By Ebony Abblitt

Loyal customers of the Hobart Cat Café can now kick back with a glass of red, as the unique Hobart business becomes Australia’s first fully licensed cat café.

The first of its kind in Tasmania, the Hobart Cat Café has been a project of passion for animal loving business owners Adam and Sarah Honeyman.

With combined backgrounds in community service, animal conservation and hospitality, for Adam and Sarah the idea to open a cat café came naturally.

“We wanted to open a café that had a point of difference to draw people in and being animal lovers, that’s how the idea came about,” Ms Honeyman said.

The café gained initial popularity and traction through social media, starting with an Indiegogo campaign to gauge public interest in the idea.

“You can’t run a successful business if the customer base isn’t there – we only received a small amount of our ambitious target but the feedback we received was all positive so we continued on,” said Ms Honeyman.

The café took just over two years of work, with the extensive process involving renovating a suitable premise, tedious council applications and finding animals with the perfect temperament to cohabit the environment.

“We definitely anticipated opening earlier – we didn’t quite realise how long it would take but it was definitely worth it,” Ms Honeyman added.

“We worked closely with animal welfare agencies to find cats that had the right type of personality to be around so many other cats and a variety of people in a relatively small environment.

“The cats aren’t pets or employees to us – they’re family and we love and treat them that way, we often find it hard to go home at the end of the day and leave them here”.

The Hobart Cat Café officially opened on July 1, 2016 with eight cats and a smaller menu than the current offering, which now includes alcoholic options.

“We often have people leaving saying how much more relaxed they feel or commenting that it’d be the right environment to enjoy a glass of wine in, so we thought it’d be a welcome addition to our current offerings,” said Ms Honeyman.

The Hobart Cat Café is located at 269 Elizabeth Street in North Hobart and is open seven days.