Cuddles Cat Cafe licence will not be renewed: AVA

Cuddles Cat Cafe, the largest pet cafe in Singapore, spanning 2,500 sq ft at *Scape in Orchard Road. The owner of a cat cafe which is being investigated over the deaths of seven of its cats has offered his shop up for sale. -- BH PHOTO: MOHD TAU
Cuddles Cat Cafe, the largest pet cafe in Singapore, spanning 2,500 sq ft at *Scape in Orchard Road. The owner of a cat cafe which is being investigated over the deaths of seven of its cats has offered his shop up for sale. -- BH PHOTO: MOHD TAUFIK A KADER

SINGAPORE - A cat cafe which is being investigated over the deaths of seven of its cats did not get its licence renewed, and is being offered up for sale by its owner.

Cuddles Cat Cafe, which opened its doors in Orchard Road three months ago, is being investigated by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) over the deaths of the animals. Some of its former employees have alleged that its staff were not properly trained to handle cats.

An AVA spokesman said: "Cuddles Cafe's animal exhibition licence will not be renewed as investigations are still ongoing." The cafe's licence expired on Wednesday.

In a lengthy post on the cafe's Facebook page, Mr Jonathan Tan on Wednesday expressed utmost "regret and remorse" over the deaths, and sought "forgiveness from the public".

"After thorough considerations, I believe that in the best interest of our cats, they should be kept together as a family under a new owner. Hence, Cuddles Cat Cafe will be offered up for a business takeover," Mr Tan wrote.

The announcement comes a day after Mr Tan apologised for causing animal lovers grief on the cafe's Facebook page. He also gave a factual breakdown of the cause of death of the cats.

His post was criticised by netizens, some of whom felt it was not an apology and that he was defensive.

In his latest post on Wednesday, Mr Tan said he regretted buying the cats instead of adopting them, and that he was sad that the cats were infected with ringworm and irritable bowel syndrome too.

Mr Tan also admitted that there were lapses in standards "in the initial phase of the cafe".