Dayton’s first ‘catfe’ opening soon -- and here are its first tenants

The soon-to-be-open Gem City Cat Catfe has picked its first tenants, and they are all pretty purrfect. 

If all goes as planned, Meowrville and Wilpur WrightDahlia and Mr. Baby will be meow-ving into the hybrid coffee shop and cat adoption center located at 513 E. Fifth St. in Dayton's St. Anne's Hill neighborhood, co-owner Karen Gudal-Johnson said.

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“We are hoping to announce a (opening) day by end of this week, but we are hoping for mid-December,” Gudal-Johnson said.

She said the center is awaiting final approvals from the city of Dayton.

>> Purr-fection! Here’s what Dayton’s first cat cafe will look like

The building received a complete renovation for the cats and cafe.

“It was taken down to the studs,” she said. “Even some of the studs had to be replaced.”

The catfe had expected to open in July, but faced delays in plan development and approvals, Gudal-Johnson said.

Sabrina Cox, a former co-owner, says delays meant she was forced to sell her share of the business to Gudal-Johnson and her husband and pursue full-time employment elsewhere. She now works for Pets Wants Dayton, a small batch, all-natural pet food company.

>> MORE: Local pet food company now in 2nd Street Market

Gudal-Johnson said she is excited to open the cafe and adoption center.

Cats will be adopted through the nonprofit Gem City Kitties, which partners with Gem City Catfe.

Gudal-Johnson said donations are being accepted from those who want to help take care of the cats. 

There is a link to an Amazon Wish List that includes children's books, cat toys, cleaning supplies and bedding.

Twelve cats will be housed in the cafe, which will include two cat lounges totaling 850-square-feet.  will It includes two cat lounges totally 850 square feet. Cats will also have the run of the business’ staff-only basement.

Works from local artists will be on display on the cafe's second floor. Gudal-Johnson said local artist Amy Kollar Anderson has agreed to be displayed first.

>> RELATED: Watch Amy Kollar Anderson at work

Ron Rollins, an artist and Dayton Daily News Ideas and Voice editor, has also signed on.

Here are the first four kitties. 

Credit: Photo: Gem City Catfe

Credit: Photo: Gem City Catfe

"He loves all. Wilpur loves kitty friends, human friends, toys, naps and especially food."


Credit: Photo: Gem City Catfe

Credit: Photo: Gem City Catfe

"He's surely part flying squirrel and will gingerly launch on you from anywhere to get some cuddles and give you some face boops."


Credit: Photo: Gem City Catfe

Credit: Photo: Gem City Catfe

"She loves cuddles with the hoomans and has little patience for the antics of the mischievous Mr. Baby."

4.) MR. BABY 

Credit: Photo: Gem City Catfe

Credit: Photo: Gem City Catfe

"He loves having new kitty friends to play with and gets the zooms with Wilpur often."

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