Nicholas Pescod/News Bulletin Kelly Whiteside is hoping to launch a cat café in Nanaimo, which she says would be the first on Vancouver Island.

Nanaimo woman envisions Vancouver Island’s first cat café

Business idea still in early planning stages and hopes to be open next year

A Nanaimo woman has a business idea that is really the cat’s meow.

Kelly Whiteside, a local photographer, is hoping to open a cat café in Nanaimo called Kitties and Cream next year, which she said would become Vancouver Island’s first cat café.

Kitties and Cream would have anywhere from 10 to 15 felines that patrons can spend time playing with according to Whiteside, who said the cats would be located in an area known as a cat lounge, which would be separate from where people would consume food and drinks.

“Right now it is in the very early stages,” Whiteside said. “I am just working on branding right now and figuring out the logistics of having cats and foods and drinks together. It is quite the health hazard. So, trying to figure that out is going to take awhile.”

The idea to open a cat café in Nanaimo came to Whiteside while she was travelling throughout Japan. Whiteside said she spoke with a couple of cat café owners, who told her that many of their patrons are people who simply can’t have cats at their home for one reason or another.

“When I was visiting the cat cafés there, I was talking to a few of the owners about what made them so popular and they made some points, such as a lot of the housing units are too small and just don’t allow pets and that a lot of people flock to the cat cafés to hang out with the cats because they can’t have pets at home. That made me think of Nanaimo,” she said. “A lot of landlords are saying no pets and so a lot of people are having to give up their pet or are choosing not to have pets. So, I thought it was a great idea for Nanaimo.”

Whiteside said she will only have cats at Kitties and Cream that get along with each other and are friendly with humans in order to provide a positive experience for everyone. She said she wants to partner with an organization or a humane society that could supply her with cats that could eventually be adopted by patrons.

View this post on Instagram

Lazy Sundays ❤️ #catsofinstagram

A post shared by Kitties & Cream (@kittiesandcreamcatcafe) on

Although Kitties and Cream has no firm location just yet, Whiteside said she wants it to be located in the Old City Quarter and has looked at a few buildings in the area. She said in addition to ensuring she meets various health and safety standards, finding a building suitable for a cat café has been a bit challenging.

“From my understanding, you essentially have to have a hallway between the cat lounge and the café,” Whiteside said. “Finding a place that meets that expectation is a little bit difficult but I have found some.”

Whiteside said there would be a fee to enter the cat lounge area and patrons will be able to reserve a time slot, a model used by Vancouver’s only cat café, Catfe. If all goes according to plan, Kitties and Cream would open on Aug. 8, which is International Cat Day.




nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Port Hardy earns Bear Smart certification

Community committed to living safely alongside bears

Funding police would be ‘most expensive single budget item we would have,’ says Port Hardy councillor

‘we’re not panicking — I can’t see our population numbers jumping up that high that quick’

Small physically distant running event with big heart held in Port Hardy

Indigenous Run/Walk program went ahead this year, with some downsizing due to COVID-19

Longtime Vancouver Island fishing family hooks into local market over wholesale

Locally caught fish are scarce in fishing towns, an irony one Sointula family is working to change

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight on Vancouver Island

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Most Read