Cat Café Craze Comes To Canada

Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto are getting on board the feline-focused coffee shop phenomenon

By Vicki Hogarth

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Want the kitty cuddles without the commitment? Cat cafés are about to become the equivalent of Tinder and Grindr in the cat lovers’ world. The concept is simple – more of a “catmosphere,” if you will. Patrons of cat cafés get their caffeine fix from the humans on staff, but they come for the feline lovin’, provided by the cafés’ inhabitants: kittens and full-grown cats.

If the thought of four-legged furballs jumping over pastries and teacups sounds unappealing to you, you’re clearly in the minority. Katy Perry is already a fan of the feline-focused establishments, stopping by her favorite cat-centric hot-spots for coffee with a side of kitty-love whenever the pop star tours Japan. Go figure – the first cat café actually opened in Osaka in 2004 before taking Tokyo by storm, and now the “kitties with coffee” phenomenon is finally coming to Canada. Move over, Timmies – the competition is about to claw its way to the top.

First up, Montreal’s Café Chat l’Heureux will open this summer in the city’s hip Plateau district, and Vancouver’s following suit with Catfé, a feline-inhabited coffee joint with free WiFi set to open as early as September. Not to be left out, Toronto’s Jennifer Morozowich is making sure Hogtown gets a Kitty City makeover. With a crowd-funding plan on the horizon, Morozowich hopes to launch Kitty Cat Café in the Bloor-Christie area by next year.

“I’ve fostered so many cats over the years that my life is pretty much one big cat café!” she told Get Leashed exclusively. Morozowich doesn’t plan on quitting her day job in marketing to run the feline-focused establishment. The whole point of opening the café isn’t about making a profit – it’s to help orphan cats find new homes. Guests of Kitty Cat Café will simply pay an entry fee that entitles them to a beverage (coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks) and a pastry, which they can bring into the separate cat-space where the felines frolic, nap, lounge, and play.

“The rescues for KCC will be provided by a few different cat rescue organizations and will be available for adoption,” Morozowich told us. “The adoption portion of the business is really the reason for its existence.”

We can’t help but wonder if Morozowich will end up adopting more kitties herself, despite already being the proud mom to Wilma and Betty, two cats she adopted just over a year ago through her vet at the Queen West Animal Hospital. “I know I will end up having some favorites, and I’m sure I will get attached to them,” she insisted. “Knowing they are going to their forever homes will ease the pain of letting them go.”