Interview: Veronica Morland from Sydney Cat Cafe - The Catwalk Rugs Journal

 Recently, Catwalk Rugs decided to give the Sydney Cat Cafe start up a helping hand by providing them with some much needed Gemini rugs for their kittens.

 

 

Sydney Cat Cafe is founded by Veronica Morland, who has been working incredibly hard to bring her dreams to reality as her vision of the - as Veronica would say, "purrfect" cat cafe comes ever closer to fruition.

We caught up with her again recently over a cup of tea to ask how our rugs went, how to stop your pets from ripping into your rug, and a few other questions about the cat cafe we (and most of Sydney) has fallen in love with.

 

Catwalk Question

What inspired you to start up the Sydney Cat Café?

 

Cat on Gemini RugThe idea of starting a cat cafe is one that had stuck with me since my sister, who is also a massive cat lover, returned from a trip to Japan and told me about the concept. As Australia's biggest and busiest city, Sydney seemed like the ideal place for weary cat-lovers to come and relax in the company of adorable kitties. My vision and inspiration started to really crystallise when I realised the concept's potential to help cats without a home to find loving families through patrons of the cafe. As a cat lover and total coffee addict, it was the perfect enterprise to start up in such a beautiful destination!

- Veronica Morland

Veronica Morland

 

 

Catwalk Question to Sydney Cat Cafe

How did the pop up cafes go? Has it turned out how you envisioned?


Cat with multi colour rug and play toyThe two pop up kitten cafes have been so much fun!
It turns out that Sydney is even more cat-crazy than I had imagined.  Both of the pop ups sold out in a flash, with people lining up to get some quality kitten cuddles in the cosy and homely space we created. Standing in the beautiful pop up spaces with kittens playing or snoozing, barista coffee flowing, and surrounded by cat-lovers that share this vision - it was better than I could have ever envisaged.

We've run each of the events in association with Maggie's Rescue, a fantastic non-profit organisation devoted to finding loving homes for surrendered and abandoned animals. The pop ups have proven to be an amazing way for people who want to adopt a cat to come and meet the moggy of their dreams - it really is win-win for these deserving kitties and cat-lovers alike.

- Veronica Morland

 

 Veronica Morland

 

Catwalk Question to Sydney Cat Cafe

Were there any unexpected difficulties? What’s the hardest thing been so far?

Cat PlayingWith any novel concept such as opening a cat cafe, there will always be challenges along the way. My experience so far has been overwhelmingly positive, but it has involved a great deal of consultation, planning and management around the food safety and animal welfare aspects. Of course, these are not matters that I would ever take lightly as I move towards opening Sydney Cat Cafe. The next big step is finding premises where we can safely serve our patrons a beautiful coffee, and where a pride of rescue cats can comfortably make their temporary home.

- Veronica Morland
Catwalk Question to Sydney Cat Cafe

 

Catwalk Question to Sydney Cat Cafe

For our readers, are there any measures or advice we can give on preventing cats from scratching rugs?

 

Ah! There is nothing worse, is there? Bringing home your beautiful new rug only to have your kitty sink in their claws for some glorious scratch time! Here are my tips for discouraging your kitty from pulverising your Persian rug:

    • Introductions are everything: Believe it or not, cats are not just sharpening their claws when they scratch – they are also marking it using glands between their paw pads! To stem your kitty’s need to say “it’s mine!” with their claws, consider spritzing a little synthetic hormone (you can purchase this from your vet) to trick your moggy into thinking your new rug is old hat.
    • Healthy alternatives: the best measure is to provide better alternatives for your cat to scratch such as a scratching post, a patch of fabric or a coil of sisal twine. Cat scratching apparatus should be heavy enough that your cat can get good traction, long enough to match your kitty’s length when stretching, and should be placed near the rug your kitty likes to scratch. Choose a scratching post stuffed with catnip, or entice with food and play to make it extra irresistible!Checkered Rug
    • Claw trimming will help, but be sure you perform your kitty’s manicure safety and seek instructions from your vet if unsure.
    • In the end, there has to be an element of laughing it off! Scratching is a natural and instinctual, so in the end your kitty will be confused if you try to punish the behaviour. If your kitty is scratching excessively, it can be a sign of distress, so be sure to check in with your vet or a cat behaviourist.

If you’re looking for a new rug, I’d recommend talking to the experts at Catwalk Rugs who can recommend you a floor covering your moggy is less likely to claw, avoiding heavy and loop-weave styles.

- Veronica Morland

 

Veronica at cat cafe holding cat

 

Can  you share your favorite cat story with us?

I'm biased, but my favourite cat story is the moment I fell in love with my own little kitten, Buttons. She was one of the stars of Sydney Cat Cafe's first pop up kitten cafe, and after a day of playing with a room full of cat-lovers and the other rescue kittens, we settled in for a snooze in my arms. I decided there and then to adopt this gorgeous, timid little tortie, and set about moving to a pet-friendly apartment! Little did I know that Buttons' true nature was far more adventurous that timid - she comes everywhere with me, including to the markets, the park, and her favourite - going for bike-rides!

- Veronica Morland

November 18, 2015 — Afshin Nejadiran

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