Cat cafe to open in Sydney

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Artist's impression of a "kitten catpaccino" from Catmosphere Sydney.
Artist's impression of a "kitten catpaccino" from Catmosphere Sydney. Photo: Supplied

Ever lamented the lack of science fiction-themed cat cafes in Sydney? Lament no more, Catmosphere is coming!

For $20, cafe customers will receive a coffee, a cat-shaped cookie, and access to a rotating roster of felines to pat, scratch and Instagram.

Catmosphere Sydney co-founder Thomas Derricott says he was inspired to open the cafe after he visited the original Catmosphere in Chiang Mai, Thailand with his girlfriend and business partner.

"We just fell in love the cafe and the Austrian owner spoke to us about franchising the idea," he says. "My business partner and I have never run a cafe before but we do run a marketing company and thought that Catmosphere was an idea that people will fall in love with."

The cafe is set to open in July at a yet to be announced location, although Derricott points to Paddington as the likely home for Catmosphere Sydney.

Australia's first cat cafe opened in Melbourne July 2014.

In order to comply with health and safety regulations, the cats will be housed in a separate, food-free section of the cafe, closed off by an air-locked door that prevents any wayward furballs floating into the biscuits and coffee. The room will contain about eight cats to hang out with at any one time.

Inside the cat room will be a number of tabby toys and play sets with science fiction modifications.

"We don't just want to have cat slides and ramps, we want it to look like the interior of a spaceship," says Derricott.

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The space theme continues in the cafe section of Catmosphere where the walls will be covered in retro sci-fi posters (Derricott believes there is a "huge crossover" between cat fans and science fiction fans).

The Catmosphere cats will be from animal rescue organisations like Inner City Strays.

"In the lead up to opening we're meeting with a number of the prospective cats and spending time with them and making sure they enjoy our company as much as we enjoy theirs." says Derricott.

The cafe will also have a "no humans" zone where the cats will rotate through every few hours so customer affection doesn't become too much.

Catmosphere Sydney is using the crowdfunding website Indiegogo to raise capital for the cafe's launch and sell advanced tickets to the cat room, merchandise, and cat-naming rights.

It costs $1000 to name a cat and Derricott says two punters have already donated money for the privilege. There is no word yet what those cat names are, but keeping with the sci-fi theme, goodfood.com.au would like suggest Doctor Mew, Catrick Stewart and Leopard Nimoy.