Leah Enking says that the Pawffee Shop Cat Cafe is supposed to feel cozy.
“You have that warm cup of coffee and a cat on your lap or sitting next to you, and it just feels like home,” she described.
The Pawffee Shop is located 1745 North Casaloma Drive in Appleton and will hold its grand opening Saturday at 10 a.m.
Enking says she first came across the idea online a few years ago.
“I was like, ‘this is something I can do,'” she said.
Enking reached out to Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary, a Green Bay-based cat rescue specializing in cats with special needs, for advice, but ended up finding a business owner in Safe Haven’s owner, Elizabeth Feldhausen.
“It just kind of became a natural partnership for us to come together and have her help me with the cats from Safe Haven,” Enkind said, “and I am doing a lot of the business part of the cafe.”
Feldhausen told Local 5 she initially thought she was too busy to take on Co-Ownership of the Cat Cafe, but changed her mind after realizing the business’ potential.
“She’ll be great at managing a coffee shop, where this provides me with a lot more space to rescue more animals and work with more cats,” Fieldhausen said.
Typically, Safe Haven is able to keep 20 to 30 cats. With the additional space in the Cat Cafe, Feldhausen says that number can rise to 45.
Visitors will be granted access to the cats after buying an item from the cafe or donating to Safe Haven. To control traffic in the cat room, visits will be limited to 30 minutes.
Feldhausen says the human interaction will be good for the cats as they await adoption.
“A lot of them have been neglected and abused,” she explained, “and for them to be able to just relax in an environment with humans, we teach everyone how to interact with the cats properly, helps them regain trust and they’re not stressed all the time.”
Feldhausen added that everyone who enters the cat room will be trained in properly interacting with the felines.
She hopes the Cafe Cafe will help increase adoptions, but visitors aren’t required to be looking for a new pet.
“They might live in an apartment or with a partner that’s allergic,” Enking said. “They can come and get their cat fix and have it feel like they’re just at home with their cats.”
To learn more about the Pawffee Shop Cat Cafe, click here.