Rescued felines are the kids, and the bosses, at Sunnyside cat cafe

More than 58 rescued kittens have found a home through the adoption nights, organized by the first cat cafe in Calgary, Regal Cat Cafe.

Regal serves drinks and desserts, and a chance to interact with a group of resident cats, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.

The cafe, which has been open since June at 303 10 Street N.W. in Sunnyside, has approximately 3,000 square feet of space, divided into two zones, one for sipping coffee, and one for playing with the cats.

Guests can visit and play with cats in the Kitty Kingdom, and reserve their spot for $10.

Money goes toward caring for the cats.

The idea of cat cafe came up when Tia Weiler, and her husband, Kevin, saw an episode of the TV program The Amazing Race, in which contestants were sent to a cat café in Thailand.

“We fell in love with the idea of bringing cats to the community in a unique and fun way,” said Tia Weiler.

According to Weiler, all the cats in the coffee shop come from MEOW Foundation, and can be adopted.

The adoption night happens once every two weeks.

“The event was 100 per cent successful, which has allowed MEOW Foundation to help take in even more cats,” said Weiler.

“We want to help make a significant contribution to the cat population in Calgary through adoptions, and awareness of MEOW Foundation,” she said.

Jade McCord, a staff member at Regal Cat Cafe, said that people pay around $200 for a cat, and some are willing to pay $1,000 for a Bengal.

Attention Seeker: A cat jumps on Jade McCord, a member at the coffee shop, to cuddle and get her attention, at Regal Cat Cafe, in Calgary on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. The coffee shop has been opened since June 24, and guest could visit and play with cats in the Kitty Kingdom, and reserved their spot for $10. (Photo by Minh Do/The Press)

All the cats have been microchipped, vaccinated and spayed, or neutered.

Regal Cat Cafe has a “good partnership” with Royal Canin, a pet food company, so the kittens are given free food, according to Weiler.

This coffee shop also has volunteers come from MEOW Foundation, to help with cleaning and feeding the cats.

“We share the responsibility with MEOW Foundation,” said Weiler.

“I want them to have a close connection to the kittens,” she said.

Weiler said that if cats were unhappy at the cafe, they would go back to the cat foundation.

“They are the kids and they are the bosses at the same time” said Weiler.

According to the Weiler, it was challenging when the shop first opened because of the nature of a cat cafe.

“Being the first cat cafe, we had to work closely with the City of Calgary Legal Department to help define how they view the space for zoning purposes,” said Weiler.

However, Weiler said that they were lucky because some people were on board with their idea and allowed them to have the “amazing space” in a popular residential area.

“This is an amazing space for families, friends, tourists, first dates, and senior citizens,” said Weiler.

“We offer an opportunity for those who may not be able to have a cat in their life to enjoy spending time with our resident kitties,” she said.

At this time, Weiler said that she wants to focus on the current location to make it as great as it can be.

But she added that it would be “a-meow-zing” to expand the cafe in the future.


About Minh Do 4 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Minh Do worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2017-18 academic year.