Contributed Michelle Furbacher, who plans to open Vancouver's first cat cafe, and one of her cat sitting charges, Magnum.

Vancouver cat lovers will pawssibly have their very own cat café as early as September.

Local Michelle Furbacher is applying for a business licence to open the “Catfé,” a space where people will be able to socialize with cats while surfing the net or reading a book.

Cat cafés are wildly popular in Tokyo where dozens of shops charge customers a per hour fee to hang out with feline furriends while lapping up lattes. The concept has yet to take off in North America, but entrepreneurs are planning to open such venues in Montreal, San Francisco and Oakland.

Videos of the Japanese cafés inspired Furbacher’s Catfé, which will act as a foster home for cats from animal shelters, she told Metro on Monday.

“People will meet the cats, fall in love with them and maybe want to adopt them,” Furbacher said, adding the cats will be vaccinated, fixed and screened by a vet before being chosen for the café.

“They have to have the right kind of personality, that likes hanging out with a lot of humans and a lot of other cats.”

The café will also be a place where people who aren’t allowed to have pets can get quality kitty time.

Furbacher knows how hard it can be for cat-loving renters to find a home where pets aren’t banned. When her cat Peanut died two years ago, her landlord told her she was no longer allowed a pet in the building. She has since become a live-in cat sitter and is starting this venture as a new way to work with cats.

Furbacher has yet to find a location for the Catfé, but is in talks with lawyers and animal shelters to hammer out the business model.

“Obviously cleanliness is going to be a huge issue,” she said, noting that Canada’s stricter food and safety regulations could make it “next to impossible” to legally have a kitchen with so many cats meandering about.

Furbacher’s shop will instead focus on providing WiFi, a small library and event space.

“If we can get away with it, we’ll serve bottled drinks and packaged foods bought offsite,” she said.

And while customers will be able to enjoy the catmosphere, they will have to leave their kittens at home to avoid catfights. For updates on the Catfé, visit facebook.com/catfe.

(Video via IOUTOKYO)

More from Vancouver:

blog comments powered by Disqus