Vancouver’s rapidly increasing animal-café market is set for further competition with the news that a rat café will open next weekend.
Following hot on the heels of the new pop-up dog café and the already established Catfe, the city’s first rat coffee shop is the beginning of what experts say is sure to become a hyper-competitive industry in Vancouver.
Rodent lovers from across the lower mainland are expected to scurry to the Downtown Eastside for the grand opening, with up to 500 rats available for adoption. The bistro’s owners say that unlike traditional establishments their vermin “remain uncaged” and are “free to roam around the café, washrooms and kitchen, as they please”.
Visitors to “Ratuccinos” can enjoy a cup of coffee or light snack, while their new fuzzy friends run up their legs, scamper around tables and playfully nibble away their food.
While understandably the demand for pet rats will be sizeable, the owners stressed that potential adopters should come early to avoid disappointment. “Naturally every kid in the city is gonna want a pet rat, but unfortunately they’re not exactly easy to come by in Vancouver.” A strict “10 or less” policy will also be imposed on would-be adopters, to prevent mass re-selling on the rat market.
Ahead of next weekend’s launch, the owner did admit to having a few hurdles to cross including a report from Health Canada that deemed the café “astonishingly unsanitary”. “It’s hardly an infestation if they’re invited,” he said, sprinkling cheese and crackers on the kitchen floor.
Some local cynics have warned that Ratuccinos could begin killing and serving up their rats, a claim the owner strongly denies. “We would never do anything to harm our four-legged staff. Only those that have died of natural causes will be included in our signature dish, ‘Black Forest Râteau’.”