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The race to be Toronto's first cat cafe is on

Posted by Aubrey Jax / April 29, 2014

Cat Cafe TorontoToronto's first cat cafe is coming, and Koreatown looked to be the destination - up until now. Another epicentre for feline cuddle-fests is poking its ears above the horizon: Pet Me Meow launched their Indiegogo today, and the slick page advertising endless downtown cat-selfie potential makes it look like the upstart will be neck-in-neck with its competition. Toronto's cat wars are on.

Ashkan Rahimi and Jeff Ro's cafe looks like it will follow the same strategy tried and tested in Asia, where the concept originated: a small cover fee for a room full of adoptable cats (Pet Me Meow are already partnered with Toronto Cat Rescue), plus board games, cafe-style drinks and snacks, and lounge areas. They're already in talks with Toronto Public Health, and the cafe is slated to open in fall 2014.

The campaign's goal is $70,000, which they just might meet - their logo features a cat wearing Ray-Bans, after all, and cat lovers across Toronto who for various reasons can't have a kitty of their own seem ravenous for digs to brush elbows with fluffy strangers. So, will Toronto have two cat cafes by the fall? With so many adoptable rescued kitties in this city who stand to benefit, let's hope so.

Pet Me Meow is raising funds on Indiegogo until June 13. Photo via Paw Me Meow.

Discussion

32 Comments

Marc / April 29, 2014 at 12:49 pm
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Paging Toronto Board of Health…
Sara / April 29, 2014 at 01:17 pm
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Life is complete.
Jon / April 29, 2014 at 01:28 pm
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it is really nice to have a place where cats in need of adoption can call home...and have that experience...at least temporarily. More cat cafes! More cat adoption ideas!
Elly / April 29, 2014 at 01:35 pm
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So excited:)
Excited / April 29, 2014 at 01:39 pm
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YES! I hope the interior will be cute like those cat cafes in Asia. I'm allergic to cats, but I hope they offer face mask and gloves to patrons like a lot of cat cafes do. Can't wait!
Jennifer / April 29, 2014 at 05:54 pm
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You're right. The race is on!!
Kitty Cat Cafe has also launched their crowd funding campaign
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kitty-cat-cafe/x/7214053#home
Annette / April 29, 2014 at 06:27 pm
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Great news , can't wait ...

Have been to the cat cafe in London, it's a wonderful experience!

Mir / April 29, 2014 at 09:06 pm
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Why do these cat cafes need Indiegogo crowdfunding campaigns? What ever happened to investing your own money, in your own idea? What about bank loans?
Sandy / April 29, 2014 at 10:37 pm
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I AGREE. YOU EXPECT people to put thier own cash up front in hopes that you can launch a business. Either you have a solid business plan and have secured a bank loan and would like to crowd fund a little extra business, that's a good investment. BUT if you want the public to funbfpd your entire business that's not fair.
Suzanne replying to a comment from Sandy / April 29, 2014 at 11:23 pm
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Why do you care how it is funded if it isn't using government money? Unfortunately, banks do not give out loans so easily as projects like this are quite costly. It also gives a gauge as to the demand. Plus by having an adoption centre, it helps a city wide issue while taking pressure off of municipal shelters.
double cat owner / April 29, 2014 at 11:50 pm
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These guys seem more like businessmen than cat lovers!
Lottsacat / April 30, 2014 at 06:47 am
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Lottsacatstink!
I'm more of a dog cafe person / April 30, 2014 at 06:48 am
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Rin Tin Tin
JAMES / April 30, 2014 at 07:30 am
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GO GET YOUR OWN MONEY FOR YOUR OWN IDEA!! CROUDFUNDING = BEGGING!!
Frank / April 30, 2014 at 08:27 am
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Because crowdfunding isnt a sustainable business model unless your gonna be asking for handouts every 6 months. I understand crowd funding a product launch, book, movie, music as they are all one time projects NOT an ongoing service. What do I get for a hefty donation a meowbnership? Discount card for cat food or toys?
Rick / April 30, 2014 at 10:18 am
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Wow, just wow.... Another incredibly dumb idea which will no doubt become deadpool in under a year. Are people just that daft these days? A cat cafe???? Think about it, you will most likly bring your cat in a carrier to this place and let the damn thing run free with other cats that you dont know what diseases or infstations they might have..... and last time I checked Cats arn't that socialable as well, so what the F would anone bring their cat here? To chat with other cat ladies?


