Vancouver Catfé offers kitty cuddles and hot coffee served by 'purristas'

It's no ordinary coffee shop, instead of baristas, "purrristas" serve hot beverages and snacks while customers can play with cats in a nearby lounge.

Catfé opens its doors early to media and select supporters to show off furry idea

Vancouver's first cat café, Catfé, opened its door to media and select supporters for a sneak peek. 0:56

It's the purrfect stop for cat-loving coffee drinkers.

On Saturday, Vancouver's first cat cafe, Catfé, gave media and select supporters early access to a project years in the making.

No ordinary coffee shop, instead of baristas, "purrristas" serve hot beverages and snacks while customers can play with cats in a nearby lounge.

The cafe must ensure all edibles remain away from the animals because of food safety concerns. 

Michelle Furbacher, the owner, brought the vision to life following a popular crowdfunding campaign

She ultimately hopes the felines in her shop will be adopted after customers interact with them.

Until then, Catfé will provide temporary reprieve from the BC SPCA's shelter.

"We're taking cats out of cages which is a worse environment for them and then giving them a chance to live in this nicer space," said Furbacher.

The BC SPCA will be choosing the cats who will make appearances at Catfé.

"There are some cats we have in the shelter that are fearful," said Lorie Chortyk with the BC SPCA.

"We'd never want to put cats in the situation where they're going to be uncomfortable, so we'll make sure whatever cats come here are ones that will enjoy the environment and experience."

Five cats were on-hand for kitty cuddles on Saturday, while Furbacher expects to eventually host up to 12 of the animals.

The cafe opens to the public on Monday, December 14, but, if you want quality cat-time, reservations are recommended — only 16 people will be allowed in the cat lounge at one time.

Cat cafes have also opened in Montreal and Toronto.

With files from Megan Batchelor

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