Where in the classic city (Athens, GA) can you have amazing coffee and freshly baked pastries while hanging out with adorable and adoptable cats? With kitten season just around the corner, Madison Webb and Kelvin Ling wanted to see how they could help more. Our local shelters will be over-full with kittens as the spring kitten season approaches. Opening our doors in February, we hope to relieve our local shelters from the stress of kitten season. Together, we aim to reduce euthanasia rates in our area, and a cat cafe is a great step towards that goal!
What is a Cat Cafe?
A cat cafe is a unique space where cat lovers can enjoy a beverage in the company of cats. The cafe itself doubles as a foster home which means all of the cats are adoptable through Three Paws Animal Rescue.
The first ever Cat Café opened in Asia in 1998, but the concept did not become popular until Japan opened their own in 2004. The concept of combining cats and cafe made its way to the UK, Europe, Australia and eventually, the United States. There are 60+ Cat Cafes in the US but only 5 are in the state of Georgia. Paws Up Cafe is striving to be the first in Athens.
Located on Baxter Street at the site of the now-closed Baxter Street Bookstore, formerly known as Off-Campus Bookstore. Paws Up Cafe will serve pastries and coffee/tea while allowing guests to hang out with furry feline friends. The cat lounge will also serve as an adoption center. All cats are rescued and up-for-adoption via Three Paws Animal Rescue.
Cats will roam freely within the cat lounge and enjoy an environment that is safe for them to build a positive connection with our guests and (hopefully) potential adopters. Our space allows for our guests to connect with unique cat personalities, and since the cats will be in a comfortable environment, it will be easier for potential adopters to choose a cat or kitten that is appropriate for them. In a shelter environment, it is a little difficult to tell how an animal will do in a home environment. The cafe aims for potential adopters to understand a cat’s personality and find the purrfect match for them. Since it will be easier to judge a cat’s personality, we hope to reduce local owner surrender rates.
The cafe will offer pastries from Savie Bakery and the Comerian. We will be using coffee beans roasted by JavaGenesis Coffee Roasting, a small batch craft roaster located in Bethlehem, GA.
How Does It Work?
- Adoptable cats at the cafe will be available for adoption through Three Paws Animal Rescue. Many, if not all, will be from local or surrounding area rescues or shelters. Doing so frees up space to save more feline lives
- Adoptable cats are fully vetted and fixed, all would have been at foster homes where they can fully decompress and gone through a health exam before coming to the cafe where they are likely to showcase their true, loving personality
- Come spend time with the cats or learn about cats, without having to clean a litter box
- A percentage of each day's sale at the the cafe will be donated to a rescue or shelter further allowing us to give back and to help others
- The cafe will also server as a pet food/supplies pantry for people who are in need of pet food or supplies
- The cat lounge will server as an adoption center for Three Paws Animal Rescue
- The cafe will host adoption events for Three Paws and any rescue who wishes to use our location
Visiting the Cats
- There will be a small fee to get into the cat lounge. The fee will include a medium size beverage
- Reservations are booked in advance online via the Paws Up Cafe website. Walk-ins are subject to lounge availability
With Your Help, we will be able to
- Build and purchase cat trees, cat treadmills, cat wall obstacles, and seating for the cat lounge
- Purchase equipments and supplies for the cafe and cat lounge
- Pay rent and utilities
- Renovate the location to create a warm, welcoming, and cozy place for everyone to come and enjoy
Paws Up Cafe is looking to open its doors in February 2019. Construction is happening now to transform the space into a cafe and cat lounge.
Rewards For Our Backers
Exclusive Kickstarter T-Shirts
- Pledges of $500 - you will get 4 t-shirts
- Pledges of $250 - you will get 3 t-shirts
- Pledges of $150 - you will get 2 t-shirts
Imagine walking up Baxter hill to the entrance of Paws Up Cafe. You open the door to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. In the cafe, you will find a full drinks menu offering local baked goods. (It is important to us to support the local community). After you order your drink, you open the door to the cat lounge. There will be a wall separating the cafe and cat lounge areas. In the cat lounge, you find a comfy and cozy spot to sit down. A cat or two welcome you and rub against your leg asking for a warm lap. The cat is purring so loud you can hear the purring over the 80s music playing in the cafe.
Help us bring a Cat Cafe to the Classic City.
About Three Paws Animal Rescue
Three Paws is a 501c3, non-profit, 100% volunteer run, GA Department of Agriculture licensed animal rescue that works tirelessly to save cats and dogs from high kill shelters throughout the state of Georgia.
Three Paws was started by Madison Webb and Kelvin Ling. Both are animal lovers with a connection to the University of Georgia. After years of volunteering with rescues and animal shelters, Madison and Kelvin decided to start their own rescue to better help animals in local shelters. We work with other rescue groups and believe we are all together in the effort to help the cats and dogs in shelters.
Three Paws Rescue is primarily dedicated to rescuing the animals who need us most; we have a soft spot for seniors, fearful, and special needs dogs and cats from the local animal shelters to ensure they will get the care and attention they need before being adopted. Our goal is to ensure a good match between dog/cat and owner, so it is important to us to screen applicants well to avoid moving them over and over again. We are dedicated to our rescue animals for the rest of their lives.
The name ‘Three Paws’ is a tribute to Kelvin’s dog Sammy who passed away on 6/28/2013 after years of fighting various types of cancer. Sammy lost a leg to bone cancer and was a tripod during the last year of his life. Sammy and Leah (a Siberian Husky who was his mother) were instrumental in helping Kelvin become the animal person he is today and this is a small way to remember Sammy’s 12.5 years of faithful companionship with Kelvin.
Risks and challenges
1) Building and Health inspections should not take long, however, should we run into any complications it could extend the opening date but we are confident we will resolve any issues and pass
2) Construction and build-outs could take more time and money than planned, which could add additional time before we can open our doors
3) We may not fulfill our funding goals to help bring this project to life. If the Kickstarter fails, we will still pursue our dream; it just might take a little bit longer than expected with financial setbacksLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)