September 14, 2016

Polka Cafe – The Cat Studio

31st May 2016 | Polka Cafe

Research has proved that keeping animals around your work place can be soothing and therapeutic. A cat, especially, is said to have the power to soothe you with their purring. Such is the power they hold! Cat cafes are a growing concept in India, and we were thoroughly excited to discover something similar in Bangalore. Can you imagine working around these gorgeous looking felines. Animal lovers will agree that work stress will no longer seem so bad.

We got talking to Vishanth Ragunath, the co-founder of the Cat Studio on how he came about creating a unique concept like this, the response it has garnered and much more. Check out what he had to say.

How did this idea come about? Why did you decide to start the Cat studio?

The Cat Studio is just another way to help animals; we would say a much economical way. We are not a NGO or shelter. The Cat Studio is an experience zone and all that we want people to do is experience how cats are as pets. As mentioned earlier, we are not a NGO or shelter; which means we do not take in cats from anybody except the group of rescuers whom we know personally. The Cat Studio is a self-sustained model. We charge people for the experience and that money is used to pay for the bills, salary etc.

When asked about how the idea originated, Ragunath says, “Cat Cafés are a very famous concept in cat worshipping countries like Singapore & Thailand.”

Why cats?

Cats are easy pets. Unlike dogs who need a regular walk and behavioral training, cats have their own personality. With IT industry employing millions of people in India and the increased need for adopting a pet, Cats make the best pets; they can stay home alone for more than 8 hours without crying and waiting for the parent. And what do you think they do when you are at work? SLEEP.

What’s the specialty of the cat studio? How does it work?

It’s simple. The Cat Studio is an experience zone. Come with your family & friends, spend time with them, and play with them. This experience comes at less than Rs. 200 an hour.

How well do people respond to having cats around them?

There is usually a minimum of one influencer. We have hosted guests who like dogs, but have enjoyed the company of cats. There are common misconceptions that dogs and cats don’t get along; we beg to differ.

Have there been instances of change of heart for people who dislike cats?

We call it a success when a person who dislikes cats ends up staying inside the studio for more than 15 minutes. Yes, we have had quite a few success stories.

What was your inspiration behind the studio?

South East Asian countries like Singapore and Thailand are known for the Cat Café concept. We wanted to bring in the concept to India and The Cat Studio is just the start.

Tell us more about FurPurr, the company.

Furpurr is a technology service company. We are in the process of building an application to ease the way pets are handled at various interaction points. We shall keep you updated when we launch our app.

How well do you think people will respond to a facility like this?

Well, the response is mixed. A lot of people misinterpret the concept to a shelter, which we are not. But people who visit us once have had good experiences and have gone back home de-stressed.

How often do these adoptions come through? How does it pan out normally?

We have got caring and loving homes for 14 cats in the last 4 months. Most of them are first time pet parents. We have 4 conditions, and we ensure that the adopters follow them. The conditions are:

Cat Proofed House – The cats cannot be let out of the house. This is to reduce the risk of cats getting killed by road accidents or stray dogs, etc.

On Non-Vegetarian Diet – You may be a vegetarian, but our cats are not. They get their nutrients from the meat they eat, that’s how they are designed.

Family Consent – All members of the family need to agree to have a pet home. If you are single, we request you to keep your would-be life partner informed about pets being part of the home.

Sterilization – We advocate sterilizing the cats. This is a social responsibility of every pet parent. Not just cats, but any animal. This way we at least do not add to the existing problem. (Not all humans see animals as a living being)

What are your future plans? Any plans to collaborate or expand?

Yes. We have plans to expand. We are looking for investors and have got a solid business plan for the investment that they make. At any cost, we would not involve in the business of breeding or selling of animals. The Cat Studio is a reflection of our passion towards animals and their welfare.

Location: The Cat Studio is located at #485, 8th Cross, Jeevan Bheema Nagar Main Road, Sector 11, HAL 3rd Stage Bengaluru, Karnataka 560075.

The studio has Wi-Fi and you’ll be charged a nominal fees to spend time with the cats.

If interested in adopting, get in touch with them at +91 96111 65698

Author – Lily Dechamma

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