The Mad Catter Café in downtown St. John’s is the perfect hub for feline friends and furry enthusiasts
The first official cat café debuted in Taiwan, having been modelled on keeping the cats as residents who permanently lived there. The café became extremely popular with Japanese tourists and local visitors who enjoyed interacting with some furry friends while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea. The concept made its way through Europe before gaining popularity in North America.
The first registered cat café in North America opened up in Montreal, which created a sort of snowball effect with cat cafés popping up in major cities like Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto.
The key difference between the concept here versus Asia and Europe is that North American café models serve as satellite adoption facilities.
Rumours of a cat café opening up in downtown St. John’s spread like loose cat fur, and The Newfoundland Herald is here to officially confirm those rumours with Mad Catter Café owners Colin Williams and Josh Eddy.
After moving abroad to Prague in the Czech Republic, Williams and Eddy visited a cat café in Bratislava, Slovakia. They fell in love with the concept, and returned home with exciting plans to discuss opening a café in St. John’s as a serious opportunity.
“After we got back to our apartment in Prague, we immediately started researching the concept,” Williams explains.
“It was while studying the North American cafés that we found the trend of partnering with local adoption facilities for the cats, which we both thought was a great idea as two animal lovers and proud parents to our own rescue cat, Henry.”
While there are benefits to both cafés housing resident cats and cafés who work with adoptable cats, Williams and Eddy latched onto the idea of working with adoptable cats, knowing first-hand that there are a significant number of cats needing homes in St. John’s or the surrounding area.
“There is also a large number of people who find it difficult to visit a shelter, as they find the experience to be an emotional and often overwhelming one,” Williams says.
“These cafés provide a much more home-like environment for the cats to live in while they are waiting to be re-homed, and allows cat lovers who might be unable to own a cat themselves have the chance to get some much needed cat love.”
As for the café itself, Williams and Eddy shared that it will be made up of two distinctly different areas, the Coffee Bar and the Cat Lounge.
“The Coffee Bar will be located in the back of the space, in order to allow more natural light into the Cat Lounge and give the cats a chance to lie in the sun, which any cat owner can tell you is a regular occurrence,” Eddy explains.
“The Cat Lounge will be just that – a lounge. We have decided to go with a more open feel to encourage interaction with the cats. One of our primary goals for the business is to keep things as environmentally conscious as possible, so we are working with a lot of re-purposed materials and furniture in order to accomplish this. The cats in the lounge will be free-roaming, but they will have a space of their own to retreat to for food, litter boxes, and to hide away should they not feel up to interacting with people.”
“The number of entrants in the lounge at one time will be restricted according to the number of cats, in order to reduce stress on the animals and help ensure everyone has the opportunity to make the most out of their experience,” Eddy shares.
“To help ensure a spot in the lounge, visitors will have the option making a reservation through our soon-to-be-launched website.”
For the time being, you can reach Colin Williams and Josh Eddy via their Facebook page; Mad Catter Cafe or by email at [email protected]. The duo keep followers up-to-date on renovation progress and new announcements.