Cat Cafe gets a paw-sitive response from WA feline fans

The count down is on for the opening of Perth’s first Cat Café—we’re not kitten you!

14 Mar 2017 By Leanne Philpott Comments

Following the success of cat cafes in other states, cat lovers Chris Mewburn and Terps Platritis decided to initiate the opening of Perth’s first cat café. Zookie caught up with Chris to see what inspired them and what Perthites can expect from the kitty café.

Cat Café Perth co-founder Chris Mewburn and Terps Platritis

Zookie: What prompted you to open a cat café in Perth?

Chris: We are both avid cat lovers; Terps is the crazy cat lady and I’m the cat lad, we love animals and we love making people happy so combining a place where we can foster a love and appreciation for rescue cats whist at the same time allowing people to come and enjoy themselves at the café seemed ideal. Family members have visited the first cat cafes in Tokyo, and we visited the one in Melbourne, all of those experiences mixed with our love of cats and desire to make people happy came to be The Cat Cafe Perth.

Zookie: What kind of response have you received so far? Were you surprised with people’s reaction?

Chris: We’ve received an explosion of amazing support from the wonderful people in Perth, while we knew there would be lots of people who love cats we didn’t think it would be this big! We have had almost 400 job applications so far! We are very surprised and very grateful for all the support we’ve received to date.

Zookie: Have you visited any of the other state’s cat cafes?

Chris: We’ve visited the one in Melbourne, and definitely plan on visiting the Sydney Catmosphere in the future. They all differ in their own way and cater to the city they are in. We want our cafe to be the ‘Happiest Place in Perth’, that promotes the concept of 'adopt, don’t shop' to foster an understanding of good pet care, and a place where you can get a really tasty barista-made coffee and baked goods. All the cat cafes want to represent and help shelter cats in one way or another, so we are all trying to do the same good thing.

Zookie: You and Terps have both worked with mental health organisations; what are some of the benefits that cats can bring in terms of wellbeing?

Chris: Cats are amazing animals, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of articles out there explaining how they help with general well being. They can reduce stress, anxiety and depression as they give the person something to care for, to focus on and also take your mind of your worries! There are many stories out there of cats who have helped children and adults with autism, as cats tend to have a heightened sense of people in need. They also, of course, help with loneliness!

Zookie: Do you have any idea how many cats you’d ideally like to accommodate at the cafe?

Chris: We would love to have 100 cats! Unfortunately that’s not realistic! Haha. We are looking to have possibly a maximum of 25, yet to allow for a multi-cat environment to work we need to start with a lower number to let them get comfortable with each other first.

Zookie: Will visitors to the Cat Café have the opportunity to buy/adopt the cats?

Chris: The cats will live on the premises permanently, however we will have a digital system in the cafe (hopefully) where people can look through the profiles of cats that are available for adoption at selected shelters, and we will be able to call through to that shelter to organise an appointment to visit their future fur baby.

Zookie: Will the Cat Café rely on crowd-sourcing funds to get off the ground?

Chris: The crowdfunding is not the only source of funding; we have applied for loans, grants amongst other sources. We have put our own savings into the business too. The crowdfunding is a much quicker way of collecting the funds to open and a bonus of giving customers extra perks for their contributions. [Note: since this interview The Cat Café has reached is crowd-funding goal of $150,000].

Zookie: How far off is a possible opening?

Chris: If the crowd funding is successful we will be able to open sooner than if we have to completely rely on the loans and other sources of funding we are in the process of gathering. We predict within the next 3 months!

Keep an eye on The Cat café Perth.

14 Mar 2017 By Leanne Philpott Comments

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