Scuttles plays with a coloured pencil, thinking it’s a toy in the morning of Aug. 14, 2019 at Whiskers Cat Cafe. He is currently one of 10 cats up for adoption through Bandaged Paws Animal Rescue Association residing at the cafe.
A new café startup is allowing patrons to spend the dog days of summer purring over their java as Whiskers Cat Café settles into having its doors open.Offering a large open space to relax and interact with rescue cats from Bandaged Paws Animal Rescue Association, visitors can also apply to take home their new furry friends.“It’s not like going to a pet store and looking at them through the glass and trying to connect with them there,” said café owner Angie Plante.Whiskers Cat Café is the first of its kind in Grande Prairie, inspired by similar organizations in Edmonton and Calgary.“I took my daughter to a doctor’s appointment in Edmonton and we were killing time, so we went to the cat café there and phoned my fiancé to tell him, ‘We need to open one of these up,’” said Plante.In the café’s first three weeks of opening its doors, they have already seen five cats find their forever homes, with two more applications in the works so far.“We get attached to them, especially this little one, Wheat Thin, so it’s definitely the highlight seeing the cats get adopted,” said Plante.
Angie Plante and Wheat Thin are two of the must-see icons at the new Whiskers Cat Cafe, Aug. 14 2019. Plante began her cafe after inspiration from others like it in Edmonton and Calgary.
There are currently 12 cats residing in the café, 10 of which are up for adoption while the other two are permanent residents who help get newcomers adjusted to the space. One of whom, a large cat named Gary, is a fan favourite.Plante joked that many who walk into the cat room fall in love with and ask if Gary is up for adoption.Being kitten season, the majority of cats at the café are kittens at the moment, the youngest being less than three months old.A first-time business owner, Plante described her transition from educational assistant to café owner as simply “different than what I’m used to,” but commented that she has since enjoyed getting to know the people who visit the café.As cats are adopted out of the café, Bandaged Paws is responsible for determining which of their rescues are ready to be around potentially significant numbers of people, as well as other cats, and delivers the newcomers to Whiskers.In order to help keep the cats fed and litter boxes full, Plante said Pet Valu volunteered to donate food and litter once a month.Plante intends to soon start hosting event nights at Whiskers such as potentially a cat yoga nights, paint nights, date nights or college nights for students to come in and study during the school year.