News / Edmonton

Another cat café to open shop in Edmonton

The café will be located on 109 Street and is slated to open in the fall

Mike and Nicole Niska hang out with Simba at Paws the Cat Cafe, currently under construction and slated for a fall opening.

Omar Mosleh / Metro Order this photo

Mike and Nicole Niska hang out with Simba at Paws the Cat Cafe, currently under construction and slated for a fall opening.

Soon-to-be business owner Nicole Niska wears her cats on her sleeve, quite literally.

Niska’s devotion to her cat companions Phineas and Isabella is illustrated with two tattoos on her arm, and she’ll soon boost her crazy cat mom credentials with the opening of Paws the Cat Café on 109 Street this fall.

“I think it’s really important to find what you love to do and figure out how to make money at it,” Niska said. “My husband’s a coffee snob, and he didn’t like the idea of me being a stay at home cat mom.”

So the two decided to combine their passion for cats and coffee.

“It’s kind of a natural progression,” she said. “I sit at home and relax with my cat. So with a really good cup of coffee, or hot chocolate or Italian soda, it’s an opportunity to shift things back from staring at our phones.”

Nicole and Mike Niska outside of Paws the Cat Café on 109 Street, which is currently under construction.

Omar Mosleh/Metro

Nicole and Mike Niska outside of Paws the Cat Café on 109 Street, which is currently under construction.

Niska had her first cat café experience at Seattle Meowtropolitan, where she says she was “taken hostage” by a cat who took over her lap to groom himself. He was not keen on being petted.

“I couldn’t have my lap back, and I couldn’t pet the cat, but I thought this is perfectly fine, I’ve got a great coffee and a cat on my lap,” Niska said.

On the 17-hour drive back from Seattle, Niska and her husband Mike decided to work towards opening Paws. Now with construction underway, they are hoping to open by Oct. 1, or possibly November depending on construction.

The café will be located in the front, with the cat lounge in the back. The cats and humans have to be separated due to Alberta Health Services regulations.

While café attendees will have an opportunity to adopt the cats, the café is just as oriented around the cats as it is people. They will have access to treehouses and an escape room to ensure they don’t get too stressed out.

“The whole entire experience is going to be unique”. 

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