You know what they say: A house is not a home without a cat. But unfortunately, not every living situation is fit to get your own one. Cat lovers in Dublin don’t have to worry about that anymore: The Cat Lounge is the solution. For 15 Euro, you can visit the Lounge in Smithfield and stay for 90 minutes to spend time with your favourite animals.
Owner Georgina O’Neill got the inspiration from other countries: “There are Cat Cafes all over the world, and I looked at that concept, and I just thought it was amazing, so I figured why not do one in Dublin in Ireland?” Unfortunately, Georgina soon learned that opening the business in Ireland wasn’t as easy as she had thought. Health and safety regulations do not allow for cats to be in the same area where you are serving or preparing food.
Georgina didn’t give up her dream anyway. She created a slightly different concept, the Cat Lounge. It finances itself through the entrance fee instead of selling food and drinks.
The most important thing for Georgina is to ensure the well-being of the cats. Only 15 visitors at a time are allowed, which means you have to book your spot online in advance. The cats get checked regularly for diseases, and Georgina and her employees always keep an eye on the visitors. “You can do whatever the cats want to do, not what you want to do, whatever the cats want to do.”, Georgina clarifies.
Visitors enjoy the Lounge as a quiet place to relax. Spending time with cats is a stress relief for them. But not everyone is a cat lover at first. Georgina remembers a young man who brought his girlfriend to the Lounge. He clarified that he did absolutely not like cats and would just be waiting for his girlfriend. “By the time he was leaving, he had three cats asleep on him and his mind had completely changed. He loves the cats now, been back twice.”, Georgina recalls.
But Cat Lounge is not only for enjoyment, it also gives foster cats the chance to find a new home. All the cats are up for adoption at a certain age. Georgina wants the best for them, but it won’t be easy to say goodbye: “You have them from a very young age it is going to be very hard to give them away. But once they go to a good home, I’ll be happy.”
After all the work Georgina has put into the cat lounge, she is very pleased with the feedback. The visitors love the place and often come back. Georgina is sure of why Cat Lounge is a success: “All you have to do is to look around and see how happy the cats are. Their coats are glossy, they’re social, they’re very happy cats. And that results in happy costumers.“
If you want to meet the happy cats, make sure to book an appointment online at http://catlounge.ie