Yes, you heard me — it’s mobile. I first talked to owner Janet Pao about a cat event she was involved in for our Happenings event section. She explained that her cat café was going to be at the event — the whole café — because it’s on wheels. Janet had my attention. “Why a mobile cat café?” was my first question to her.
“I decided to make the cat café mobile in order to bring the cat café experience to the public,” Janet explains. “Most people don’t know what a cat café is, so I wanted to be able to introduce the concept to as many people in as many cities as possible. It also allows me to partner with and support many different independent nonprofit cat rescues, and the low overhead makes the experience affordable and accessible to visitors.”
Janet finds her biggest challenge with a mobile café is arranging accommodations with venues, with regard to the size and technical needs of the Moon CatCafé truck. “In addition, it does take extra time to set up and take down for every event,” she says. “I believe the advantages far outweigh the challenges, though. I’ve been able to bring the joy of the cat café experience to multiple pet expos, festivals, fairs and even corporations. All my nonprofit cat rescue partners have seen success with adoptions, foster and volunteer sign-ups, and increased exposure of their rescue work to the local community. And the adoptable cats appreciate having an air-conditioned and more spacious (but still safe and enclosed) area to be more comfortable during public adoption events. Also, Moon Cat Café enjoys welcoming back repeat visitors, including students and single parents, due to the founding principle of keeping the cat café affordable and accessible.”
Janet is proud of building the first ever mobile cat café in the world — as she should be! “There were some major obstacles to the physical build-out and mechanical setup, but all the problem solving along the way taught me a lot,” she says. She also feels a lot of pride when she and her rescue partners educate visitors about things they may not have known before (e.g., trap-neuter return, low-cost spay/neuter services, fostering resources). “It really all starts with education, and the goal is for visitors to share what they learn with family, friends and coworkers,” she says. “And of course, every successful adoption is a big win.” What’s next for the Moon Cat Café? Janet plans to expand the café’s footprint — traveling to new cities and new events. Check out mooncatcafe.com for upcoming event details or follow
@mooncatcafe on Facebook and Instagram.