‘Somali Cat Shelves’ open in the UK for a limited time
RTE 4/7 The opening of the ‘Somsomali’ cat cafe in the US, where customers will be able to shop for cats, will take place from January 1st to March 31st.
The cat cafe, located at 6th and Broadway in New York, is expected to attract up to 500 people.
The cafe, which will also be a food court, has attracted rave reviews for its “cute and simple” menu.
The cats will be available to shop at the cafe, while visitors can enjoy their free wi-fi and sit on benches outside.
“This is an incredible opportunity for us to showcase the incredible work of the amazing Somalis who have made this country their home,” said Somsom Cat Café CEO Soma Ali, who said the cafe would also have a “big and good selection of vegan and vegetarian options”.
“We are excited to be opening a second shop in the United States and hope to bring the Somali experience to the rest of the world,” she added.
“The cats will all be housed in our own facility and will have access to our own wi-Fi.”
Roughly 5,000 people will have been invited to join the cat cafe at the end of March, with the cats on display and available for adoption.
A number of local charities have launched cat cafes in the region, with cat shelters and rescue groups across the country working to care for the animals.
The Somalis have been a long-standing ally to the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, providing thousands of shelter dogs and cats to help refugees who have fled war-torn Somalia.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has reported over 50,000 cats have been adopted out of Somalia since 2013.
Rise of the cat cafes and cat-centric businesses has led to a rise in cat-related tourism, which has helped the country’s economy.
The country has been praised for its hospitality and compassion towards the animals and has also been named as one of the most-visited countries in the world by Lonely Planet.
In 2018, the Somali government signed a deal with a major cat breeder to import about 100,000 black cats from Kenya to the country.
The new deal was announced to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Somali adoption law, which gave people the option of adopting any black cat at no cost.
The Somali government has also announced plans to expand its cat cafe concept in the coming months.
“We will be expanding our cat cafes, as the number of cats that are brought to us by international cat breeders have grown tremendously over the last 10 years,” said Ali.
“We are working with the Kenyan government to build a new cat cafe with a similar concept to the one that opened at the Somsosom Cat Cafe in New Delhi in 2018,” she continued.
“There is so much excitement and excitement around cat cafes that we want to create the next big thing in cat cafes.”
The Somalis are known for their love of cats, which are traditionally used as meat and as decoration, and many restaurants have opened in their honour, including in the capital city, Mogadishu, as well as in other cities.