Purr Cup Cafe wants help to become Raleigh’s first cat cafe

Purr Cup Cafe wants to be Raleigh’s first cat cafe, but it needs help.

The couple behind the cafe have started a crowdfunding campaign to make the cafe-meets-cat-adoption-site happen.

Sarah Newton and Arthur Hailey, of Raleigh, plus Arthur’s daughter Birdie, are partnering with Meow House Cat Rescue to create a themed cafe where customers can come for coffee and to spend time with furry felines.

The IndieGoGo campaign raised more than $1,000 in its first day and has a goal of about $28,800 – just part of the cafe’s projected start-up costs.

The funding campaign will help secure a lease for the cafe’s location, build the separate cat lounge area and fund other capital needs for the cafe. Those who donate to the fund are eligible for perks including stickers, mugs, T-shirts, tote bags, reservations, portraits, private parties, membership and naming a drink at the cafe.

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 and hopes to open in Spring 2018.

The cafe plans to sell pre-packaged local food and coffee made on site. 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 similar cafes also serve as adoption sites.

“Purr Cup Cafe will be a haven for cat lovers to gather and enjoy a quality beverage or tasty treat,” Newton said. “Visit the cat lounge to make new feline friends, or grab a quick cup of coffee on your lunch break. Either way, you can feel good knowing you are helping homeless kitties find their forever homes!”

Coffee and cat adoptions aren’t all the cafe has planned, though.

“Purr Cup Cafe will have something for everyone: Caturday morning cartoons, cats on mats yoga class, student specials for study time, coloring with cats, birthday parties, and much more,” Newton said.

Even if the funding campaign doesn’t meet its goal, Newton and Hailey are committed to making the cafe a reality, and said they would seek other funding options if they fall short.

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

For more information on the cafe go to or find the cafe on social media. To donate, go to

Abbie Bennett: 919-836-5768; @AbbieRBennett