Cat cafe up to scratch for Durban

21 October 2016 - 09:21 By SHELLEY SEID

Feline lovers will soon have the purrfect spot to gather as Durban is about to become the first city in Africa with a cat cafe. Nicky Moore, founder of Cats of Durban, a not-for-profit body that sterilises feral cats, says she had been toying with the idea for a long time.She plans to open the cafe early next year and people will only be able to visit by booking.Guests will be treated to premier coffee, savoury treats and cakes prepared by a chef - and an hour to mingle with at least 20 moggies.The first cat cafe was opened in Taiwan in 1998. Cat cafes are big in Japan, where pets are generally forbidden."I travel a lot and have visited cat cafes on different continents," says Moore."Earlier this year I chatted to a man from the UK, who said you have to make a booking three months in advance for the London cat cafe and then I wondered what I was waiting for."Moore explains that cat cafes around the world work differently. Washington's cat cafe, for example, is an adoption agency.The plan for the cafe is to have two cat lounges, one for adult cats, the other for kittens. Up to 10 guests will be given an hour to interact with the kitties."Guests are free to spend their hour with a book if they like, or on their laptop as we will have free Wi-Fi, or with a cup of coffee in hand and a hospitable ginger curled up on their lap."There will also be a veranda and garden area where customers can have something to eat and drink at their leisure.Moore hopes to see old-age homes sending their residents along for tea, and groups of schoolchildren arranging to visit."It's sad how many households do not or cannot keep pets these days," she says.The café will have "soft launch" open days on November 26 and 27.

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