On election night here in the U.S., Canada’s immigration and visa website crashed. As Americans may debate about a potential move to our fabulous neighbor, there is one thing that American and Canadian pet lovers can all agree on…we love cat cafes!
Cat cafes have received quite a bit of press here in the states but a recent (nonpolitical) visit to Canada led to a Goodnewsforpets discovery of a certain cat cafe in Canada. Goodnewsforpets recently visited Café Chat l’Heureux, a “home away from home” haven where you can forget all the politics and cuddle with a dozen furry, cuddly, gorgeous friends that offer the purrfect afternoon getaway.
In the Plateau neighborhood of Montreal, Founder Clement Marty has created a haven and rescue for those who want a side of love with their spot of tea. A cat connoisseur, he had a mom who loved cats, always had two himself, and studied cat behavior. He toured Japan, visiting more than 20 cat cafés, before using crowd funding on Indiegogo to make his dream of bringing the first cat café to Montreal a reality. He envisioned a place where locals could be educated on animal welfare and cat needs.
While the Cafe Chat l’Heureux is an immersive experience, hygiene comes first when entering the premises. For the wellbeing of their kitties, visitors must wash their hands and vaporize their shoes before entering one of two main areas. The bistro has gourmet sandwiches and pastries for enjoyment, and there is also a separate playground for those who just want to get in there and have some fun. Dietary restrictions are considered, with vegan and gluten-free options on the menu as well.
The café’s visitors range from students, tourists, and those who cannot have pets (not allowed in their buildings, travel, allergic family member etc.) to those who just want a café offering delicious vegetarian options. The latter choice was made to go along with the café’s commitment to animal welfare. Some customers come in weekly, some as often as three times a week, because they are attached to the cats, treating them as their own. Others drop by because they are curious. Although about 80% of visitors are women, many “man cat lovers” come in as well!
Marty says, “The most rewarding part are all the customers who visit us and thank us for what we do: people who see that we do the most we can to take care of our cats, to educate and to promote animal shelter adoption, but with a fun and enjoyable approach. I appreciate sharing all my experience, and give tips to help people understand their cats better. There are so many simple things that 95% of people don’t realize, and they have an interest in learning more after their visit.”
Indeed, Café Chat l’Heureux is perhaps first and foremost a resource. Educating the public about cats is their mantra, and the café hosts special events and educational evenings to encourage and support its mission. Visit their schedule to learn about upcoming events, and schedule your visit, whether you’ve crossed the border, or just want to enjoy some “joie de vivre” in one of Canada’s most beautiful cities.