How Much Does It Cost To Start A Cat Cafe

Cat cafes are becoming a popular business that is rapidly growing. The market was estimated at $ 1.3 billion in 2019 and is gauged to reach $2.8 billion in 2026. It’s a great idea to attract cat lovers, coffee enthusiasts and make money. Despite the projections, planning and comprehending the costs is crucial before jumping in. A cat cafe business plan is a road map to a successful venture. Here is a sample of how to write a business plan. 

When it comes to cost, a cat cafe ranges from $25,000 to $90,000. Notably, you need to budget for space, equipment, inventory, food, supplies, and staff wages, to mention a few.  It is crucial to comprehend in detail the factors that determine the finances you will spend to successfully open a cat cafe business. In this article, we will provide the factors that influence cost and  give a breakdown of the start-up expenses needed to launch a cat cafe.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Starting a Cat Cafe

  1. Renting or Leasing Commercial Space

The first thing you need to have in mind is the location of your business. Do you plan to rent or lease a place for a couple of years? Both options require finances. The amount to pay for rent highly depends on the size of the place. You can choose a specific size based on the number of cats you want to keep, the guests you want to accommodate and the experience you wish to offer. Often, in most areas, the average cost for a commercial space is $7.12 per square foot.

2. Design and Branding Costs

To start a business, you must go all in to attract customers. Branding involves the look and feel of your cafe restaurant. It includes your cafe logo (think of the colour scheme), menu design, signage, and interior and exterior design. The cost of branding and designing your cat cafe entirely depends on the size of the place and the extremes you are willing to go, for instance, anything 3D will be more costly.

3. Buying of Kitchen Equipment

Remember here you have two options: to set up near a restaurant where you can order food or provide the meals. Once you choose to cook, first plan for a menu. Know precisely the foods and drinks you will serve. This will help you develop a weekly or monthly budget for food. Also, you will be required to purchase kitchen equipment like an oven, refrigerator, etc. Notably, the average cost for kitchen equipment can be $15000. The average cost of food and beverage is dependent on the menu.

4. Purchase of Furniture and Fixtures

When opening a cat cafe, you must consider furniture and interior design to make it more attractive. The furniture you install should be comfortable, durable and easy to clean. You will need tables, chairs and a place for cats to chill out. Notably, the range of furniture and fixtures is between $25,000 and $30,000. Remember, quality is critical, hence, don’t rush for just any furniture and end with many repairs and replacements after a short while.

5. Acquiring Specialized Cat Play Facilities

Cats play a significant role in this business. Hence, you need to ensure they are in a cat-friendly environment. You will need to install specialized structures to entertain the cats. Here, you can work with an experienced specialist to help do the installation.

The amount of money you will spend will depend on the number of cats you intend to accommodate, the type of structure you want to install and the personnel you consult. You can always do your research from existing cat cafes and find out who did their installations, then do a comparison of the different service providers before you choose one.

6. Employee Training and Certification

For your cat cafe business to succeed, you need to hire people knowledgeable in cat care; otherwise, it will be chaotic. In this case, you can invest money based on the training and certification you choose to train your employees. Notably, this is a long term investment as once your employees comprehend the tasks, it will lead to a more calm place likely to attract more people. Hence, the amount you spend on training depends entirely on the certification you pick.

In addition, keep in mind that you will also need to pay the people you hire. Hence, set money aside for your employees. Ensure you do research on existing cat cafes and find out the average pay for an employee. The amount will be based on many factors like experience, number of employees and how much you can handle before you break even.

7. Installation of a Point of Sale System (POS)

You will need to have a computer for the installation. Remarkably, this system will help you run your business smoothly. A POS helps business owners track their daily sales, profits, and inventory management effortlessly, even using their phones. POS and computer hardware costs will depend on the service provider. Remember, always inquire about services from different companies and then do comparisons before selecting which one to work with.

8. Advertising and Marketing Costs

When starting a new business, you need to consider the budget for advertising and marketing. Remember, you are new in the market and need people to know you exist. You can utilize digital marketing techniques like social media marketing, Google Ads, or Mail marketing. Other forms of marketing include trade shows, influencer marketing, and flyers, among others.

However, if you are not experienced and have no idea how to market your business, you can always consult a marketing agency to help you develop a detailed marketing strategy. The aim is to ensure you are in business as soon as you open. The marketing cost highly depends on the techniques you choose to apply. Depending on how wide you want to go, it may cost you between $ 50 and $ 8,000.

9. Security System Installation

You have already invested a lot in your cat cafe business; you need to ensure that you enhance the security of your cafe to minimize risks. You can install security systems like alarms, CCTVs, detectors, and others. Consult a security agent to help you pick the best package for your business. The prices will be reliable on the package you choose.

10. Supplies

When starting a cat cafe business, you can budget for cleaning supplies, uniforms and first aid equipment just to be safe. These supplies cost around $ 1,200. It would help if you always kept the place clean to attract more clients.

11. Legal Costs

A cat cafe business will require a permit and license to run. You can obtain your permits and license from the relevant authority based on location. This could cost you an average of $200. If you involve a lawyer to help in business registration, coming with a governing constitution, you will end up paying a one-time fee. It is always great to involve a lawyer, especially if you are dealing with a partnership, so that you may get legal documents governing the ownership.


A cat cafe business is continuously growing, and to survive in that business, you must first develop a business plan. Don’t just dive in because of the profit margins, ensure that you adequately plan yourself before you start. Also, consider that some costs may be recurrent, like food supplies, rent, cleaning supplies and other utilities. Hence, set money aside to help you run the business successfully for a few months before you break even.

Lastly, you can still open a cat cafe business with a lesser amount, especially if you partner with a local animal shelter to obtain cats. Or if you partner with a nearby restaurant to supply food, you will only need to cater for remaining items. All you need to do is plan adequately to identify how to position yourself in the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average amount I can earn from a cat cafe business?

It is crucial also to have an idea of the return on investment. We shall provide an estimated amount you can earn based on research. The average cost for admitting a cat in a cafe is $15 per hour. Hence, the total amount per day depends on the number of clients. In addition, if you also sell food and drinks, you could charge between $5 and $ 10 per item. Consider that you are paying rent, staff wages, supplies and inventory out of your earnings. Hence, you have a profit margin of up to $30%. As your cafe becomes more popular and you maintain or raise the standards, you could increase your hourly rates to $20. You would make huge profits if you charge $20 per hour and sell 40 tickets and $250 worth of food and beverages daily. You might even be forced to increase the staff. The more you invest in your business, the more the returns.

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