Have you ever visited a cat cafe? If you’re a cat lover, the answer may very well be yes. But have you ever visited a mobile cat cafe? I’d like to introduce you to Moon Cat Cafe, the first ever mobile cat cafe!
UPDATE: Moon Cat Cafe has since closed.
Food trucks have grown in popularity during the past decade. They are no longer only seen at construction sites during lunch time. You can spot gourmet food trucks at special events, on college campuses and even lining the streets of popular dining destinations.
So, why not take that concept of mobility and expand it to a cat cafe? That’s exactly what founder and owner Janet Pao did with Moon Cat Cafe.
Moon Cat Cafe
According to their website, they are “A modern establishment dedicated to bringing the cat cafe experience to you.”
You can find Moon Cat Cafe at special events throughout Los Angeles and Orange County in Southern California, promoting cat rescue and adoption. And that’s actually how I learned about the cafe. A while back, I was browsing theaters that were showing the (pawesome) cat movie Kedi, and I saw that Moon Cat Cafe had teamed up with a local art-house theater and cat rescue group to celebrate the movie.
While I was too late to attend that event, I was eager to learn more about the cafe.
Q&A with Owner Janet Pao
When did you start Moon Cat Cafe?
The idea of Moon Cat Cafe started in January 2016, and I officially opened for business in December 2016.
How has the response been to the cafe?
The response has been incredible – I’m very grateful for and enjoy meeting every single visitor. When I first started Moon Cat Cafe, I honestly had no idea what people would think. The cat cafe industry itself is still fairly new here in the US, so trying to create a brand-new segment within that industry with the mobile cat cafe concept is a pretty big risk. But I knew that if I wanted to differentiate myself from not just every other cat cafe in California, but every other cat cafe period, I had to try to innovate a whole new category.
There’s no market research or industry data on cat cafes at all, so my expectations are constantly evolving as new opportunities come up. It’s more of a grassroots approach, working with a network of small local cat rescues, sourcing from fellow independent small businesses, and relying on social media and word-of-mouth. It’s definitely not as conspicuous as partnering with a huge rescue organization and getting tons of media coverage, but I like it. I think it fits my small, cozy, rogue cat cafe on wheels. And I believe that building trust and good relationships with as many communities as I can will lead to good things.
Do you have any cats yourself?
Yes, I do! I have two seniors cats, Sigfrey (17) and Sampson (8). They’re both adorable, lovable old dudes. I adopted them from a former colleague whose husband developed such a bad allergy that his doctor said they had to give up the cats. That was five years ago, and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Raising Awareness for Cat Adoptions
I have yet to visit Moon Cat Cafe myself, but I find it to be an interesting concept. And anything that raises awareness for cat rescue and adoption is a good thing in my book.
Their website states: “We strive to do our part in raising awareness about adoptions, resources, and trap/spay/neuter programs by holding special events with long-established and well-reputed L.A. County and Orange County cat rescue non-profit 501c3 organizations.”
At partnership events, Moon Cat Cafe donates a percentage of proceeds to their rescue/shelter partners. As for the cafe portion, they partner with two independent, female-minority-founded businesses in Southern California. (Elabrew Coffee and Kape Republik)
What do you think about this concept of a mobile cat cafe?
***All photos used with permission from Moon Cat Cafe.