First Cat Cafe opens in the US

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CatCafe-21The Cat Cafe by Purina ONE opened its kitty door (and its human-size doors) to New Yorkers on April 24. Curious cat lovers had the chance to sip complimentary “cat’achinos” with 16 adoptable and adorable cats. And, no, visitors didn’t need to use a box as a toilet.

Feline coffeehouses already exist in other areas of the world, such as Japan and Paris, but health code laws had prevented the trend from fully catching on in the U.S. Purina ONE’s Cat Cafe featured a food service area connected to a cat sanctuary with swinging doors to keep the animals and kitchen separate.

North Shore Animal League (NSAL) partnered with Purina ONE to supply the cafe with rescue cats from across the country. Matthew Carroll, offsite coordinator at NSAL, says that the pets have been “evaluated behaviourally, medically and socially” to ensure that they will make perfect companions for the right owners.

“We have a wonderful, on-going relationship with Purina,” NSAL outreach manager Jayne Vitale told Mashable. “They feed all of our animals –- all our dogs, cats, puppies and kittens at our shelter -– and they are a wonderful supporter and have the same goals and mission, which is to rescue. We have the same view on how important it is to educate and teach humane education.”

Education plays a key role in the Cat Cafe, according to Niky Roberts of the Purina ONE brand team. The cafe’s 16 adoptable cats are meant to show people the picture of good cat health, including bright eyes, high activity levels and shiny coats.

“They’re all active, they’re affectionate, they’re vocal and they have beautiful coats,” she said. “We want people to see what cat health looks like in action.”

The four day pop-up shop featured six speaking sessions on cat health from a veterinarian, behaviourist, photographer, artist and members of the NSAL.

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