Cat café opens in Winnipeg

Chelsea Mazur, CONTRIBUTOR

Every time Jennifer Laferriere walks into the main room of Winnipeg’s first cat café, the cats flock to greet her. Laferriere, 45, is the owner of Miss J. La’s Fur Babies Cat Café & Adoption Centre at 1099 Kingsbury Ave.

She’d wanted to start a rescue for years, but didn’t know if the extra space in her dance studio was zoned for kennelling. When she found out it was, she decided to open a cat café after seeing Cat café opens in Winnipeg Catpuccinos and meowchas their success in other cities.

“I’ve always loved cats and I’ve always wanted a shelter,” said Laferriere.

Natasha Coveney, a first-year Early Childhood Education student at RRC, is looking forward to checking out the cat café.

“I love that it’s in Winnipeg and it’s not far for me to go to at all,” said Coveney, 25. “I’m really excited about it.”

Although it’s certainly a relaxing environment for some, Coveney says her excitement would get the best of her and she isn’t sure if it would be the best place to study or do homework.

“I think I would get too distracted by the cats to really relax,” she said.

Due to Manitoba Health rules, it won’t be a fully functioning café, but they do offer beverages and desserts.

“We’re looking at getting little sugar cookies shaped like cat heads,” says Laferriere.

The 14 cats at the café all come from fosters through Ksen’s Kittens, and now Laferriere is the main foster at the café. Thanks to the café, Ksen’s Kittens is now able to take in more rescue cats.

The cats have a lot of free roam—the café is a large, comfortable room with plenty of couches and cat toys.

“We’ve had people come in and just sit and just cuddle with the cats,” says Laferriere.

Miss J. La’s Fur Babies Cat Café & Adoption Centre is located at 7-1099 Kingsbury Ave., and the café has been open for three weeks now with an average of 10 visitors a day. It’s $10 for adults and $5 for kids, and there’s no time limit associated with the cost.

“When people come in and pay, everything goes back to the cats,” says Laferriere. “It’s for rent, it’s for taking care of them.”