Currently, there’s no existence of a cat cafe in Raleigh, let alone in Wake County. The closest one is located in Chapel Hill, NC. But there’s plans brewing!
One of these special cafes is looking for that purrfect place to call home in the Raleigh area. Purr Cup Cafe’s owners – Sarah Newton and Arthur Hailey, Durham and Cary natives, have been clawing their way to bring in the first cat cafe in Raleigh, North Carolina for a couple of years now.
Finding Common Grounds
Sarah and Arthur, owners of Purr Cup Cafe initially met through friends. They began chatting about cats on Instagram, ironically. The rest is history!
The charismatic couple loves dogs as well, but are better acquainted with cats. “Cat’s just have a great judge of character. You have to earn their trust and affection.” – Sarah
The Cat’s Out of the Bag
The cat cafe owners have four cats total:
- “Leland” who came with his name but sometimes goes by “Big Lur” just because!
- “Ms. Girl” started out as “Lilly” short for “Hillary”. Sarah considers herself to be the old & best one of the kitty quartet.
- “Tiny Dancer” who was rescued from the Wake County Animal Shelter. The first feline of the group is known as the needy and loud one, with a “cringy meow” as Sarah described.
- “Rainbow Sherbet” was also rescued from the Wake County Animal Shelter and meant to keep Tiny Dancer company, but passed away on Christmas day 2018. “Dust Ruffle” or “Dusty” for short, is the fourth cat now and only has one eye, running into walls on occasion.
“Rainbow’s personality was most like Arthur. They like to mess with you!” Sarah explained for Arthur. “Dusty is most like her. They have playful energies and goes too far sometimes.” Arthur added laughingly for Sarah.
Their favorite activity to do with their beloved furry felines is watching them act goofy while at home doing normal, everyday chores.
Getting to the Grind
Sarah found her caffeine addiction in her later high school years. “I like the atmosphere of coffee shops and making new friends with the Baristas while I’m there.” Bittersweet in downtown Raleigh is Sarah’s go-to place in the area.
Arthur was initially intrigued with coffee at a young age, working at local shops. “I worked in coffee for about 4 years with my first job and loved tasting the different types of coffee. I’ve learned to drink just regular black coffee. I want to be able to taste nothing but the coffee itself. Picking up on certain characteristic of each flavor and identifying has been a passion.” His second gig was working at Caribou Coffee off of Maynard Road in Cary.
If you were a cup of coffee, what ingredients would need to be included to represent you? “I’m not just a pour over. I’d be a French press that’s hard to clean. Fancy but not for everybody.” – Arthur
When It’s Time to Pounce
Newton and Hailey first heard about a cat cafe five years ago. “It was rare to hear about a cat cafe back then. I started to keep track of spreadsheets, researching websites and social media, then making a list. Before too long, the list on the spreadsheet grew to where I couldn’t even keep up anymore.” Newton.
Newton and Hailey were aiming to open in Spring 2018 and again this Spring, 2019. The plans with the location are taking longer than expected. Their daily inspiration has been loving on their cats and the support from the community. They plan to keep pushing until their dream comes to fruition.
“We love Cary. I come from 5 generations that lived right here in Cary. Raleigh is also an ideal place because of our local knowledge. We’re working on a lease from one of our original chosen spots. There’ll be free parking!” – Arthur
Just Kitten Around With You
The cats will come from Meow House Cat Rescue and will roam freely in the cat lounge, separated from the normal lounge. “It’ll act as a foster home cafe for the cats, keeping them until they’ve been adopted. There’ll be a total of nine cats at a time.” – Arthur
Purr Cup Cafe will have special days and events, including “Caturday Morning Cartoons”, “Cats on Mats Yoga”, “Student Study Time”, “Coloring with Cats”, Birthdays, Company Outings, etc. For Caturday morning Cartoons, kids will get a certain price on select juice and parents will receive bottomless coffees while watching cartoons. Whenever it’s finals weeks, students will have specials to come in and relax with the calm kitties when they’re stressed out.
Look What The Cat Dragged In
Not only will coffee will be available in the cafe, but beer, wine, and tea as well! Cats and liquor wouldn’t be a good mix however.
“Snacks will come prepackaged from local bakeries – no food will be made on site to keep sanitation. JP’s Pastry vegan food options, Carrboro Coffee Roasters, Little Blue Macaron, grab and go fruit for food, etc. There will be something for everyone!” – Sarah.
The Regular Lounge vs. The Cat Lounge
Purr Cup Cafe will have a regular cafe and the cat lounge and will be available during the day. The regular cafe will not require a reservation or booking fee. Walk-ins will be accepted but Sarah and Arthur encourage reservations to ensure you get a spot ahead of time. You’ll be able to call in but it’s highly encouraged to book and pay online once reservations are available for the cat lounge.
If you’re looking for a time during the weekend, it’s definitely a good idea to book a week out in advance to get the specific day and time you want. If you’re just looking during the weekday, 48 hours in advance is recommended as well to get some time with the felines.
Help Make a Paw-sitive Impact
The Indiegogo campaign is now closed, but you can still help Sarah and Arthur by donating at their pop-ups with cats available. When you donate to Purr Cup Cafe, you’ll receive their swag and merch depending on the amount you donate! Stay up-to-date with their upcoming events.
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If you own a cat in the Wake County area and need a local and professional cat sitting business to take care of them while you’re gone, contact WoofPack Pet Care.
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