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First Calgary cat café opens its doors

WATCH ABOVE: A sneak peak inside Calgary's first cat Café

A new cat café in Calgary’s popular Kensington neighbourhood celebrated its first adoption before it even opened its doors to the public.

An employee of the Regal Cat Café fell in love with one of the kittens (a tiny black cat, fittingly named Noir) almost immediately.

“I ended up holding him while we were doing some training and he fell asleep in my arms,” Ivy McKinley-Campos said.

“Once he woke up, he didn’t want to go anywhere else. I figured that was kind of my sign that he was supposed to come home with me.”

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Ivy McKinley-Campos poses with Noir, a kitten she is adopting from Calgary’s Meow Foundation.
Ivy McKinley-Campos poses with Noir, a kitten she is adopting from Calgary’s Meow Foundation. Alyssa Julie/ News Talk 770

Regal Cat Café, which officially opened on Saturday, is the first shop of its kind in the city.

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It has 10 cats available for adoption from the Meow Foundation, ranging in age from two-and-a-half months to three years old.

They have all been microchipped, vaccinated and spayed or neutered.

The owner told News Talk 770 she fell in love with the concept while watching an episode of The Amazing Race, where the contestants had to visit a cat café. She said she started researching immediately and reached out to the owners of Catfé in Vancouver.

READ MORE: The cat’s meow: Vancouver’s Catfe marks 1-year anniversary

“My husband said I was not allowed to have any more cats [at home], so I had to get creative,” Tia Wieler said jokingly about her reason for opening the café.
Trapeze is one of the cats available for adoption from the Meow Foundation.
Trapeze is one of the cats available for adoption from the Meow Foundation. Alyssa Julie/ News Talk 770
Noir and another cat, Trigger sleeping. An employee has already started the process of adopting Noir.
Noir and another cat, Trigger sleeping. An employee has already started the process of adopting Noir. Alyssa Julie/ News Talk 770
Regal Cat Cafe opened its doors to the public on June 24.
Regal Cat Cafe opened its doors to the public on June 24. Alyssa Julie/ News Talk 770
Regal Cat Cafe is the first shop of its kind to open in Calgary.
Regal Cat Cafe is the first shop of its kind to open in Calgary. Alyssa Julie/ News Talk 770
The cats at Regal Cat Cafe were already attracting a lot of onlookers before its official opening on June 24.
The cats at Regal Cat Cafe were already attracting a lot of onlookers before its official opening on June 24. Alyssa Julie/ News Talk 770
Regal Cat Cafe is the first shop of its kind to open in Calgary.
Regal Cat Cafe is the first shop of its kind to open in Calgary. Alyssa Julie/ News Talk 770
Trapeze, one of the cat's at the Regal Cat Cafe, having a bite to eat.
Trapeze, one of the cat's at the Regal Cat Cafe, having a bite to eat. Alyssa Julie/ News Talk 770
Regal Cat Cafe is the first shop of its kind to open in Calgary.
Regal Cat Cafe is the first shop of its kind to open in Calgary. Alyssa Julie/ News Talk 770
A tortoiseshell cat named "Bandita" at the Regal Cat Cafe in Calgary.
A tortoiseshell cat named "Bandita" at the Regal Cat Cafe in Calgary. Alyssa Julie/ News Talk 770
This piece of art is one of the winners of a contest held by Regal Cat Cafe in Calgary ahead of its grand opening on June 24.
This piece of art is one of the winners of a contest held by Regal Cat Cafe in Calgary ahead of its grand opening on June 24. Alyssa Julie/ News Talk 770
Nearly all of the products for sale at Regal Cat Cafe in Calgary are from local vendors.
Nearly all of the products for sale at Regal Cat Cafe in Calgary are from local vendors. Alyssa Julie/ News Talk 770
Regal Cat Cafe is the first shop of its kind to open in Calgary.
Regal Cat Cafe is the first shop of its kind to open in Calgary. Alyssa Julie/ News Talk 770
PURRistas pose behind the counter ahead of the grand opening of the Regal Cat Cafe on June 24.
PURRistas pose behind the counter ahead of the grand opening of the Regal Cat Cafe on June 24. Alyssa Julie/News Talk 770

The café is carefully curated for the cat lover, right down to the cutesy cat-themed macarons and feline-inspired tea flavours. Nearly everything for sale is from local vendors.

The animals are set off from the main shop, in an enclosed area that is truly a cat’s paradise. There is shelving that nearly reaches the ceiling and several cubbies for the cats to sleep in.

Meow Foundation said Friday that selecting the first resident cats at Regal Cat Café took some “thought and consideration.”

“What we were really looking for was a group of cats that get along with each other, but are also very social and like to interact with people,” said Debbie Nelson, the director of operations.

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“We thought it was a wonderful opportunity … to showcase the cats in our community, because there is always way more homeless cats than other animals.”

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The owner said the café uses Meow Foundation’s veterinarians and that volunteers from the organization regularly come to check on the felines.

Nelson added the shelter’s volunteer coordinator has also spent time training the café employees.

“We’re working with them very closely,” Wieler said. “Just to make sure the cats are in tip-top health and are happy where they are.”

The cats can be adopted directly through the Meow Foundation.

Wieler said the café will be hosting adoption days every two weeks.