TASMANIAN cat lovers enjoying a shopping or footy weekend in Melbourne have a new reason to smile with the opening of Australia’s fi rst cat cafe.
Located in Queen St, in the CBD, travellers needing a cat fi x can drop in for a play, a cuddle and a cuppa.
So popular is the cafe, the online booking system can be full up to fi ve days ahead.
There’s a waiting list to meet demand and booking ahead is a must.
The cafe is home to 11 friendly cats who live there permanently, happily lapping up all the affection. These cats were previously residents of shelters and pounds and are now living the good life as star attractions at the cafe.
Cat Cafe raises money to donate back to shelters and promotes cat adoption in the quest to fi nd caring and permanent homes for more cats.
The fee for relaxing with the cafe cats is $ 10 an hour. In line with Australia’s food regulations, cat canoodling takes place in a separate room away from the food preparation area, although patrons can take their drinks and snacks in.
Other rules include no fl ash photography, no disturbing sleeping cats and no kids younger than eight.
Designed primarily for people who love cats but don’t have one, the cafe meets a need for those who are away from home or whose lifestyle or living arrangements does not accommodate pet ownership.
Cat cafes fi rst popped up in Taipei, then Japan, the US, and Europe before Australia. It’s not surprising the concept has taken off, given the vast amount of studies on interaction with cats and the resulting reduction in our stress and anxiety levels.
For more on Cat Cafe, visit catcafemelbourne.com