As someone who has been in Melbourne since the beginning of May, and I hate to admit that it’s taken me all this time to finally get myself into the Cat Cafe.
It hadn’t really been my plan to end up there – but with so many of the things I do I suppose that’s a very common thing. Spontaneity is my sport, and I will win any of your competitions at it!
Anyway. Melbourne Cat Cafe! Today was a no phone/camera day – and as a result I don’t have any photos to provide you but there are certainly plenty of them out there. (On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and tumblr.)
I’d never been to a cat cafe before, and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but my experience was definitely an enjoyable one. My first recommendation for anyone hoping to go to this one specifically is to try and get yourself in at a time when it’s relatively quiet. For every time I’d hunted for information about the place it was the first thing I picked up on.
Today I was one of five when I arrived.
To say that it was much bigger than I’d expected is an understatement! I was so impressed with the space on offer here, and the provision for ‘play’ for the cats was so impressive – I don’t think there was anything else I could have offered to improve their little lives.
They have a Nintendo Wii, a room with an entire bookshelves of very varied texts to peruse, and a room where the radio was playing some classical music. It makes for a very calming atmosphere which definitely seems to suit the kitties as much as it suited me. I’ll definitely be returning if only to sit with the laptop and try to get some motivation going because I feel like I could quite happily sit there away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Getting there really is a doddle. If it’s walking weather, just cut from Elizabeth Street onto Queen street and keep walking up from Flinders on the left hand side of the road until you get the roundabout. If it’s rainy, hop on the tram at the Flinder’s end of Elizabeth Street and jump on the tram all the way up to the Melbourne Central stop – cut through to Queen’s Street and then on up you go.
$10 gets you an hour with the cats, and I believe it goes toward all the expenses required to keep these content cats in their little (BIG) home. The building itself is absolutely gorgeous, and it really is a shame that they are limited to only 15 cats in the house at a time because the staff do a very good job of making sure the place is clean, smelling fresh and as far as I could see, there wasn’t a sign of kitten-damage to anything that wasn’t for cats! (I was looking)
The staff who were there at the time were very helpful and friendly, and there’s always someone at hand to ply with your questions, even the ones that seemed most common were dealt with as if it was the first time they’d been asked, which was lovely. It’s very clear that the people working there love each of the cats, and care for them as best they can. I didn’t feel pressured to buy a drink, or snacks, and there were plenty of places to sit, and even a few tables and chairs if you wanted to get on with something in the relative quiet of the building.
Fundraising happens here for a multitude of causes, and only last month they held a donation drive to provide food for the local shelters, which is wonderful!
If you’re in Melbourne, and you like cats, I would highly recommend paying the Cafe a visit. There’s a peace that you can experience there that differs so much from the type of ‘peace’ I get with my headphones on and a cup of coffee in any other cafe I’ve been to! (There was a point when I felt like I could curl up on the couch and go to sleep right there.)
I will definitely be going again, and they’ve catered for that possibility too, with a loyalty card that rewards you both for the coffee you drink there, and the number of visits you make. One of the best things I’ve done in a while.