No doggy bags at New York’s newest cafe

DRESSED in a dinner jacket, Simba sat in one of New York’s newest restaurant and nodded at people who greeted him. Then he yawned, began to roll on the floor and lick his paws.

But that’s acceptable behaviour at the Meow Mix Cafe, a new Manhattan eatery designed especially for cats and their owners.

Simba, an eight-month-old kitten, was joined by about two dozen other tabbies, Persians and Burmese for a feast at the grand opening of the cafe, which is owned by the Meow Mix Company, a New Jersey cat food maker.

“Why not take your cat out for dinner?” asked Simba’s owner, 19-year-old Leah Thompson. “There’s always things for dogs, but never cats.”

The restaurant serves Meow Mix packets for its feline customers along with corresponding dishes to satisfy human palates.

Deep Sea Delight mackerel for cats is paired with tuna rolls for cat owners, while Upstream Dream salmon for felines corresponds with mini crab cakes for humans. Cats who like chicken can tuck in to Cluck-a-Doodle-Do.

Other cat delicacies include What’s the Catch, a tuna treat; Gobbliscious, featuring turkey meat and giblets; and a beef dish called Filet Meow.

“We’re trying to be the Ben & Jerry’s of cat food,” says marketing director Ira Cohen. He expected business to be brisk as more than a third of all American households now own a cat.

Meow Mix chief executive Richard Thompson said the feline-friendly restaurant has two main rules: no dogs and no catnip, which must be checked at the door.

“Our goal is to keep cats happy,” Mr Thompson said. “The idea is that you can bring them and start socialising them.”

The Meow Mix Cafe opened on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on Tuesday. It offers entertainment for both cats and owners and will even host pet parties.

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