Purr-haps it’s just us, but Japan seems to have so many awesome things that we don’t, and the plethora of cat cafes is one of them. At least until now. Just when you thought Brisbane couldn’t paw-sibly get more amazing, local cat-lover, Katie Phelan, has gone and opened up Brisbane’s second cat café!
Lucky Cat Cafe is one part chilled out café (downstairs) and one part utterly adorable cattery (upstairs). The “cattic”, as it’s affectionately known, is a glorious cat heaven, purpose-built with climbing platforms, rope bridges, loads of toys, couches, and Wi-Fi (that one’s for the humans).
We sat down with Katie to find out a bit more about Brisbane’s new cat heaven.
Hi Katie, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how the idea for the Lucky Cat Cafe came about?
No problem! Lucky Cat Cafe is modelled after the original cat cafes in Japan. We have permanent resident cats that people can get to know.
People are already growing attached to our cats, because they’re all so individual and have their own distinct personalities. We’ve had people coming back specifically to visit the cat they’ve fallen in love with.
It’s great to see people enjoying their time with our cats. It’s also so rewarding to watch kittens from our adoption days find their forever home and leave with their new human – it’s what I love most about my job!
Can you tell us a bit about the cats and what they’re like?
They’re all really affectionate and love people – they simply can’t get enough pats! Seriously. If you stop brushing them, they will tap you on the arm until you continue.
Our cats even greet people at the top of the stairs as they enter, because they are so eager for attention.
One of the girls, Lulu, is a big tubby tabby. She follows you around the room and flops down onto her back until you pat her belly. She will also lick you excitedly if you scratch the right spot on her back!
Where did your cats in Lucky Cat Cafe come from?
All of our cats were chosen from Brisbane Valley Cat Rescue, a local, free-roam, no-kill shelter. They had all been at the shelter for an average of five years and didn’t get as much one-on-one attention as they would have liked, due to the number of cats there.
We brought a few of the more laid back ones to the cafe to see if they’d like it… and they did! They have settled right in and are loving life! The good thing is that we have the option to take any cat back to the shelter if, at any time, they’re not fitting in or feeling stressed. They will always have a home there.
We’ll give them a home! You actually probably get asked this a lot but can we adopt any of the cats at the café?
Our resident cats are not available for adoption, however we have profiles on display of cats currently in foster care that are looking for their forever homes.
We work with BVCR to help get cats adopted from their shelters, and we host regular pop-up kitten adoption days in partnership with local rescue groups (like Kitten Kapers) to help reduce the number of cats in shelters.
That’s really great to hear! So this is something that we’ve always wondered: what happens to the cats after you close up for the day? Do you take them all home with you?
Haha no, the cafe is their home – they live here 24 hours a day. We leave a few lights and the radio on for them at night so they don’t get startled by street noises, but this is their time to relax. Although they love people, everyone needs some downtime!
We’re here quite early to open and we stay fairly late to close, so the cats aren’t really alone for much longer than the length of an average workday. We have cameras set up too, so we can keep an eye on them whenever we aren’t here.
One of the longest running arguments in human history is the question of cats vs dogs. Why do you think cats are so awesome?
Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs too! Cats just fit into a cafe environment so well. They’re clean and gentle, and they basically look after themselves! Compared to cats, dogs are very needy and messy.
You have to work for a cat’s trust and affection too, so it’s a bit more rewarding when a normally shy cat comes out to sit with you. As the great Terry Pratchett said, “In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”
Wiser words have never been spoken. It’s obvious you’re a big cat lover – who is your favourite “famous” cat of all time?
Grumpy Cat for sure! Tardar Sauce is my spirit animal, especially before I’ve had a coffee.
Thanks for telling us about Lucky Cat Café, Katie. Before you go though, one last question! Cat cafes are definitely the most awesome sorts of cafes, but sadly, not every cafe can be cat-filled. What’s your favourite non-cat cafe?
I love Bellissimo in Newstead – awesome coffee roasted on-site and rotating single origins. They also have amazingly decadent muffins as big as your hand!
Get your kitty fix now and head to Lucky Cat Cafe. You can book appointments here and also read a bit more about the kitties!