Cat café claws back mock election sign campaign in Chelsea, Que.

A new cat café in west Quebec drew laughs this weekend for putting up mock election signs with cats for candidates around the community... then it drew the attention of officials who pointed out they're against a bylaw.

Ad campaign for new café draws attention from mayor, who says they're against a bylaw

The Siberian Cat Café in Chelsea, Que., launched an ad campaign with mock cat campaign signs on Labour Day weekend. Its owners say they'll only focus on private property after the mayor pointed out their signs on public property were against the community's bylaw. (Patrick Foucault/Radio-Canada)

A new cat café in west Quebec drew laughs this weekend for putting up mock election signs with cats for candidates around the community… then it drew the attention of officials who pointed out they're against a bylaw.

The Siberian Cat Café in Chelsea, north of Ottawa-Gatineau, opened less than two months ago with seven cats for eat-in customers to spend time with.

Saturday, signs featuring them went up around the community, styled to look like the orange, blue and black signs for candidates in the current federal election: the Bloc Chat, Chat-chasseur, Libre and Nouveau Parti de Dimitri (Dimitri is one of their cats).

Chelsea Mayor Caryl Green said Saturday it was a very original — but illegal — idea since the signs were on public property.

"It's not legal according to our bylaw… we'll enter into a discussion with the owners and I do think they'll be asked to take them down," she said.

"This bylaw is in place to protect the cachet, the look and feel of our historic village, so we do limit the number of signs that are in place. That being said, during this period of construction we have agreed to relax our bylaws to allow businesses to put sandwich boards at street corners; however this is taking it a bit (too) far."

The café's owner, Michael Lebrun, told Radio-Canada the idea of the ad campaign is to have fun and they won't fight with the city about it.

"People are tired of the election, too (many) signs everywhere, the idea behind this stunt is just to bring people's minds anywhere else, so they can know this can be funny and for sure to talk about our new business," he said.

Instead, he said they'll see who wants to put a sign up on their private property while they plan their upcoming cats debate in a few weeks.