Calgary now has a cat cafe.
This is something you didn’t realize we needed until it happened. Calgary now has a cat cafe, and it’s awesome. Hope you like coffee and kitties.
We were invited to check out the cat cafe (actually called Regal Cat Café) before it opened to the public, and you bet your sweet ass we went and checked it out. Located within the heart of Kensington, it was only a short walk over the 10th street bridge before we were drowning in .. kitty cat love. They have two goals with this cafe. 1) to satisfy your craving for lattes and coffees and similar snacks, and 2) to adopt out rescued cats. You see, it’s not just somewhere to go to hang out and enjoy the company of cats, you can literally bring them home with you. Regal has teamed up with The MEOW Foundation to find permanent homes for 10 kitties at a time, so that’s where they come from. They aren’t bred in a kitty mill for profit or any of that nonsense. The MEOW Foundation is a no-kill shelter in Calgary for abandoned and rescued cats, and they do some great work. If you want to adopt a cat, check them out. Click here to view the adoption form.
June 24th, their opening day (9am-9pm), will have walk-ins to meet and see the cats, however after this you’ll need to reserve a time slot for your visit. More info below. Make sure to check their website too.
— Crackmacs (@Crackmacs) June 24, 2017
So How Does It Work?
Glad you asked. It’s not just a regular cafe with cats running all over the place all willy nilly, they have rules and structure. If you just want to drop by to sip some coffee while watching the cats, by all means do it up, the cats are in a separate room and do not come in contact with the cafe portion. This is good for a few reasons, but it means that those with the worst allergies to cats can still visit and partake. The cafe area has separate ventilation to the area with cats. The cats don’t even get transferred through the cafe when being taken out for adoption – they’ve done their due diligence in settings this operation up. There are lots of windows, so you can totally just hangout outside and watch them.
No, you can’t bring your own cat. No, no laser pointers either (I asked).
In addition, there is a fee to visit the cats. It’s $10 for 45 minutes, per person. The fee exists to help cover the costs of running a cat cafe. Surprisingly, rent isn’t free. However there is no fee to watch them, other than for your tasty beverages. There is a limit of 16 people at any given time within the kitty room, and you will need to reserve a spot. Click here to reserve a spot. There are some additional rules to follow when visiting the cats, and you’ll need to sign a waiver.
The main kitty room is also kept really clean. There are a couple food/water dishes, but the majority of cat stuff is behind a wall. You won’t find cat litter or anything strewn all about, just toys and people fawning over the fur babies. The cats are free to roam as they please in and out of the rooms, so it’s not like 10 cats are crammed together in the main room. As well, there are plenty of cat shelves and platforms for them to use. Cats love being higher up, being able to keep an eye on their surroundings, so plenty of access has been provided for them to do just that (more on this below).
The cats range in ages from a couple months to a few years, in all sorts of colours and fluffy levels. Plus, they’ve all been vaccinated and micro chipped.
Another thing to remember, you’re not allowed to pick the cats up. All of the cats at Regal Cat Café have been socialized and groomed to be happy and chill in their environment, but just like people, not everyone likes being picked up or touched in certain places. If they want to jump up on your lap, hey that’s cool, just let them decide that’s what they want to do. The cat’s haven’t been declawed (omg never do that), so there is a risk they’ll swat or even resort to biting you if you’re doing something they don’t like. Hang out, be cool hunny bunny, don’t force their hand/paw.
Rest assured, Regal and MEOW aren’t going to place into the cafe a kitty that isn’t a perfect fit for that kind of environment.
Let Me School You With Some Cat Knowledge
Cats are actually territorial animals and maintain an interesting hierarchy. Within a home (or cat cafe in Calgary), they don’t really need to compete for food, but certain vantage points and furniture can become quite valuable. You’ll really notice this with older cats, they certainly do not treat each other as equals. In most cases the top cat (vertically) – is the top cat. Kittens don’t follow the rules so much because they’re still learning, but you can absolutely notice it with the older guys. Even how they enter a room can be very telling, and how they traverse the floor. High ranking cats will walk in wherever they please, heading for the middle of the floor for example. Lower ranking cats will slink in around the sides of the walls and avoid the main areas. Posture and eye contact are also huge tells. You may notice cats locking gazes for a moment before heading their separate ways. Cats will usually only get into scraps when fighting for position on this imaginary ladder. How is this hierarchy determined? Usually it just comes down to how anxious and timid a cat is, vs one who is calm and full of self-assurance and confidence. The size of the top cat isn’t that relevant either. The biggest and most muscular cat can actually be on the bottom of the totem pole. Feeding order, accessing the favourite toys, rubbing their scent int he best spots are other things influenced by this ranking system. This is why Regal Cat Café went vertical with multiple access points and avenues for the inhabitants. If there was one single spire, one ‘best spot’, I’m sure there would be many arguments and fighting.
As things are now, we didn’t see a single fight. The cats will probably be adopted out fast enough that top cats won’t last very long either. Here’s hoping, anyway!
Staffed by ‘PURRistas’ (lol), it contains all sorts of cat themed goodies and snacks, and there is a large assortment of non-edible trinkets and things you can buy. Cat shaped macrons and tea flavours are interesting. Almost everything you see is for sale.
How To Find Regal Cat Cafe
They’re located at 303 10th Street NW. Very east to get to on foot, by car or by public transit.
You can find their social game here: