Recent University of Maryland graduate Kanchan Singh has always wanted to be a small business owner. Today, the 24-year-old management consultant announced her plans to open D.C.’s very first cat cafe—-a cafe where people can hang out with cats on-site, but can’t actually bring their own in to dine with them. 

Crumbs & Whiskers will be a typical pastry shop—-it may also sell coffee—-in one room, and in a second room, there will be cats available to hang out with from the Washington Humane Society. These cats are also available for adoption.

Singh says she’s aware of the possibility that people may just want to play with the cats and not actually patronize the cafe, so she’s considering having a cover charge of anywhere from $5 to $7 to enter the cafe. The plan is for the cafe to open in summer 2015, and Singh is currently scouting locations, with the hope that she’ll find a space on U Street NW or H Street NE. Crumbs & Whiskers will launch a Kickstarter in January, though Singh says the cafe will open no matter what—-the Kickstarter money will just determine how big the cafe is and how fancy the human and cat furniture will be.

“If the Kickstarter is not successful, the cafe will just be pretty basic,” Singh says. “The atmosphere and ambiance is dependent on the Kickstarter.”

So why does D.C. need a cat cafe?

Singh says the city is filled with young, busy people who may not have time to own a pet of their own. And, she adds, there’s a big college student population, which means people who probably miss their childhood pets.

“The whole concept of cat cafes is for people who are younger who do not have a lot of time,” Singh says. “My friends from out of state [at University of Maryland] had serious pet withdrawal.

For people looking to adopt a cat, Crumbs & Whiskers, may serve as a better environment to get to know the cats than a typical shelter.

“This is also for people who want to explore the personality of cats,” says Singh. “It’s really hard to do that in a shelter.”

I’ve signed up for exclusive updates on the cat cafe, so will keep everyone updated with the latest with Crumbs &Whiskers.

Alley cat photo by Shutterstock