Adopt a cat at new Petone cafe
Wellington’s first cat cafe, Neko Ngeru, is due to open in Petone this weekend and will also be offering an adoption service.
The concept is modelled on the cat cafes of Japan. Partners and owners of the local version, Richelle and Ken Okada first met in Japan while working as teachers.
Visitors pay $10 an hour to hang out with the cats, and purchase additional food and drink. Cabinet food will be supplied by cakemaker Tom Brinkel, formerly Te Papa’s head pastry chef, alongside Revive coffee and bread sourced from Pandoro.
‘‘While working for animal rescue groups in Shanghai, Ken realised that animals need to be seen to be adopted,’’ Richelle says.
‘‘He thought that a cat cafe would be a good place for people to get to know adoptable cats.’’
Outpawed and Wairarapa Community Kitties are a couple of the local rescue services the Okadas have built up a relationship with. Their most sociable felines have put forward for the venture.
There will be 20 cats in the cafe, with at least 10 to 15 available to adopt for a flat fee of $100. However, the process will involve background checks. Prospective owners will be interviewed to check they’re a good match, and landlords will be contacted to confirm that pets are allowed, according to Richelle.
‘‘It’s a good cause,’’ she says. ‘‘The cats are all rescued and most are looking for a good, permanent home. We want to be part of the solution to Wellington’s homeless cat population.
‘‘But, if you can’t have a cat of your own, you can also come and get your cat therapy session with us.’’
Neko Ngeru Cat Adoption Cafe is due to open Saturday, 291 Jackson St, Petone, Lower Hutt.
Richelle and Ken Okada are behind Wellington’s first cat cafe, Neko Ngeru.