Paw-some News: New Cat Cafe opens in Western Cape!

It was Sigmund Freud that said “Time spent with cats is never wasted” but this quote finds new meaning when you step into Cat Heaven in Somerset West, a Cat Gift Shop and Rescue Cat Café… and a first of its kind in South Africa.


Somerset West, South Africa – Local resident and retired academic, Valerie Steinmann, spent the best part of the last 20 years travelling the world and it was in Thun, Switzerland that she came across “a true cat lover’s shop”. Enchanted by her discovery, Valerie’s passion for ‘all things cat’ was ignited and thus began her cat crusade, collecting unique cat gifts from around the globe.

To share her kitty treasures with local feline lovers, Valerie opened Cat Heaven, her own Cat Gift Shop, at 35 Bright Street Somerset West in December 2017. The response to Cat Heaven has been extremely paw-sitive. Enter Cat Heaven and you are transported to a cat lover’s paradise. Feast your eyes on an extraordinary array of paw-some gifts including anything from rare collector items to clothing and accessories, jewellery, books, fabric, stationery, toys, ornaments, homeware, chocolates, bumper stickers, mats and many more cat-inspired gifts as well as gifts for cats of course.

Fulfilling her dream of travelling, shopping and cats, Valerie’s crusade took her to the Cat Cafés of Asia, a craze that has now taken hold around the world: a special place where cat lovers can have a cup of tea while getting their cat fix.

“After four visits to Japan, I decided to open my own unique Cat Café back home. Where most Cat Cafés deal with special breeds, the beautiful cats, ours is different, aimed at assisting cats in need of a home, a first in South Africa,” says Valerie.

On Monday 21st May 2018 twelve adorable cats from Stellenbosch Animal Welfare left their shelter cages behind and moved on to a life of luxury with lots of space and love at Cat Heaven Rescue Cat Café.

“I was overcome with excitement and couldn’t wait for my precious rescue kitties to settle down and feel comfortable in their new environment before they and our cat-loving visitors would be able to enjoy each other’s loving company,” continued Valerie.

Subsequently, five more kitties have joined the resident cats at Cat Heaven.

Cat Heaven’s kitties have a charming indoor play area filled with a jungle gym, scratching posts, cosy beds, hammocks, mirrors (which they adore) and lots of toys for their amusement, as well as a lovely garden with an outdoor jungle gym and lots of catnip. The indoor café is equipped with a kitty camera, so Valerie and her husband Paul can watch their fur children’s delightful nocturnal antics on the big screen at night. Visitors can indulge in cat cuddles while enjoying a cup of coffee and cookies, reading a book or browsing the web (there is free wi-fi for cat lovers) with a purring cat on their lap. Not everyone has space, time or money for a cat of their own and many people, especially senior citizens, live in places where they can’t keep pets, so end up feeling disconnected. At Cat Heaven, they can snuggle and pet cats to their hearts’ content and reconnect with the therapeutic wonder that is animal companionship.

Cat Heaven wishes all its paw parents, supporters and friends a Blessed and Meowvelous 2019!A reminder that we are closed on the 1st January, we look forward to seeing you from the 2nd.#RescueCats #CatCafe #ILoveCats

Posted by Cat Heaven on Monday, 31 December 2018

Cat Heaven’s Rescue Café is offering in-house adoption: an opportunity for cat-loving patrons to become a parent to their very own four-legged child at Cat Heaven, visiting him or her regularly and being kept up to date with their kitty’s comings and goings.

“Our Cat Café was built and designed with the happiness and pleasure of our cats as a priority. To ensure our cats are well fed and have access to medical care, we charge an entrance fee along with the sale of coffee, tea, soft drinks, cakes, cookies, biltong, popcorn and Pedal Pops. All our cats are micro-chipped, vaccinated, treated for fleas and worms, insured, groomed daily and bathed when required. We have a display area with pictures of all our cats on a wall, along with their names to ensure that patrons can get to know them individually. We have a list of essential Cat Café rules and a zero-tolerance policy for anyone causing distress to our furry children,” says Valerie who is currently studying Ethnology, specialising in cats, and will soon be graduating as a Cat Behaviourist.

Cat Heaven Rescue Cat Café is a non- profit organisation. All funds generated at the Café go towards the feeding and maintenance of the health and welfare of the resident cats, and their environment. Any excess funds are donated to animal charities.

“So far fifteen cats have been rescued from Stellenbosch Animal Welfare and two from Khayelitsha. Our very first kitties included four ginger and white cats: Major (male) and Coco (female) are brother and sister. Then we have Benji and Sunshine. Sunshine has been given this positive name because of her very ‘sad’ eyes. We have three black and white cats: Gigi (the smallest and friendliest of all the cats), Tutu (with a white collar) and Barack. We have five tabbies. Jolo is the mother of Oz, Prince and Aurora. Then there is Messi who has a knot on the end of his tail (present at birth and not due to any injury). The next arrivals comprised three tortoise-shell cats, Patches, Zaza and Amore, from Stellenbosch Animal Welfare, as well as two tortoise-shell cats from Khayelitsha, Cici and Lady. Although outside adoptions are not allowed, Prince was recently adopted by a very good friend of Valerie who fell in love with him.”

More information on Cat Heaven Rescue Cat Café:

  • The entrance fee to the café is R20.
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks, cakes, cookies, biltong, popcorn and Pedal Pops are served. Birthday cakes are permissible by prior arrangement.
  • Cat Heaven’s premises offer ample parking and good security.

Rules of Cat Heaven’s Rescue Cat Café:

  1. Please sanitise your hands on entering the Cat Café.
  2. Do not pull a cat by its tail, whiskers or any part of its body.
  3. Do not attempt to hold or carry a cat. They may sit on your lap if they like you though.
  4. Cats do not like loud or sudden music. Talk softly at all times and do not chase the cats.
  5. Photographs are welcomed, but no flash photography. Cats’ eyes are very sensitive.
  6. Do not wake a sleeping cat or disturb a cat while it is eating.
  7. Only food purchased at the Café may be

To book or get more info, visit their website by clicking here.

Sources: Cat Heavan
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