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Will Australia embrace the cat café trend?

January 13, 2014

Customers will be able to observe the cats through a glass wall, but will need to go to a separate area to play with the animals.

Cat cafés have been doing big business in Japan for some time now, and the trend has since been replicated in Europe, but now it looks like the concept could be about to take off in Australia.

A ‘Cat Café Melbourne’ campaign has been launched on crowdfunding website indiegogo.com, to raise AUS $97,000 (about US$ 86,000) for the first cat café Down Under.

The project is the brainchild of local couple Anita and Myles Loughran, and the pair are hoping to showcase around eight cats from a local shelter at the café, to raise awareness of shelter animals.

“We all crave animal contact and companionship on some level,” explains Anita in the couple’s campaign video. “Our goal will be to provide a loving home for our rescue cats.”

However, this will be one cat café with a difference, as Australia’s health and safety laws prohibit the presence of cats in the actual café area. Customers will be able to observe the cats through a glass wall, but will need to go to a separate area to play with the animals.

Cat cafés arrived in Europe in 2012 with the opening of Café Neko in Vienna, and similar ventures have since sprung up in Paris and London.

The news of the Melbourne Cat Café comes as Japan’s animal lovers move away from cats and turn their attention towards owls and rabbits, according to trendspotters at gaming website Kotaku.

For more information on the Cat Café Melbourne project, see www.indiegogo.com

- AFP Relaxnews


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