What makes a café great? The chance to spend time with a feline friend, of course. Budding entrepreneurs April Liang and Toni Fowler wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment, as they prepare to launch the first cat café in Topeka, Kansas. According to Cjonline, their vision seeks to create separate spaces in the café — one for the cats and the other for cat lovers.
Topeka Cat Café will help cats and cat lovers alike
According to Fowler, the Topeka Cat Café has a twofold purpose. Firstly, it will help control the city’s stray feline population and reduce shelter overcrowding. Secondly, this café will help people “spend time with cats that wouldn’t normally be able to.”
Our furry friends often play therapeutic roles in our lives. Given that, this heartfelt initiative can provide much-needed comfort to many folks with cat-shaped holes in their hearts.
As highlighted by Liang, The Topeka Cat Café intends to operate with a distinct setup, featuring a glass window that separates the two areas. This design allows visitors to observe the cats and engage with them without necessarily entering the lounge. Resultantly, this café will be a safer place for allergic people or those who prefer not to interact directly with the felines. In addition, the cat café policy prohibits visitors from bringing their own cats into the establishment.
Liang and Fowler will collaborate with local shelters
While the first of its kind in Topeka, cat cafés are commonplace in other parts of the world. Places like the Expurresso Cat Café in Lawrence, Second Cup Cat Café in Olathe, and the Glass Cat Café in Kansas City often act like foster homes to many of their four-legged residents. Given that, kitty cafés have become lifesavers for felines without a forever home. This is especially true because many shelters often lack the personnel and space needed to accommodate all of the cats needing a safe space.
The motivated entrepreneurs plan to collaborate with local animal shelters to facilitate the sheltering and adoption process for the cats. Additionally, they are actively scouting for an ideal location to launch the Topeka Cat Café.
To make their vision a reality, Liang and Fowler hope to partner up with a local coffee company soon. “Other than that, we are starting the process of searching for funding and sponsorships and growing our social media,” Fowler remarked.
Fowler and Liang have known each other since their high school days but had lost touch after graduation. Twelve years later, a chance encounter via a cat café group on Facebook reunited the old classmates. Fowler had written about her dream to open a cat café that appeared on Liang’s feed within an hour. Consequently, the idea of the Topeka Cat Café was born.
The café is born of its founders’ shared love for cats
Liang is the co-owner of the Liang Real Estate Group and founder of Topeka’s Generosity Network. Furthermore, Fowler, with a background in accounting, has had previous experience at the Helping Hands Humane Society of Lawrence. Additionally, she is launching an online clothing business, where half the sales will help animals in need.
Combining Liang’s and Howler’s philanthropic endeavors and diverse skill sets, the Topeka Cat Café is set to bring joy to humans and cats alike.