Is a cat cafe coming to Raleigh?

The family behind the planned Purr Cup Cafe, which could be Raleigh’s first cat cafe.
The family behind the planned Purr Cup Cafe, which could be Raleigh’s first cat cafe.

Could Raleigh be the latest city to get a cat cafe?

One couple wants to make it happen by partnering with Meow House Cat Rescue to create a themed cafe where customers can come for coffee and to spend time with furry felines.

Purr Cup Cafe first announced on Facebook that it was in the works. “Partners in business and life” Sarah Newton and Arthur Hailey, of Raleigh, said they love cats and it’s been their dream to open a cat cafe.

“We are hard at work figuring out the financials for our business plan, making connections, meeting with designers, thinking about potential locations and coming up with ideas about how to make Purr Cup Cafe the perfect haven for cats and humans alike,” they wrote in a Facebook post.

Also billed as “The Oak City Kitty Cafe,” Purr Cup’s mission is to “create a haven for cat lovers to enjoy a quality beverage or locally made treat in the company of adoptable cats looking for love and forever homes,” Newton, a retired Carolina Ballet dancer, said. Newton and Hailey have visited other cafes across the U.S. before deciding to start their own in Raleigh.

The cafe hasn’t announced a location or an opening date yet, but posts updates to its Facebook and Instagram pages. A crowdfunding campaign will be launched in coming months, Newton said. The cafe plans to sell pre-packaged local food and coffee made on site.

And the cafe plans to focus on being a site for adoptable kitties to find their forever homes.

“Depending on the exact specifications of our future space, we will have 10-12 rescue cats living in our cat lounge for you to fall in love with,” according to one of the cafe’s Facebook posts.

Newton and Hailey have four cats: Leland, Hillary, Rainbow Sherbet and Tiny Dancer, Newton said.

In the U.S., cat cafes must comply with government food service regulations – meaning the areas where the cats are free to roam must be separate from where food and drinks are served. Many cafes in the U.S. also serve as adoption sites.

Abbie Bennett: 919-836-5768; @AbbieRBennett