Food and Drink

   

Melbourne’s Very First Cat Cafe

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Australia’s first Cat Café is not really a café in the usual sense. It is essentially a fun, relaxing space in which to hang out with a clowder of cats, a clowder being the grammatically correct and frankly adorable collective term. Due to restrictions enforced by the Melbourne City Council, there are limitations on the range of food and drinks they can provide – although they do accommodate vegetarians, vegans, and allergies to gluten – but if you choose to visit Cat Café Melbourne that would be the last thing on your mind. The place is filled with cats! Adorable cats!

Located in a picturesque national trust building on the corner of Queen Street and Franklin Street, Cat Café is like a cosy old apartment decked out with cat toys and jungle gyms – plus some comfy couches for us humans. Pictures of the resident cats adorn the walls, listing the cat’s name, age, medical information, and a short description of their personality and how they like to be shown affection. They also mention which shelter the cat is from, as these are all rescue cats given a new home – and a wonderful home it is. The owners and staff clearly treat their feline friends with genuine care and respect and have built close relationships with them, evident by the stories they can tell about the history, likes and dislikes of any one cat.

The place is, above all, sensitive to the needs of the cats. All visitors must wash their hands before entering, and there are some rules set in place about handling, as some of the cats may have been mistreated in the past and might not respond well to being roughly picked up by a stranger. Nevertheless they are all friendly and cute, whether lazily napping or chasing one another or hyperactively swatting at whatever toy is dangled in front of them. They hang out in the stairwell and peer at new visitors, or stare fixedly out of one particular window at a bird feeder. One or two in particular may take a special liking to you if you’re lucky, and you may leave remembering a favourite. For me, it was Winter and Lottie.

Interacting with cats is thought to improve mood and lower stress, among other health benefits. If you can’t own a cat because of your rental agreement or your schedule is too busy to look after one, this is a quiet, peaceful place to kick back, make some furry friends, and de-stress.

You can make a booking or find out more about the resident cats at catcafemelbourne.com

Cat Cafe Melbourne
375 Queen Street, Melbourne
catcafemelbourne.com


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