Vancouver 'Catfe' opens as cats and customers mingle

Image Credit: Catfe via Facebook

VANCOUVER - A new Vancouver coffee house is inviting patrons to cuddle up with a rescue kitten while sipping their café au lait.

The aptly dubbed 'Catfe' has partnered with the B.C. SPCA to serve as a transition place for cats awaiting adoption.

Owner Michelle Furbacher is a former SPCA volunteer who says she based the cafe on similar shops in Europe and the U.S. west coast.

She also consulted with the non-profit to ensure the animals' welfare is maintained at a high standard; the venue includes shelving units for climbing, scratching posts, toys and a cats-only backroom for their privacy.

The cafe that opened on Monday operates on a reservation system to ensure an appropriate meow mix of customers and kitties.

B.C. SPCA spokeswoman Lorie Chortyk says the cafe is a wonderful way to showcase the animals, and about eight to 12 adoptable rescue cats will reside there at a time.

"We are really grateful to (Furbacher) and her team for enabling us to bring these cats into a community gathering space where they can interact with potential adopters," said Chortyk, general manager of community relations.

"Even if people aren't able to adopt at this time, the Catfe is a fantastic way for cat lovers to enjoy the company of feline friends."

The cafe is located in Vancouver's International Village Mall in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.

Staff have been trained in SPCA adoption counselling and matching procedures.

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