After discovering them in Japan and South Korea, a true fan of felines decided to open his very own cat café. Cat lovers, step this way!

April 3, 2019

People come to Café Chat L'Heureux for a beautifully presented coffee, a “Cat Lady” grilled cheese or the legendary French toast, but more than anything, they come for the company: the star cast of resident cats.

Clément Marty was won over by the concept when he was in Japan and South Korea, where “cat cafés” have been popular for several years. In 2014, Chat L'Heureux became the first cat café in North America.

It's the giant framed photos of residents (past and present) that strike you on entering the café. But it takes no time for the cats themselves—Luciole, Mousse, Gustave, Luzerne, Sheldon, Pixel, Luna and Milady—to upstage the artwork. They stroll between tables, play with people or take luxuriant naps in custom-designed nooks and crannies. You're on their turf here!

Like responsible feline citizens, the cats are trained not to climb onto tables where people eat. And, in return, people are requested not to feed the cats."

A couple of house rules keep things running smoothly. And, in return, people are requested not to feed the cats. Should a cat feel like a little down time? There's a room in the back to which they can retreat. It's for cats only and is also where you'll find the litter boxes—all 12 of them!

In terms of design, nothing was left to chance at the café. The famous cat behaviourist, Daniel Fillion (from Éduchateur), was called on to help create a space that would respond to the needs of its human clientele while ensuring the well-being of its furry population. And the cats? They were carefully selected for their sociability and adopted from a variety of animal shelters around the city.

While bringing people and cats together at the café, Clément Marty has a broader mission, which includes facilitating cat adoptions and improving animal welfare. Alongside the 7 or 8 full-time residents, the café provides a loving transitional home for kittens from Services Animaliers de la Rive Sud, who spend 3 months there learning to socialize. When each kitten is ready for adoption, they're matched with their ideal adoptive family—a long and rigorous process, but one which always has a happy ending!

At the end of the day, Clément Marty's goal is to make cats happy. And a happy cat starts with a happy Pawsie.

Café Chat L'Heureux, 172 Duluth E, Montreal.

Photo credit : Terry Thibeault and “Café Chat l'Heureux”

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