Located in Christchurch, New Zealand, Catnap Café will be the South Island's first cat café – operating as both a traditional café and as a home (temporary and permanent) for local rescue cats. Our mission is to provide a safe, fun and relaxing environment where cats and people can enjoy each other’s company and to promote the adoption of rescue cats.
As current volunteers for Cat Rescue Christchurch, we are very aware of the overpopulation of stray cats in Christchurch and the limited resources available to help them. Although local rescue organisations do an amazing job and help hundreds of cats every year, we want to help them to help even more!
A cat café is the perfect way to work alongside these organisations to increase the number of cats being re-homed. The café will provide both a permanent home for several resident rescue cats and a foster home for rescue cats and kittens that will be available for the public to adopt.
We also want Catnap Café to provide a fun and unique experience for Christchurch residents and visitors to our city. Post-earthquake Christchurch is constantly changing and we want to be part of that change - by creating a positive presence in our community which has been through a lot over the last several years.
The café will be divided into two areas - a food area and a cat area. The food area will be much like a normal café in which you can order delicious food and drinks (these can also be taken through into the cat area).
The cat area will be a place for people and cats to come together in a fun and cosy environment with comfy couches, bean bags, cat toys, boxes (of course!) and anything awesome we can find or build to keep our cats happy. You can choose to spend your time in either or both areas! There will be an additional fee to enter the cat area, which will be on a per hour basis. Some of our cats will be permanent café residents while others will be available for adoption.
Outside of normal business hours we will also hold special events such as fundraising for local rescues, yoga, birthday parties and movie nights. All made better of course, by the presence of cats! We will also have a resident photographer available at events to snap some cute pictures of you and the cats.
We are committed to providing a safe and relaxing environment for our cats, their welfare and happiness will be our absolute top priority. We are huge cat lovers and this project is driven by our desire to help reduce the stray cat population in Christchurch, to provide homes for unwanted cats, and to promote adoption.
All cats will be de-sexed, vaccinated and receive regular vet check-ups, including flea and worm treatments. We will be in partnership with local rescue organisation Cat Rescue Christchurch with all adoptions at the café happening via the Cat Rescue process. This will enable us to help them re-home even more cats and kittens every year.
As well as providing people the opportunity to interact with, and potentially adopt cats, we will of course also offer all the key aspects of a traditional café such as great coffee, delicious baked goods, and free WiFi.
We love all animals so our menu will be vegetarian with plenty of vegan options. The kitchen and cat area will be kept completely separate and we will be acting under a council approved food plan so there will be no need to worry about the risk of contamination!
The cat café concept has been growing in popularity throughout the world in recent years and now Christchurch will finally have one of its own! In fact, we will be the first cat café in the whole of the South Island. As many of you will know, Christchurch is currently still recovering from the devastating earthquakes of 2010/2011. If anywhere deserves the opportunity to cuddle cute cats at any time, it’s Christchurch!
As well as helping the homeless cats of Christchurch, we want to attract more people to the city, give back to the community, and provide locals with something fun and unique to do.
We’ve been in touch with the Christchurch City Council and the Ministry for Primary Industries and will be working with them to ensure the café will comply with the necessary food health and safety regulations.
We’ve also discussed our plans with the SPCA and are in the process of establishing an animal welfare plan. We also have the support of Cat Rescue Christchurch from whom our adoptable kittens will be acquired. We are now on the lookout for a suitable location in Christchurch and aim to open around February 2018.
Our goal of $25,000 will help cover some of the start-up costs of opening our café. Of course, the total cost will be more than this so we need as much as we can get! The more money we raise, the more we can spoil our cats and the more cats we can help.
Some of the things you’ll be helping us fund are kitchen equipment, cat toys and equipment, building fit out, cat food, vet visits, building lease, insurance, marketing and more. We are extremely grateful to every single supporter of this campaign as your support will allow us to bring our vision to life and help get more cats off the streets of Christchurch.
Even if you can’t donate, sharing and spreading the word about Catnap Café will be a huge help. You can also connect with us on Facebook! As first time business owners, this isn’t going to be easy but we are determined and ready for the challenge. With your help, we truly believe we can make this a success!
If you think you can help in any other way (we need builders, food suppliers, equipment and plenty more), please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We both grew up in Christchurch and met in high school over a decade ago. We’ve been enabling each other’s love of cats ever since! We are huge cat lovers and extremely passionate about helping cats. We’ve been volunteering for Cat Rescue Christchurch for the last three years (Alyssa is the current Volunteer Coordinator) and our experience fostering and socialising rescue kittens is what motivated us to decide to open a cat café.
Our dream took form about a year ago and after talking about it for several months, we started attending a business course early this year to help us create a business plan and get things underway. We’re still figuring some things out as we go and learning new things every step of the way but we’re ready to take the plunge and start putting all our planning into action!
All cat portraits by Lucky Paws Pet Photography (and all cats fostered by us via Cat Rescue Christchurch!)
Risks and challenges
Starting a small business is full of risks and challenges, but we have the determination, motivation, and passion to do what it takes to work through them. The main challenges we face are:
Financial - The cost of setting up a new business is high. Not reaching our Kickstarter funding goal would create some difficulties. If this campaign isn't successful, it will delay the opening of Catnap Cafe and we will need to look into other finance options.
Location - We still need to find a suitable location to meet our unique needs. However, we're on the lookout and we are confident that we'll be able to find just the right place!
Legislation and regulations - We need to ensure all risks and requirements are addressed in terms of the legislation and regulations that will apply to the operation of Catnap Cafe, particularly the Food Act, the Health and Safety at Work Act, and the Animal Welfare Act. We understand what we need to do, we've spoken to the relevant authorities and we're currently working on all the necessary plans and paperwork.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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