Cats, Toronto’s TOT Cat Café’s main attraction, have been taken away by The Humane Society, following allegations made by an ex-employee that the animals were mistreated.
In a Facebook post, Brandy Exner claims that the owners of the Café often forgot to feed the cats food and water, and failed to regularly check up on their health. Exner said “This job has been the most stressful job in my entire life,” as she’d often have to come in an check up on the animals on her days off.
Initially provided by THS, the shelter cats were given to the café in the hopes more exposure to the patrons would given them a higher chance at adoption. However, the TOT Café had been a source of discussion among the Humane Society before the complaint was made, over their business practices surrounding cat adoption.
Executive Director Barbara Steinhoff said THS was uncomfortable with minimum purchase price for admission into the “cat room”, but was more concerned with how adopted cats wouldn’t released until a replacement cat was found for the café. Keeping the café filled with cats would be the only way to maintain profits and keep the shop open.
Back in December, a Vancouver cat café temporarily closed within a month of opening due to a surge of adoptions. “Due to the overwhelming success of adoptions in our first few weeks, we have run out of cats!”, was posted on Catfé’s social media. They later reopened with a new “batch” of cats.
TOT Café owner Kenneth Chai says he and Exner had “different standards” when it came to caring for the animals, but ensures that they were fed twice daily and their water bowls were never empty.
Currently there are two new cats in the TOT Café, but it unclear as to what organization provided them.
(Main image courtesy TOT Cat Café’s Facebook)