A cat café will be able to open in Bournemouth after meeting its crowdfunding campaign target just seconds before scheduled closure.
Jaya Da Costa, the person behind Pause Cat Café, managed to raise £25,000 before the crowdfunding deadline so pet lovers now have the perfect place to unwind.
More than 260 people from 10 different countries bought ‘perks’ such as gifts for the cats and vouchers to visit the café at Old Christchurch Road, near Horseshoe Common to raise the funds.
But Jaya said almost a quarter of the total was left to raise on the final day.
Jaya said: “It was nail-biting stuff! I was watching the total; it went quiet for what seemed like ages and I thought we had failed but suddenly a big donation came in on the stroke of midnight. I was literally jumping around the room! I am so incredibly grateful for the support we’ve seen from the local community, without whom this simply wouldn’t be possible.
“Thank you so much to everybody who backed and shared to bring a cat café to Bournemouth.”
The campaign funds will be used to create individual micro-chip activated cat bedrooms so each cat can have their own space, to fund trained animal care staff and a variety of play and exercise equipment for the cats.
The café, which is set to open in the next few months, will have 12 rescue cats and will promote rescuing felines.
Pet lovers will be able to book an hour’s slot to interact with the cats while enjoying coffee and cake, which is modelled on cat cafes in Japan where the concept first originated in the 1990s.
As reported earlier in the Daily Echo, Jaya has organised a flash mob of cat dancing in the Square to help fundraise and has taken on the first three rescue cats – Clifford, Liquorice and Bear. She is now looking for a litter of cats which she has been advised would be best suited to the café environment.
Jaya added she received more than 500 applications in just a week for the eight paid positions and voluntary roles at the café.