The Orlando Cat Café: Sip coffee while playing with adoptable kittens
With the Grand Opening of The Orlando Cat Café tomorrow, I was eager to take a moment with Sandra Cagan, who manages Cagan Crossings and developed the Orlando Cat Café to have her answer some questions.
Okay so, to begin, maybe you can start by telling me a little bit about you…
My name is Sandra Cagan and I am the developer of Cagan Crossings, a Traditional Neighborhood Development in Clermont Florida
What is the history behind The Orlando Cat Café, and what made you want to open up shop here in Clermont, Florida?
On December 31, 2014, NBC Nightly News aired a story about a Cat Café that opened in New York, the first of its kind in the US. The concept started in Japan where it continues to be very popular. As a lifetime lover of cats, the story stayed with me for several days. Cats have always been a passion of mine and 2015 (the day after the news story aired) marked an important year for me as it was the 30th anniversary of my 20th birthday. I had been looking for a philanthropic project and the idea of a cat café to help shelter cats really intrigued me, more so than just writing a check. Given my 20 years experience in the Property Management field I felt that this was something that I could do – marry my passion for cats with my property management experience.
What is the process for grabbing coffee and going to play with the cats?
The cats and coffee are in 2 separate areas, joined by a double door vestibule. If you want to visit the Axum Coffee Shop you are free to do so. There is a viewing window from the coffee shop to the Cat Play/Adoption Area. If you want to play with the cats you pay a small entrance fee and then you can take your food purchase into the Cat Play Zone. There is strict separation of the animals from the Coffee Shop
What rules do the guests need to be aware of?
The rules can be found on the Orlando Cat Cafe website.
Is the $8 fee to enter the cat area ($10 for events) donated to the animal League?
The entry fee goes to help support the kitties and the work that the Animal League does – it pays for water, lighting, air conditioning and other essentials
Is any percentage of profits made by Axum Coffee donated to the animal League?
Axum has been a tremendous partner and friend to The Animal League. I am not privy to the details of what their financial situation is going to be
I imagine it took a huge amount of planning, determination and hard work to get this up and running. What kept you going?
20 months – 19 of which was truly “Labor of Love”. The last month was really just “labor” J I love cats and I love this idea of cats finding their forever homes and families being matched up with cats. In my 51 years, I have had a cat or cats pretty much continuously for 37 of those years and I can not even come close to expressing how much happiness they have given me. If I can play a small role in bringing that kind of happiness to other families, then I truly feel that I will have made a difference in the world
How were you certain there would be a demand for this kind of place in Clermont.
I wasn’t. The 3 of us (Cagan Management Group, Axum Coffee, and The Animal League) are all taking a risk. We have over 200 reservations booked for our first week though, so we feel good!
Is the cat café the right environment for all cats? How did you pick the right ones for the café?
I am fortunate to have partnered with The Animal League – a no kill shelter that has been in operation since 1988 and who enjoys a tremendous reputation in Florida as well as beyond. There were very involved in the planning of the café including rules, regulations, furnishings etc and they are intimately involved with their rescues and so they know who will do well in this environment
Would you at some point take cats in a separate part of the building and allow people to meet them one on one for the purposes of adopting them out?
That is not in the works. The Animal League has adoption counselors on site and they know the personality of each cat and kitten and can help prospective families pick out a cat that would work best for them. Often times it’s the cat that picks the family and not the other way around!
Is there any other information you’d like to share with my readers?
I think that’s it – you asked some good questions!
I want to thank Sandra Cagan again for taking time out of preparing for the Grand Opening tomorrow to answer these questions for me.
I’m so excited to attend the Grand Opening tomorrow w and I plan to take lots of pictures of the café. Pictures of the Cat area to follow.
The new coffee spot at Cagan Crossings on U.S. 27 here in Clermont where you can play with cats and adopt them will open at noon Thursday.
What: Orlando Cat Cafe
Where: 532 Cagan Park Avenue in Clermont
When: Play area – 10 a.m to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday; Cafe area, 7 a.m to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
How much: $8 for adults, $4 for children
Information: www.orlandocatcafe.com or 352-989-4820
Michael is the owner and professional pet sitter of Paternal Pet Care in Clermont, Florida and a huge animal lover. He and his wife, Cassie, share their home with two rescued dogs.