Vancouver’s first cat cafe comes one step closer to reality!

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Cat cafés have become increasingly popular all over the world. And, as reported on this blog last year, Vancouver will soon have its own.

According to Michelle Furbacher, the woman who has been leading the charge in turning this idea into reality, she recently received a building permit for a location in International Village Mall (88 W. Pender St.). On the catfe.ca blog, she writes that she expects the new business to open sometime in October.

So what, exactly, is a cat café?

Well, at catfe.ca, Furbacher recently posted an account of The Ultimate North American West Coast Cat Cafe Road Trip. Her trip included stops in Portland (Purringtons Cat Café), Oakland (Cat Town Café) and San Jose (The Dancing Cat).

Meanwhile, this blogger recently returned from Southeast Asia. In Thailand, we were lucky – or crazy – enough to visit two cat cafés: the Purr Cat Café in Bangkok and Catmosphere in Chiang Mai (northern Thailand).

Located on a quiet residential street, the Purr Cat Café opens daily at 11 a.m. – we were early! After waiting five minutes for them to open, we took our shoes off (one of the rules) and washed our hands (another rule) before heading into kitty central.

We were expecting to find rescued Bangkok street cats, just this side of feral. But what we found were 44 healthy-looking animals, including a number of Persians. The house itself has been thoroughly catified, with catwalks and bookshelves with holes for the critters to climb in and through. In fact, it seemed that not a square foot of the room hadn’t been altered in some way to accommodate the furry beasts.

The focus for visitors is a main room, where floor cushions make it easy to meeting the cats. Another area (which would be a dining room if humans lived there), as well as a gift shop, are likewise ruled by the four-legged residents.

There is no cover charge, but patrons are expected to order a beverage (coffee, tea, pop) and a dessert-type item. Purr Cat Cafe is owned by a Thai actress, Rattanarat Uataweekul, star of a sitcom called Jood-nud-pob (Meeting Point).

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Purr Cat Cafe, Bangkok.

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Purr Cat Cafe, Bangkok.

Catmosphere, located off a main road in Chiang Mai, is smaller than the Purr Cat Café, and has a science-fiction theme (on the website, it’s referred to as “the first global space cat café franchise”). Like Purr, guests are encouraged to sit on the floor to better interact with the star attractions. The café also hosts movie screenings nightly (Sunday night is “sci-fi,” Monday is “horror classics,” etc.). Or you can bring your own movie to “watch in the company of our cats.” We arrived too early for a screening, but we did catch some cats in action.

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Our visits to the Thai cat cafés whetted our appetite for more. We’re looking forward to what Furbacher has in store at Vancouver’s first (and only the second in Canada) cat café.

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2 Responses to Vancouver’s first cat cafe comes one step closer to reality!

  1. Maurine

    Can’t wait. Make sure we know when it opens

  2. tomq

    woof! woof! my dog is looking forward to having a cafe where he’s welcomed, too!