Café Purrfection in Sydney, Australia does not aim to be a rehoming center, a place to catch a light meal, or a business venture – its veterinarian owner simply wants to provide a space where people can spend time enjoying the company of cats.
Veterinarian Dr. Kim Kendall, who specializes in the care of cats and has devoted herself to finding home for hundreds of unwanted cats each year, opened Sydney’s first cat cafe in March. The cafe is located next to Dr. Kendall’s clinic, in the city’s Roseville suburb.
A self-described “crazy cat lady”, with seven cats of her own, Dr. Kendall is focused on caring for cats and educating their owners.
Café Purrfection provides a home for seven rescued cats while giving visitors the chance to enjoy their company.
“I think it is going to be more of a healing place. I think we will have videos of cats who are looking for homes,” she says.
“So many people don’t touch anything that is living and breathing anymore. There are older people in their homes but also younger people who work in IT and in a bank and nobody touches anybody any more.
“There isn’t anything nicer than a cat purr, it is very soothing. It’s lovely to have a dog sit with you, but they generally want something,” she says.
Visitors are asked to call ahead to reserve time with the cats. The $20 an hour fee they are asked to pay is to offset the care of the cats and the costs of running the cafe, which is staffed by volunteers and provides coffee at no additional cost.
“I thought people might like to come to the cafe and perhaps read something. But when people come to the cafe they just want to sit with a cat and hear it purr,” Dr. Kendall says.
“People just zone out and zen out. It is an opportunity to teach people about cats correctly. The payback for me is that if people make the leap to getting their own cat, they may bring the cat to board or groom.”
Another cat cafe is set to open in the Sydney area soon, when Thomas Derricott opens the doors to his planned science fiction themed cat cafe.
Cat cafes have also opened in Melbourne and Ballarat.
Dr. Kendall says the cats currently in residence at the cafe will stay for a few years before being retired and rehomed, when another group will take their place.
The resident cats are chosen for their friendliness to people and ability to co-exist with other cats.