GRAND CHUTE, Wi. (WBAY) – Many people spent the start of their weekend snuggling up with some cats. Saturday was the grand opening for the Pawffee Shop Cat Cafe in Grand Chute.
Leah Enking became interested in owning a cat cafe a few years ago.
“I like cats, I like coffee, I could make this work,” said Enking, a co-owner of the new Pawffee Shop Cat Cafe.
Dozens of people lined up for the grand opening. Some waited nearly an hour to get into the cat lounge, but say it was worth it.
“I really like hanging out with the cats here,” said 11-year-old Ashelyn Hahn.
“There was a lot of cats here that looked really cute and I just wanted to meet them,” said 10-year-old Nathan Schwandt.
“Oh I loved it,” said Alicia Hart, who’s from Kaukauna. “It’s just like these cats are sitting there purring and they’re like ‘Love me, I’m going to take a nap and love me.’ They just want to play and have a good time and I think it’s wonderful.”
The Pawffee Shop isn’t just about letting people spend the day with cats. It’s also to make sure cats find a good home.
“For me, the goal of this cat cafe is to have more space to save more animals and to have more adoptions,” said Co-owner Elizabeth Feldhausen.
Enking teamed up with Feldhausen, founder of the Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary in Green Bay, to make the cat cafe a reality. Safe Haven takes in cats with special needs, or cats who might otherwise be euthanized.
“By having the Pawffee Shop I’m able to take in 15 more cats at a time,” said Feldhausen.
“We’re basically giving them another platform to feature their cats on and find those cats the right home so they can actually save more cats,” said Enking.
Feldhausen says a cafe is a great environment to promote adoptions.
“It’s very important to get one on one time with these cats in a cage-free type of environment so that you can really get to know their personality and they’re not stressed out,” said Feldhausen.
Though the co-owners know the opening weekend will be hectic they, and their customers, are happy it’s open.
“Everybody loves cats, whether they admit it or not,” said Hart. “So I think this will be a popular place for quite some time.”
“It’s just so exciting,” said Enking. “I love seeing the smile on all these people’s faces.”
The Pawffee Shop Cat Cafe asks customers to either purchase something from the cafe or make a donation to Safe Haven to visit the cat lounge. The cafe and lounge are open Tuesday through Saturday.