helps. If you cannot make a monetary contribution, please share our link with your network so we can get the word out and gain more support.
C'mon...do it for the cats!
Who is behind Kitty Cat Café?
I can't even think of a time in my life when animals weren't a part of it. I come from a family of animal advocates and have been a cat lover since birth. My mother is fond of recounting tales of waking me up in the morning as a small child, only to find me curled up in a ball at the bottom of the bed. Our two cats and dog were found asleep on my pillow and in the middle of the bed. I would do anything to make sure their comfort came first. This attitude has stuck with me through my adult years.
Over the past 15 years, I've fostered cats through the Annex Cat Rescue and have also independently rescued, had spayed/neutered and adopted out over 30 kittens and adult cats. It's been costly but you have to remember my earlier statistic about the number of kittens a female can can produce. Yikes.
Today my furry feline companions are Wilma and Betty. They are sisters who were rescued from a dumpster. They are adored and spoiled rotten.
I also feed a colony of outdoor feral cats, affectionally known as Moe, Iggy and Iggy's dad.
I believe every cat deserves love, affection and adoration. It's my personal goal to ensure the cats at the Kitty Cat Café receive nothing less.
I can't imagine not having a pet, especially a cat. I'm glad I now have two kitties, Opie and Fig. I am a restauranteur at heart and have started up restaurants in Port Perry and Halifax. I'm a trained chef and not to toot my own horn, my cooking is to die for. When Jennifer approached me about partnering at the Kitty Cat Café, it was a no-brainer for me. I can combine my love for animals AND my passion for food. I couldn't imagine anything better.
Even more press. MEOWSERS!!
MOST RECENT NEWS
CBC radio Cat Café
680 News "Cat café craze hits Toronto"
Torontoist "Rival cat cafés to open in 2014"
MetroNews "Nuthin catty about race for Toronto's first cat café"NEWS FROM WHEN WE FIRST INTRODUCED OUR IDEA
Toronto Life "Toronto cat café"
Huffington Post "Toronto cat café"
BlogTO "Toronto to get a cat café"
Metro News "Toronto to get its own cat café"
Toronto Eater "Toronto to get its first cat café"
Note: Smitten Kitten Café is now called Kitty Cat Café
Cat Café image sourced from Tokyo Cat Café
Central Perk image sourced from TripAdvisor