CAT-lovers could soon get their own purr-fect cafe in Paris with plans to open the first café à chats getting a big financial boost from online backers.
Margaux Gandelon said she got the idea for the cat cafe from the Neko cafes in Japan where customers can enjoy the company of cats without actually having to own one.
Now she plans her own cat cafe where customers can come in, order a coffee or a hot chocolate and enjoy the purring and play of the cats and – if they make friends – even stroke them.
The Neko cafes were started because flats in Tokyo are tiny and very expensive; so pets are an unaffordable luxury. Paris has the same problem with studies showing the 72% of French people like cats but only 24% have their one of their own – and that figure falls to just 11% in Ile-de-France.
The cat cafe gives the anti-stress benefits of having access to cats without the ownership problems.
However, there have been some objections that the cats will be mistreated but Ms Gaudelon said she had arranged for the cats to have their own human no-go zone, for weekly vet inspections and daily grooming sessions. She added that the prefecture and the animal protection charity SPA had supported her project.
Now her bid for financial support on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo has seen her exceed her target of €40,000 – which could see the first café à chats opening in the Marais in August.
A similar plan in London – which raised more than £100,000 of online backing – has still not opened.