The Cat Café Melbourne opens for public on July 30, 2014. It is a day special for many Australian cat lovers and Melbourne visitors. (It is a double-special day for me as it’s my Birthday! The cat café opening is a lovely gift for a cat lady like me.)
Is the Melbourne’s cat cafe worth visiting? Many people expressed a few concerns regarding kids and not being able to adopt cats from the café. I had a privilege to visit the cat café before it opens for public. Here what I have to share with you and I will answer to the common questions people had. (Plus heaps of cat photos from the cat cafe!)
What a delight!
From my experience all cat cafes are different, having something special about each of them. Think of the Melbourne’s Cat Café as of a House of Cats. It is exactly how you should treat the kitties there. You come to see them as a guest in their home.
There are two storeys in the café. The café itself is on the first floor with kitty rooms at the second. It’s a heritage building and if you ever been to one, you know that the building itself makes you feel special.
There are 12 gorgeous cats in the Cat Café – boys and two girls. They are rescue cats adopted from Geelong Animal Welfare Society (GAWS) and Lost Dogs Home. Almost all cats are young, two adult cats.
There is one special cat, who touched my heart straight away, and whom Ozzi Cat and me personally will be sponsoring for the year – it’s a one eyed cat Braveheart – a 5 months old boy who lost an eye to an infection. He is from the Lost Dogs Home shelter. I have a special spot in my heart for special and special needs cats, so my worry that it will be difficult to pick a cat to sponsor (as they are all lovely!) was resolved very quickly once I spotted Braveheart!
And what a lovely surprise – two white cats look like my white cat Musty, and one kitty looks like my Toby! So come and check if any kitty in the cat cafe looks like your cats.
Cats have four rooms and a corridor to welcome you to play with them and enjoy their company. You will need to obey a few simple rules that you will read when you come to the café. This ensures cats safety and that everyone has a joyful relaxing time. (It is a standard procedure in all cat cafes around the world.)
There is a special room “for cats only”, where cats can relax away from the visitors, go to the toilet and eat. For cat lovers – warm rooms, cozy sofas, and fluffy carpets pleasant to sit on, cats, cats, and cats – and you will never want to leave the cat café! (Have I told you to book 2 hours at least?)
You can play with cats – there are plenty of toys. Cats also have scratches, cozy beds, cat trees that look more like cat castles! (I wish I were a cat!). Or you can just relax on a sofa, read a book, Ozzi Cat Magazine, or browse the Internet.
Anita and Myles, the Cat Café owners, did a fantastic job to make it all happen – to bring the cat lovers’ delight to life! They are a very lovely couple. I was really touched by meeting them in person. I encourage you support them as they deserve it. It was also great to meet gorgeous people who helped them along the way.
Q: I don’t like that kids are not allowed to the cat area in the Cat Café. Is it fair?
A: From my view, to ensure cat welfare and safety, the age restriction rule has to be in place in a cat cafe. Think of this as a house with cats. If you have cats at home and somebody comes with kids, you know how stressful it can be for you and the cats, as you need to explain every one how to behave and you need to watch the kids. With 12 cats living in the house, the age restriction is the right choice from the cat welfare perspective.
Q: I love cats and I’m afraid I will want to adopt one once visiting the café. Why can’t I adopt a cat from the Cat Café Melbourne?
A: When I visited the Cat Café Melbourne, I saw 12 cats living as one community. They form a good company to each other. They settled very well and interact well within the group. I see one united group, like one family. All cat cafes are different. For this cat café, what I saw made me clear that those cats should stay there as one community. After visiting the café you might want to adopt a cat. It’s fantastic! Just look at the list of rescues and nearby shelters and adopt two cats (they will make a company to each other).
Q: I’m concerned to find cat fur when I eat in the café area. Do cat litter trays and a café go together?
A: If you are a cat owner already, you know that if you have a cat, it does not mean its fur will be in food. Cats area and cafe area, where you eat food, are separated quite well with several doors. If you visit cats, you can clean cloths with a fur removal roller. I can assure you, if you don’t hold cats, it’s quite unlikely that you will get covered in fur anyway! Cat litter trays are located in a special separate room, which cats enter via cat flaps. The room is far away from the café area. On top of that strict Australian regulations are followed in the café area. Just come and fully enjoy your visit!
Book your visit at the cat café’s web site here. (I recommend booking at least 2 hours!) At the moment you can book 6 month upfront – it can be a nice surprise for somebody special who loves cats.
The cat café is located at 375 Queen Street, Melbourne. This is right next to the Queen Victoria Market. When you arrive, you can park at the market’s car park (which closes at 5pm) or at the car park right next to it. Alternatively, find a spot on a street nearby. Most places allow free parking on Sundays.
Go down the street to the heritage building and look for a Cat Café sign in windows. The entrance is at the corner of the building. Come in and enjoy!
Editor-in-Chief, Cat Lady and Cat Mum.