Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about visiting the café

Q: Is it mandatory to make a reservation? 

A: It's not mandatory to make a reservation, but we strongly recommend it. A reservation guarantees entrance to the café at a time slot of your choosing. Visiting without making a reservation doesn't guarantee entrance to the café. If there's still a free spot left, you are of course more than welcome to come in. However please keep in mind that spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Q: How many people can enter the café simultaneously?

A: We can seat a maximum of 14 people. We keep this limited to maintain a calm atmosphere throughout the day in order to make the cats feel comfortable to come out and meet their visitors.

Q: Are children allowed in the café? 

A: Yes, children are welcome in the café, but we urge parents to prepare children before their visit. We strongly advise you to discuss our house rules with your children in advance. Explain clearly that these are not regular house cats. Because some of the cats come from difficult backgrounds, they can't always be petted. Try to switch the focus to playing with the cats instead of petting them. We ask the really little ones to stay as calm as possible, so that the cats aren't afraid to come out and say hello. If children begin to cry, we kindly ask to take them to the shop for a moment until they have calmed down. We thank you for your understanding!

Q: What if I'm in the café and all the cats are sleeping? 

A: Cats sleep an average of 16 hours per day, so chances are pretty high that the cats will be asleep. They are the most active in the mornings or just before closing time. These are the best times to visit if you want some cat playtime!

Q: Can I bring my cat with me to the café?

A: No, unfortunately not. We love all cats, but we have to put the health of our own cats first. Although your cat might be perfectly healthy, coming from a different environment means that there's still a possibility of bringing in diseases. All the cats in our café have a quarantine period before arriving and are thoroughly checked by our vet to make sure that they are free of diseases. Other animals are also not permitted in the café.

Q: How does it work in terms of hygiene? 

A: The kitchen at DreamCATchers is completely separate from the café. All of our drinks are prepared under strict hygienic conditions, according to the guidelines of the Federal Agency for Food Safety. The cats' litter boxes are located in a separate room that is not publicly accessible, to make sure your visit isn't disturbed. We also carry out a number of cleaning procedures every day to keep the shop and café clean. Besides, did you know that cats are particularly hygienic animals?

Q: Can I become a volunteer for DreamCATchers? 

A: At the moment we have a great team of motivated volunteers. Sometimes volunteers have to leave the team, so we always keep an eye open for new people. In terms of availability, we ask that you are available for a few hours per week/every two weeks for a period of at least 6 months. If you are interested, send your details to vrijwilliger@wearedreamcatchers.be. We'll get in touch when we're on the lookout for new volunteers. Thanks for your help!

Questions about the cats of the café

Q: Where do the cats in the café come from? 

 A: All cats staying in the café come from the local animal shelter of GhentKat Zoekt Thuis or Catpower. We give preference to cats that have been in the shelter for a longer period of time, often these cats are not social (yet) to people. We try to socialize these cats, so their chances of finding their dream home are increased.  

If you are looking for a new pet, be sure to check out the websites of the animal shelter of GhentKat Zoekt Thuis or Catpower for more information. Additionally, on the governmental website www.adopteereendier.be you can find cats open for adoption. 

Q: Do the cats actually live in the café? 

A: Yes, they live here until they find a new furrever home. They are not stuck in a cage and can therefore run around freely during the day as well as at night.

Q: How can I adopt a cat from DreamCATchers?

A: Take a look at our 'Adopt' page for more information about adopting our cats.

Q: If I am looking for another cat for my furry friend at home, what do I need to take into account? 

A: When you are looking for another furry friend for your cat at home, it is important to first assess the character of your own cat. Ideally, it is important that the other cat should is around the same age as your cat, and also has the same ideal living situation. When you have found a new cat to keep your own cat company, do not place the new cat immediately together with your cat! It is very important that this introduction process is taken in steps, to slowly introduce the cats to each other first. If you are interested, we have written a more extensive blog post (in Dutch) about this. 

Q: Why do you have duo adoptions so often? 

A: Cats that still need to be socialized towards humans, can often find comfort in the presence of other cats in the café. A strong connection can happen, and if we see that cats are part of one another’s’ social group, we will not take them apart and place each cat separately. This is why they are both open for adoption together, as a duo. Some cats may already form a duo before they reside with us in the café. Other cats get to know one another better in the café, and form a new social group.   

