Catelowna is officially open.
The cat shelter and cafe can be found on the second floor of 1441 Ellis Street in downtown Kelowna.
The woman behind the business, Ashley Karnes, said the business model is used worldwide, but this is the first one in the Okanagan.
“That was part of the drive actually when I realized that there was no central place where people could come and meet a group of cats if they were looking to adopt.”
Catelowna is currently home to 30 adoptable cats.
“The cats are supplied by established rescue centres, so they do come with a personality profile,” Karnes said she brings her little chihuahua in when they have new intakes to test how the cats do with dogs and they do the same with kids of the volunteers.
Karnes said none of this would have been possible without some amazing community partners. “Every single person that I come across through Facebook Marketplace, the lawyer, the realtor… Everybody has really been 100 per cent behind the project and helped out and supported in any way they can.”
The cat cafe is open for bookings online, or Karnes said you could take a chance and just drop in. Grab your coffee and a snack then head into the lounge.
“Canada health requirements are that the two areas are separated so that there’s no cross-contamination… There are double doors between the cafe and the cat lounge, and that also deters escapees from going into the kitchen.”
The fee for the cat lounge is $16 per visit for an hour. Visits are limited to four people and several rules must be followed, such as letting sleeping cats be, not feeding the felines, indoor voices, and not picking the cats up.