The first of its kind in South Africa, this cat café is heaven for cat lovers while the gift shop has every kind of cat-inspired gift for humans imaginable, along with treats and toys for cats.
Where is it?
35 Bright Street, Somerset West, Western Cape
When is it open?
Mondays to Fridays 09h00 to 17h00
Saturdays 09h00 to 13h00
Why go there?
It truly is a paradise for feline fans! The amount of cat-inspired gifts is almost overwhelming and you can also get toys and treats for your cat. The café is relaxing spot to spend an hour or two with the 20 resident cool cats while enjoying a cuppa and a snack.
How much am I going to pay?
Entrance to the gift shop is free. It costs R20 per hour for the cat café. Quiches and cakes are R15, a cappuccino is R23, cool drinks are R15 and popcorn is R15.
Telephone 079 958 5378 / 083 357 2527, https://catheaven.co.za/
I had heard rumblings (or should that be purrings?) about a café in Somerset West where you could have lunch with a feline date for some time. So when I was passing through Somerset West recently I decided to make a turn to find out exactly what one could find there. To be honest, I was expecting a small café with a few tables and a bunch of sleeping cats (because that’s what cats do most of the time). How wrong I was!
In short, if you are a cat lover then best you get on your bike or in your car and get to 35 Bright Street in Somerset West as soon as you can! And make sure you have plenty of money available as you are going to want to buy EVERYTHING in their gift shops! It truly is a paradise for feline fans and the amount of cat-inspired goodies is almost overwhelming. From bags to scarves, cat crockery to cat mats, and trays, notebooks, scullery brushes, sunglasses, T-shirts, coasters, candles, paintings, Hello Kitty spoons and even toilet seats decorated with cats. That’s just the start and that’s just for humans. There’s also plenty of treats and toys for your cat, your friend’s cat. your mother’s cat and the neighbourhood cats. In fact, I have decided that I am going back there in December to get Christmas presents for all my feline-loving friends, their cats and my cat! The best part is while there are some collectible items for sale, there are also very affordable and novel gifts, which makes it accessible for anyone with a few pennies to spare. Plus proceeds from all sales go towards the care of the resident cats.
Speaking of the resident cats, they can be found around the corner of the building at the café. Entrance is R20 (per hour) and after having your hands disinfected by one of the minders, you are welcome to spend as long as you like in the company of the 20 coolest cats in town.
All of them are rescues now living the good life, which includes sitting on your chair (or on you), or dozing in the sunshine on a kitty jungle gym, snoozing in one of the kitty kennels (cleverly placed to catch the morning or afternoon sun) or playing in their own inside room filled with hammocks, scratch posts and toys. In my next life I want to come back as one of these cats!
The menu in the café is basic, but I got the feeling that nobody was really there for the food, but rather for the enjoyment of spending time with a cat or two while sipping on a cuppa. That said, they do have a quiche of the day and cakes by the slice, along with ice cream and popcorn. Tea, coffee and soft drinks are also available.
The Cat Heaven Rescue Cat Café left a lasting impression on me and I am sure it will on you too. And remember, it’s a great place to get gifts for your friends and your feline!
How the Cat Heaven Rescue Cat Café started
Owner, Valerie Steinmann, has spent the past 20 years travelling the world and while in Switzerland, she discovered “a cat lover’s paradise”. It was then that she started her collection of gifts and eventually created her own shop. Valerie still travels regularly searching for unique gifts.
While in Japan, Valerie visited a few Cat Cafés, where cat lovers can have a cup of tea while getting their cat fix. After a few visits to Japan, Valerie decided to open a cat café in Somerset West which would be aimed at assisting cats in need of a home.
So in May 2018, 12 cats from Stellenbosch Animal Welfare left their cages behind and moved on to a life of luxury at Cat Heaven Rescue Cat Café. There are now 20 rescue cats in residence, all living the good life at last!
If you love cats, and for some reason you can’t have your own cat, you can become a Pawparent and adopt a cat at Cat Heaven. A Pawparent does not pay an entry fee, instead sponsors his or her cat(s) to the value of R120 per month. This fee assists in covering the costs of food, medical care and general maintenance of your cat. You may visit your cat as many times as you wish and will receive weekly text messages and a selfie from your cat. Your cat also celebrates Catmas and your birthday with gifts.
Need to know before you go
No children under the age of 10 are allowed. There are no exceptions to this rule. Children under the age of 14 may enter but under the strict supervision of an adult. There must be one adult to accompany every two children in the cafe. If you arrive with more than 2 children, you will be refused entry.
For obvious reasons, no dogs or other cats are allowed.
Published September 2019 | Own cost (entrance fee waivered)