Too Close to Call: A tail of two cafés

We’re not kitten around! These cat and dog cafés offer a public space for furry friends to play, pounce and paw around with each other, as well as with their human friends — and kids love ’em!


Published:

Tot the Cat Café

vs.

Sit! Stay! Dog Emporium

Scott Tan (pictured)
and Kenneth Chai; 2015
Owner(s);
year established:

 
Jessica Landon; 1973   
It was Kenneth’s idea to open a cat café, and I fully supported the idea. He had a cat named Olen whom he adopted eight years ago. Olen inspired Kenneth’s concept to launch Tot. What inspired the idea of opening a cat/dog café? We wanted to create a fun and friendly atmosphere where people could come and relax in the café, with their dog, and shop in our boutique, with help from our honest and educated staff.
For humans, we offer some minor baked goods, but we mainly serve beverages and are in the process of expanding our menu. For the cats, we offer a place they can feel safe, loved and stress-free.  What do you offer at your café (for humans and the animals)? For dogs, we have specialty cakes, cupcakes, beautiful cookies, doggy gelato, organic and grain-free goods. We encourage our two-legged friends to bring in their own treats/beverages if
they want!
Coffee = de-stress and cats = relaxation. We wanted to incorporate the two to introduce a homelike atmosphere with cats, in hopes that visitors would be interested in adopting. Why do you think incorporating cats/dogs into the café is important? Leaving a dog tied up outside gives an opportunity for unscrupulous characters to steal and resell, or worse use, them as bait dogs, so it’s great for the dogs and owners to be able to socialize in a safe and comfortable space.  
The cats spend most of the time sleeping. And it’s cats. If you’re lucky, they will get up and socialize. They’re all very friendly! How do the cats/dogs behave inside the café? Very well. People in this area treat their pets as family, so they are always well-behaved and social. Most love the interaction!
All of the cats are from the Toronto Humane Society and are sent to the café in hopes of being adopted by customers who visit, through our adoption process. Do you support any type of adoption program through the café? We are huge advocates for adoption and rescue. We hold adoption events and fundraisers for local dog rescues, and some of our staff foster dogs through
local rescues.
     
298 College St., 647-748-2287​   2074 Yonge St., 647-748-7829
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