Lighter side: Insurance lawyer opens cat cafe

by Samantha Woodhill11 Dec 2015
In what must be one of the world’s most unique career transitions, insurance lawyer Julia Whitehead has opened up a cat cafe in Auckland.

Located on Queen Street, Barista Cats is just like a regular cafe – with coffee, food, sandwiches and slices for sale – except it has 11 cats including Woody the Wobler and Hamburglar that you can hang out with while there.

As a cat-lover, Whitehead wanted to bring these furry felines back into Auckland’s urban environment.

“New Zealand has a really high pet ownership rate but more and more we've got these urban cities where we're not building them for pet ownership,” she said. 

“People are in apartments, [or] they're renting, or they're just staying in the city for a year or two, so they don't get that type of love and we want to give it to them.”

Whitehead came up with the idea of opening Barista Cats on a trip to Thailand where cat cafes are big business. In fact, you might even say they’re as attractive as catnip over there!

The 11 cats currently at the cafe are all rescued and Whitehead hopes they will eventually have 15 carefree kitties in the future.

While relaxing with some coffee and cake with these cats can be great fun, just remember to keep a lookout for any errant fur!