Any you plan to service coffee and food here????

I swear to god people that have no business sense whatsoever come up with the most poorly thought out ventures, and it seems like they graduated from clown college with a degree in wasting time.

Unreal.
japan replying to a comment from Rick / April 30, 2014 at 10:34 am
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Cat cafes do very well in Japan. Excellent, in fact. Singapore has just opened its first cat cafe. Doing very well also. Maybe it's not a T.Dot thing but they're all the rage in Asia!
Kat / April 30, 2014 at 10:44 am
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Calm down, Rick.
Amy / April 30, 2014 at 11:07 am
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What happens to the money if and when these crowd funded business ideas never make it to market or get held up in red tape and approvals at city hall for years? Do the owners simple still keep the money and say "were workin on it", "still working on it"
Bob / April 30, 2014 at 12:33 pm
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Rick.

people don't bring their own cats to these places you fool.

just be quiet.
SJ / April 30, 2014 at 02:58 pm
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I've work in the cat rescue community for the past 5 years. The two sets of entrepreneurs opening cat cafes are complete strangers to everyone I have spoken to who also does rescue work. This stinks to high heaven of business people just capitalizing on the popularity of cats. Won't be supporting any for-profit cat cafe models.
Natalie / April 30, 2014 at 04:33 pm
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Hey SJ - you should know that Jennifer (Kitty Cat Café) has also worked in the cat rescue community for many years...she spends her own money & time feeding and building shelters for local feral cats in her neighbourhood. She has taken in countless rescues and found homes for hundreds of senior cats.

Toronto is a big city - just because you haven't heard of them, or their work, doesn't mean they're not out there doing good.

Some people don't need a soapbox.
anonymous / April 30, 2014 at 05:42 pm
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Kitty Cat Cafe has an awesome logo, but their video suckkssss! Donate to Pet Me Meow, Toronto's first REAL cat cafe
Pet Me Meow replying to a comment from anonymous / April 30, 2014 at 10:58 pm
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We'd like to thank everyone for the on-going support and enthusiasm for our launch! We appreciate all the sentiments (good and bad) and love to get feedback on our project.

The launch of our cafe is all about giving back to the city of Toronto and helping animal rescues and organizations find every cat a home. It's all about keeping things paw-sitive for everyone passionate about doing something fundamentally good for the community.

Shoutout to everyone trying to make a change.

Pet Me Meow out!
Mandy / May 1, 2014 at 10:16 am
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I tried to get funded to create a cat cafe in Markham with the YOF funding earlier this year but it didnt happen. I wrote up a proposal and everything with budgeting as well. Wish I could have thought of raising the fund instead of applying and competing ffor the YOF fund that could car less about my idea.
Jennifer / May 2, 2014 at 05:14 pm
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Thanks for the comments all. And yes Natalie is correct. I am and have been heavily involved in cat rescue for a long time. It's not about glitz and glam folks. It's about the cats. Whichever café you choose to donate to, the cats will benefit in the end.
Abby groux / May 5, 2014 at 08:01 am
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Love it. I went there in London.
Abby groux / May 5, 2014 at 08:03 am
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COOOOL! Im SOOOOO Goin There!
Lappycat / May 5, 2014 at 08:04 am
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OMG I went there in london, Its GREAT!
Michelle / May 5, 2014 at 06:35 pm
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I run my own rescue and I would like to know more about this cat cafe :)
Ray / May 21, 2014 at 03:19 pm
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How y'all making out with that crowd funding thingie???

Long way to go?
Dean / August 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm
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WHAT'S GOING ON IS THIS HAPPENING OR NOT??? I thought we were promised a cat cafe in Toronto this summer. Where is it?

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