TOPEKA (KSNT) – Two women are working to make their dream of opening a Cat Café in Topeka a reality.
KSNT 27 News spoke with Toni Fowler and April Liang about their idea to open up a new café with a feline twist. The women said their idea is starting to gain traction among locals who have been sharing their excitement about the new business on social media.
Fowler said she became inspired to open a cat-themed café in Topeka years ago after coming across a group on Facebook made up of people who had created similar businesses. She bumped into her old school partner Liang a short time later. The pair came together earlier this year to start generating ideas on what Topeka’s Cat Café will look like.
“We’ve been wanting to do this for several years,” Liang said. “I head about this in 2019 and thought it was a great idea.”
Liang said the process to open the Cat Café is a tricky one. The pair have to finish their business model and find a building to house their business that’s OK with cats before it can get started. What keeps them going is the amount of feedback they’ve received from members of the community who want to see the business take off.
“We’ve received a lot of great support from the community, people cheering us on,” Liang said. “People really want this here. It’s great knowing a lot of other people will love it too.”
Fowler and Liang, both cat owners themselves, said the café will be a great way to help out local animal shelters. Their business will house cats from local shelters to serve two purposes: relieve the pressure on the shelters and help get the cats adopted.
“That is the hope, that is the whole goal of it to help relieve the shelter of the overpopulation of cats,” Fowler said. “We’ll be working very closely with a shelter to make sure we bring in cats that are adoptable and sociable.”
Fowler said they’ve been in contact with some local organizations about the adoption process. They need to draft a contract before cats can start arriving at their business.
As far as what people can expect to find at the Cat Café, Liang said they plan to divide the place into two spaces. The first will be your typical café while a separate area, the cat lounge, houses the all the felines. There, guests can relax, spend time with the cats and play with them. There will also be another area for cats only so they can find relaxation as well.
People can help the Cat Café out by tuning in to the crowdfunding campaign the women have set up online. You can make donations to the café by clicking here. To keep up with the progress of Liang and Fowler, you can follow their story on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok.