HomeNEWSTrendwatch: Cat café market in Auckland heats up with newcomer, BaristaCats

Trendwatch: Cat café market in Auckland heats up with newcomer, BaristaCats

Back in August, feline fans were thrilled to learn that Auckland’s North Shore would be getting a cat café called The Cat Lounge. Now there’s another cat café on the scene. BaristaCats is planned for Auckland Central, and is halfway to its Pledge Me campaign target. rn

BaristaCats has raised $80,000 from private investors, friends and family and is aiming to raise $15,000 via Pledge Me.

It has 23 days to go and has raised almost $8000 so far. BaristaCats says the café is ready to launch on 1 December.

Its planned opening address is 95 Queen St, right in the heart of the central city.

“The choice to locate BaristaCats in Auckland Central reflects the ever-increasing numbers of apartment-dwellers, office workers, shoppers, students, families, tourists and even cruise-ship visitors who now choose to live, work and play in the central city, many of whom do not have the space or the ability to keep their own pets,” it says.

The café promises customers will be able to share the company of more than ten cats.

The cats will be gradually introduced to the adoring public online to build up excitement for the opening.

The feline stars of the show are rescues being sourced through SPCA Auckland, Paws for Life, Franklin Cat Rescue and The Humane Society.

They’ll be located in a separate “lounge space” for customers to hang out with them, while an open-plan dining space nearby will have coffee and sandwiches available.

This is adhering to Auckland Council, MPI and SPCA guidelines, which includes New Zealand’s food safety rules.

The food safety rules ban kitties roaming around and sitting on customers’ laps while eating and drinking is taking place.

BaristaCats’ owner is Julia Whitehead, a lawyer and long-time fan of cats. She says she fell in love with cat cafes after visiting Thailand last year and experiencing them.

Cat cafes have become an international phenomenon.

Caturday cafe in Bangkok

Japan, which has many citizens living in pet-free apartments, has wholeheartedly embraced the trend and now has over 150 cat cafes.

America and Australia also jumped on board during 2014, while Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in London is too popular for its own good.

“We now have a booking system, because 20,000 people wanted to come into a 30-seat cafe all at the same time,” Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium founder Lauren Pears said to CNN.

Back in New Zealand, The Cat Lounge is due to open later this month in Glenfield on Auckland’s North Shore.

The café raised more than $36,000 on Kickstarter to launch the café.

It also has a feel-good cause behind it, as it will be stocked with 15 former stray and abandoned cats from non-profit organization Lonely Miaow.

Cat lovers in Auckland are certainly going to be well looked after – but what about fans of other animals?

Korea boasts not only cat, but dog and lamb cafes.

Considering New Zealand has high numbers of both, perhaps some entrepreneur will seize the opportunity.

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