Victoria may soon be joining the ranks of major cities like Vancouver, Montréal, New York, and Paris in getting its very own cat café!
Local resident Ashley Deiter has launched a Kickstarter campaign to turn her cat-hub dream – Mask and Mantle Cat Café – into reality.
In her own words, a Cat Café is a modern, unique type of foster home for cats that would otherwise be in a shelter environment.
Deiter, a self-proclaimed cat enthusiast, hopes to create a social gathering spot for fellow pet lovers to relax and unwind.
“The reason I started this business is because I was stuck in a stressful government job that actually affected my mental health and my cats helped me through that,” Deiter tells Victoria Buzz.
“So I’m very much aware of how much an animal can improve your quality of life and I would like to hold space in the community for other people in the community to experience that if they’re unable to have their own pet for whatever reason.”
While you’re not allowed to bring your own feline friend with you, visitors can get their kitty fix by hanging out with several rescue cats on site – and maybe even take one home eventually!
Theme nights and kitty play time
According to her campaign description, Deiter plans to offer themed events with the fur-babies as well, including movie night, ‘crafts with cats’, cat yoga, and more.
Once she finds a property to house the business, the idea is to separate the food and beverage side of the café from the actual cat lounge in order to ensure compliance with Island Health codes and food safe standards.
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“There will be a coffee shop portion with our food and drink menu as well as strategically placed observation windows. Those that wish to pay a small fee to take part in the magic will enter the ‘cat lounge’ separately through a special entrance,” reads the website.
The cat lounge section of the property will be turned into a veritable kitty wonderland, with cat trees, climbing shelves, kitty runways, cat hammocks, scratching posts, toys, and a private kitty retreat area in case they aren’t feeling too social.
“We’re still in the process of figuring out the perfect human to cat ratio. It’ll depend on physical size of the space and on which municipality we’re in,” says Deiter.
Deiter and her team are currently on the lookout for the purrfect spot to open their business, but have been holding off on signing a lease until after the Kickstarter campaign ends.
“We’re looking for location on outskirts of downtown, anywhere from Discovery Street anywhere up to Tillicum Road. We’ve got a few potential locations we’re looking at, and we want to make sure there’s enough parking and easily accessible bus routes,” adds Deiter.
They are looking to raise $7,500 to fund the initial opening and maintenance of Mask and Mantle, and as of the time of publication, have accumulated $1,222.
Since Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform, any pledges will not be collected unless the total goal is met by 6:30 p.m. on October 8th.
Due to the resounding popularity of cat cafés around the world, the team expects to meet this goal with ease and expects to open for business in March 2020.
Click here if you would like to help fund Mask and Mantle Cat Café.