I wasn’t that surprised when I heard news of a cat café this week. I was surprised however to hear one may be coming to London. And that it’s being crowd-funded.
I’ve been aware of Japan’s wacky themed cafés and ‘cosplay restaurants’ for a while (think nun-themed cafés, maid cafés etc where the waiting staff all dress up – fetish sounding yet apparently U rated). Then a couple of months ago a friend shared pictures of a ‘Cat Café’ on Facebook following a trip to South Korea. I did indeed bat an eyelid but didn’t think about it much further. Until I heard one may shortly open down the road in London – and in Shoreditch, obviously.
Luckily for cats and cat lovers everywhere, a cat café involves petting cats rather than eating them. You simply have your normal coffee but in the company of feline friends. [I’m someone who was freaked out by the Ikea cat advert so it doesn’t really appeal… although if there were a dog one not only would I go but also shame myself by repeatedly saying ‘here doggy-doggy-doggy!’ like a deranged moron until someone asked me to leave.]
The proposed London cat café, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, is interesting not only for being damn weird but also for being being crowd-funded on indiegogo.com by similarly-cat-minded individuals. The entrepreneur, Lauren Pears, has raised £8,000 so far of the £108,000 goal. If the full amount is raised the café could open as early as March this year.
The drivers behind it are simple:
1. Lots of people like cats
2. Lots of people live in small flats without space for pets
3. Lots of mean landlords don’t let you keep pets anyway
4. Lots of us poor city dwellers have to work until 8 pm and have no time to care for pets
…therefore it’s not surprising if cat cafés have appeal in London as well as Tokyo and Seoul.
So, cat lovers out there – would you go?
Experiential marketers – could you create a similarly wacky activity for your brand? (Cats not essential.)
PS – For the dog lovers I suggest going to the Holly and Lil dog collar shop on Bermondsey Street – you enter via a little gate to find a pristine boutique manned by a shop owner and two dogs (including an over-attached, cute pug).