Calgary

Calgary cat café pawsitively lapped up by cat ladies, others

Some in the Kensington area of Calgary have been practically counting down the days, and they need count no more. The Regal Cat Café on 10th Street N.W. opened Saturday with a huge line out front.

Concept is so new legislation had to be tinkered with to accommodate it

Opening day brings huge lineup 0:48

Some in the Kensington area of Calgary have been practically counting down the days, and they need count no more.

The Regal Cat Café on 10th Street N.W. opened Saturday with a huge line out front, and the concept is so new that legislation had to be tinkered with to accommodate it.

"We have worked with Alberta Health right from the start of this," co-owner Tia Wieler told CBC News.

"They helped us pick the right floor plan and design the right space to keep the health and comfort of people as well as the pets. We actually had to set precedent with the city of Calgary. We caused them to create a ruling for what a cat café was in their minds. We are trendsetters."

Co-owner Tia Wieler says they worked with the province and the city to get the approval for a new cat cafe in Kensington. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

The café has two separate rooms, one for coffee and an enclosed area for kitty cuddles for a small fee, but Wieler says it's not all fun and games.

"All the cats on site are adoptable from the MEOW foundation. We are working very closely with them to give them the proper care and hopefully some more exposure to help more kitties find more homes," she explained.

"We have adoptions every two weeks and then a new batch of kitties will come in ready to cuddle and play with guests."

Siobhan Morrison says she's been looking forward to the opening for months. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Ten-year-old Siobhan Morrison was part of that long line before the store opened.

"I love cats because they are so cute and my mom has been talking about this place for months," Morrison said.

"I hope that I can pet some because there are a lot of people already in there."

The opening of a cat café was a first for Tanis Beaver.

Tanis Beaver has one cat but relatives have many more. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

"I was so excited to see this one," Beaver said.

"I think it's awesome. I think it's going to bring a lot of people in to go and see the cats and also hopefully get them adopted."

Beaver's family is all about the feline love.

"I have one but I also have a couple of aunts and uncles and they have like six or seven each."

Meanwhile, Wieler says in addition to hot and cold drinks, there's a good selection of kittens and cats to watch and play with.

"We have a great mix of kitties. Of course, everybody's favourites are the litter of four kittens fresh out of a foster home and our oldest guy is Fugs, he is three and likes to sit up top and look down on all of the other cats."

With files from CBC's Terri Trembath