Melbourne's cat cafe has patrons purring
Feline like a coffee? Soon you'll be able to drop into Australia's first cat cafe.
Melbourne Cat Cafe is set to open in North Melbourne, pending approval from council.
An online campaign to fund refurbishment of the Queen Street premises has raised A$6,331 (NZ$6825.3) since launching on May 15, with supporters aiming to reach their A$5,500 goal by June 14.
A recent trip to Japan inspired owners Anita and Myles Loughran to bring the concept, popular in Asia, Europe and the UK, to Australia.
The cafe offers patrons the opportunity to watch and play with resident cats.
"It was something that I had never experienced in Australia," Loughran said of her visit to a cat cafe in Japan.
"It's this whole new social experience where everyone is relaxed and talking to each other - complete strangers will start having conversations over whatever cat they are playing with."
Loughran says Melbourne is the purrfect place to open a cat cafe as the city already has a vibrant cafe culture and a community open to different experiences.
"We are hoping it's a nice alternative to a busy and noisy night out," she said.
"We have had a couple of people commenting on Facebook that it would be the perfect place for a first date."
However due to regulations cafe goers won't be able to pat a cat as they sip their cafe latte.
The 10 rescue shelter cats will be kept upstairs across five rooms away from food and beverages and customers can pay A$10 to play with them for one hour, and then a lower rate per half hour longer.
Cats will be chosen based on their temperament and with help from the Geelong Animal Welfare Society and The Lost Dogs Home in North Melbourne.