Q: Do you also have kittens in the café?

A: No, we never have kittens, as we specifically take care of the cats that have been staying at the shelter for a longer period of time. Our focus is on adult cats that have difficulty to get adopted, as they are (not yet) social to humans. Are you specifically looking for a kitten? Keep in mind that there is a specific time in the year where kittens are available (late spring-summer). We kindly direct you to KatZoektThuis, Dierenasiel Gent & Catpower for this. 

Q: Due to circumstances, I can't keep my cat any longer, can I bring it to the café? 

A: No. We don't have our own quarantine area and therefore cannot take animals in directly. When you are no longer able to take care of your cat, first, you can search for someone that can take care of it: you can ask around if your friends or someone in your neighborhood would want to give your cat a new furrever home. In second instance, if this is not successful, you can contact the local shelters in the neighborhood. 

Q: Not all cats are designed to live in a busy environment or amongst other cats. What if a cat doesn't feel good?

A: It's true that our café isn't the right environment for every cat, or at least not straight away. The choice of which cat comes to DreamCATchers is always made together with the shelter that the cat is originally from. Firstly, the cat stays in a separate room and introduction to the other cats happens very gradual. If there would be any problems arising even after this slow introduction, we discuss this with a cat behaviour consultant.

General questions about cats

Q: What should I do if I find a cat? 

A: When you find a cat, and you are not sure if this cat has a home, it is important to check if this cat has been chipped first. You can do this at the local vet or at the local animal shelter. If necessary, we also have a chip ID reader to scan a cat’s chip at DreamCATchers. 

When the cat is chipped & successfully registered, the cat can be returned to their owner. If the cat is not chipped, there is a possibility that the local animal shelter can take care of it. 

Next to this, you can also start on your own to find the owner, by printing out posters and hanging them out in the neighborhood, or posting pictures on social media etc. Although every cat owner is legally obliged to chip his/her cat, still lots of owners have not done so, unfortunately.     

Q: Where can I ask about the policy with stray and/or feral cats? 

A: When you have questions about stray and/or feral cats in your neighborhood, you can contact several organizations. Local authorities, such as the one of the city of Ghent, have a special number where you can ask for information, such as the feral cat policy. You can also use the contact form of Gentinfo, where you can ask a specific question.     

Q: Who takes care of stray cats? 

A: At DreamCATchers, we will never take care of a stray cat coming directly from the street. The cats that we take in only come from other animal shelter organizations, such as the local animal shelter of Ghent or KatZoektThuis

The animal shelter will only take care of animals that are found on public terrain and roads, causing nuisance/disturbance. In some circumstances, the shelter also takes in animals that come from crisis situations at their home, disabling them to stay there any longer. 

The animal shelter will never take in cats that are located on private property. However, individuals can borrow cages to catch stray cats on private terrain and bring them to the vet for sterilization. For the latter, the stray cats in question are brought back to the private terrain where they were originally caught. 

Aside the local shelters, there is also the Parks and Public Gardens Service of Ghent that catches stray cats. Cats are only caught in cooperation with the person who voluntarily takes care of feeding stray cats weekly in that area. Afterwards, the cats are released on the same location where they were found. The feeding of stray cats on public domain is only allowed if you are in possession of a special feeding pass. You can find all extra information here, and also the online document to obtain the feeding pass in Ghent

If the Parks & Public Gardens Service of Ghent get a notification of stray cats, but there is no permanent carer known, the civilian reporting the stray cat(s) gets transferred through to the local animal shelter of Ghent. This is usually the case for stray cats located on private terrain, whether or not they are fed by the local residents/neighbors.  

Q: Where can I ask questions concerning animal mistreatment? Where can I report animal abuse? 

A: Similarly as for the feral cat policy in the area of Ghent, we can direct you to the Gentinfo information point. If you want to report urgent and dangerous situations, or situations where the owner of the animals are not known, you can always contact the police. Next to the latter, animal abuse and neglect (e.g. cats/dogs for sale on social media, buying of sick animals through established kennels/breeders, animal abuse in houses, fairs, shelters, animal zoos,…) can be reported to the Flemish Government through an online form.   

Can't find an answer to your question here? Get in touch!


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