Cats and cappuccino might not go hand in hand, but ‘Capawcino Cat Café’ can prove the visitors wrong and welcome them with a pleasant surprise.
The first of its kind in the country, this café has a place reserved for cats and a separate zone for food.
However you cannot just walk into the feline zone, you have to register first through Google docs (links given in their Facebook page) and pay a certain amount (BDT 200 for one person) through bKash to be able to pet cats, play with them or watch them play around you for an hour at a time.
Also, you have to wash your hands and leave your shoes before entering the cat zone which is separated from the real restaurant by glass walls.
After you are done with petting and playing, you can go wash your hands again. Hygiene is very important for the cats’ health as well. All the animals are regularly vaccinated, so children can also play with them.
The playing/petting hours are termed as therapeutic sessions because research has shown that spending time with pets can calm you down and make you feel better by reducing anxiety and depression.
Full time manager and one of the owners, Shibli said, “When we used to hang out with our friends and our cats would be around us, we used to feel really good and relaxed. We knew that others would feel the same if we created a similar environment for them with a comfortable space, good food and cute, cuddly cats!”
The five co-owners of the café are young university graduates who wanted to do something different, fun and also beneficial for rescue cats. So the restaurant also doubles as a safe haven for locally bred cats.
“I have always had pet cats but so many of them in the house would irritate my parents. So they were very happy when I turned our garage into a cat café!” said Rahat, co-owner and engineering graduate from AIUB.
According to him, family members and friends have been very cooperative with their initiative. Paw life care, a veterinarian organization, has already extended their helping hand. Cats rescued by them will be put up for adoption through ‘Capawcino Cat Café’.
“That’s our contingency plan actually. If the café doesn’t work out, we will still be functioning as a home for rescue kitties,” he said.
Loki, Merida, Charlie, Panda—these are names of some of the cats among the ten who are displayed in the cat corner. Well behaved and walking about in the zone, these cats seemed really cool with the presence of strangers.
You may have heard of dog cafés or playing zones for pets in other countries but you cannot bring in your pets here. It is strictly for the café cats!
Although small in size, the restaurant’s interior is cozy and brightly lit with a neon colored picture of a cat at the front wall. The brown and beige furniture looks good against off-white walls and polished, wooden floor.
The menu has been kept fairly simple with coffee (flavored and normal), milkshakes, pastas, waffles, cheesecakes and brownies. The price range is between BDT 30 to BDT 250 which seems quite affordable for youngsters who are the primary target customers of the café.
Whether you are an animal lover or not, a unique place like this will surely intrigue you.
Update: As of August 15, the cafe has been closed temporarily due to maintenance issues but they hope to resume their operations soon.