Did you know that Toronto now has its very own cat cafe? The idea has been touted around for several months, if not several years, and now thanks to the two co-owners who decided to take the idea into their own hands and make it a reality, hundreds and maybe thousands of cat fans around Toronto get to visit the very first cat cafe in town, TOT The Cat Cafe.
There’s a little bit of background story if you want to read about how this cat cafe started and how the name came about here at BlogTO. Otherwise, here’s my experience at my first cat cafe! And just so people are clear, a cat cafe is a cafe where you can enjoy drinks and snacks while also getting to play with cats in a separate enclosed area. For some sickos out there, a cat cafe is not where you actually get to eat cats :P. Since the cats are kept in a separate area from where the food is made, it complies with the city’s health and safety regulations. 🙂
My friend Anh and I had talked about this before so when the cat cafe was ready to open on November 16, 2015, we booked the Friday of that week to visit it for the first time! Our friend Alice joined us as well.
We made plans to arrive at 5:45 p.m. but Alice and I didn’t get there until 6:15 p.m. or so. Anh informed us (thanks for your patience!) that there was a line-up already and that they weren’t letting more people into the cafe until 6:30 p.m. TOT The Cat Cafe is located on College Street near Spadina so you can easily get there via the TTC streetcars. Thankfully, it wasn’t too cold yesterday and we were let into the cafe soon at 6:30 p.m.
Once inside, we lined up towards the cashier where there was a big blackboard menu to the left full of drinks that you could choose from. One of the staff who was holding a clipboard informed us that each person was required to buy one item in order to enter the glassed-in cat room where the cats were. There was a big list of coffees, lattes, teas, and juice. I was a little tempted to get the hot chocolate for a cold night but I ended up getting a slice of their chocolate cake. They only had a few cakes to choose from, but I definitely wanted to spend my money on a cake instead of a drink that day.
We also left our names with the staff member who informed us we would be “group 11” to be called in. We only spent around 10 minutes or so enjoying our drinks and cake before Group 11 was called into the cat room.
We were excited!! We were instructed to take off our shoes to change into the cute fuzzy slippers that they provided in order to enter the cat room or to enter with just socks. There was also hand sanitizer to use before we entered the cat room.
I liked how each group entered the cat room and had a specific time to enjoy play time with the cats before the next group entered. I estimated that we were probably in there for ten minutes.
At this time of writing, there were five cats inside TOT The Cat Cafe. Since it was getting close to the end of the day and the cats were probably tired from being pet all day, almost all the cats were napping when we went inside. It didn’t prevent any of us from taking lots of photos though or petting the cats, haha. One of the cats, Tiana, ended up waking from her laze on one of the pillows and went to eat some cat food. That was the only interactive cat of our visit, haha.
Before we knew it, our cat encounter was over and we left the cat room, put away our slippers, and left. Most of the customers who entered the cafe also left once they had their cat encounter. There were still a lot of people and quite a line-up at the counter.
All in all, I had a fun time at my first cat cafe and it was quite the experience! We all thought that they should have more cats — five is not enough for everyone to “play” with for a cat cafe, especially during busy times. I do understand they are in the process of getting more to put up for adoption and also to go through any other rules or regulations for a cat cafe. You can take your drinks into the cat room and there is a place for you to take off your coat and put your belongings.
I can’t wait for them to offer “cat nibbles” that customers can purchase to feed to cats! That will be quite fun. Other than that, the slice of chocolate cake that I had was rather moderate — it wasn’t particularly delicious and a little too sweet. I doubt anyone would come in here if it weren’t for playing with cats. I wonder how this place would do in the coming months and year?
What are your thoughts? Would you visit this unique cat cafe? Have you visited other cat cafes that are in places like Montreal, Korea, or Japan? 🙂