VIDEO: St. Pete’s first cat café is open, and you can co-work with kittens

Exterior of a Cat Cafe
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Sunshine Kitty Cat Cafe is officially open in the Sunshine City! The space is open for lounge time, and for co-working! You can reserve times on the Sunshine Kitty website. There are capacity restrictions to assist with social distancing, and guests are required to wear masks during their visit.

Honestly, hanging out with these kittens is just a jolt of joy during a tough time. Yes, all the cats here are available for adoption courtesy of a partnership with Friends of Strays.

Here’s a glimpse of our visit to Sunshine Kitty Cat Café:

This new cat cafe is the purrrfect place to lounge, and co-work. Who's ready to adopt a kitten? Learn more about…

Posted by I Love the Burg St. Pete on Monday, July 6, 2020

 

 

This interview was originally published in May, before Sunshine Kitty’s official opening:

There are many, many reasons to love the ‘Burg. Our eclectic small business community continues to elevate our city’s spirit. I think one concept we are all going to need when this is all over is a Cat Cafe. One resident, Amanda Jones, has worked tirelessly to bring it to the ‘Burg.

The COVID-19 pandemic has stifled progress on several spots we’ve been eagerly anticipating. But it’s important to know that these concepts are just delayed. So we passed along a few questions to the Founder and CE-Meow of Sunshine Kitty to learn how they’ve dealt with the pandemic, and what the future holds for the business.

First, in order for Sunshine Kitty to open It must be legal to do so.

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Can anyone relate? 😴 UPDATES BELOW! . This is Dexter. He's still tired from the long weekend, but he's our communications director and wanted to make sure we updated everyone on a few things….he delegates well 😏 . 1. CLEARANCE SALE in our online store! 30% off everything for the rest of May (or until everything is gone), just use code SKC30 at checkout! Pick up or delivery options available. Contact us directly for shipping. #LINKINBIO . 2. INDIEGOGO BACKERS…long time, no speak! It's been waaaaay too long, but as we prepare for opening, there are some updates you'll want to read! Check your email for an Indiegogo update coming later today (if you don't see it, be sure to check your spam folder). Because you backed the Catfe way back when (it's been nearly a year, can you believe it?? 🙀), you'll get these important updates before everyone else. Your long time unwavering support is SO appreciated! 💖 . 3. CATS! 🐈 More kitties are coming this week, which means we are getting closer to announcing an opening date! Watch for more updates about our new kitty crew, details about our opening, and how you can book your reservations to visit St Pete's first cat cafe very soon! HOME STRETCH, GUYS!!! 🎉 . Dexter thanks you for your attention…now back to your irregularly scheduled naps 😊 . #sunshinekittycatfe #stpetesfirstcatcafe #makestpetecatfriendly #stpetefl #dtsp #grandcentraldistrict #catcafe #catfe #ilovecats #ilovetheburg

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How do you define a Cat Cafe

“We don’t really fall into any one specific category; the Catfe concept is a mix of several business types (food service, retail, pet services, lounge, office space), so we are watching as other businesses begin to reopen,” Jones told I Love the Burg. “We are taking it slow, not only for the health and safety of the community, but for the cats as well!”

Sunshine Kitty Catfe is working closely with their rescue partner, Friends of Strays, to ensure the well-being of all resident cats. A projected opening date is still TBD, but Jones hopes to open within the next month or so.

“This COVID-19 wildcard has certainly been devastating, as we were just mere days away from opening before this all hit,” Jones told I Love the ‘Burg. “However, the Catfe is incredibly fortunate to have a kind and understanding landlord that has afforded us a little breathing room financially so we don’t have to rush to open ASAP in order to stay afloat.”

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Happy #Caturday!! This is Fisher (@fisherthemainecoon) and I just had the pleasure of meeting him and his awesome purrrents! He wanted to donate some of his extra toys to the Catfe so that the new group of kitties (who are coming SOON!) will be in toy paradise 🤗 To say I'm star struck is an understatement…..LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL, HANDSOME, MAJESTIC AF CAT, YOU GUYS!!!! Day = made 😻🤩😊 Be sure to follow his adventures on Instagram for guaranteed smiles! . We're getting everything ready for our next group of kitties! If you have new/like new toys or canned food that you'd like to donate, send us a message! All kitties deserve to be spoiled 🧡❤💙💚 . Thanks again for stopping by, Fish! 🐟🐾💙

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Support buy shopping and donating online

Sunshine Kitty of course still has ongoing financial obligations each month, and any community support during this time would go a long way to support its future opening.

The best ways to support the Catfe are available by donating online.

“E-gift cards are a fantastic way to show support now while locking in a purrfect treat for yourself or your friends and family in the near future,” Jones notes. “The gift cards never expire and can be used for visits, snacks, drinks and merchandise at the Catfe.”

Sunshine Kitty has plenty of merch available on their online shop for eager visitors to purchase ahead of the opening.

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Furriends, we need your help! . As businesses slowly begin to reopen in St Pete, the Catfe is also starting to prepare for a hopeful opening in the coming weeks! We want to be as thoughtful and cautious as possible while keeping the safety and well-being of our cats, visitors, and staff a top priority. We're anxious to open our doors and bring some much needed joy and kitty cuddles to our community, but we want you to feel as comfortable as possible while visiting the Catfe, considering the world's current circumstances. . Things will have to operate a bit differently than originally planned, so we created an online survey to get your opinion about this. We would love to hear your feedback! It will only take a few minutes of your time (I mean, we all have extra time to spare these days, right? 🙄😹😿) and we value what each and every one of you has to say. Thanks in advance for your participation! #LINKINBIO . We're so grateful for your support, patience, understanding, and compassion through all of this. Check back again soon for more updates on a possible opening in the weeks to come! 😺 . #sunshinekittycatfe #stpetesfirstcatcafe #stpetefl #dtsp #grandcentraldistrict #catcafe #catfe #ilovecats #ilovetheburg #makestpetecatfriendly

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Stay engaged with the Cat Cafe 

Jones asks that the community remain engaged with the concept on Social Media. Soon, they’ll be releasing an online survey to gain feedback about how the public feels about Catfe visits in general, what might make them more comfortable to visit as the pandemic continues, what would deter them from visiting right now, etc.

“The biggest things we ask of the community are understanding, compassion, and an open mind as our business model will have to shift quite drastically from what was originally outlined in order to keep our cats, visitors, and staff safe and healthy,” Jones said.

“These changes should be temporary, but everyone’s cooperation will be essential in limiting the spread of the virus. We want to be part of the solution, not add to the problem!”

Follow Sunshine Kitty on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all that’s happening at the Cat Cafe.

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Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of ilovetheburg.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@ilovetheburg.com.