Tania Barton is the passion behind her own business, Hobbits Knob Cat Retreat, which was born as a childhood dream for Tania to work with cats, her most loved animal due to their unique and eccentric individual personalities.
Hobbits Knob Cat Retreat opened on the 1st December 2007, and is now considered to be one of the best Cat Boarding establishments in Australia, with cats travelling from overseas, interstate and long distance to come and stay on retreat. Whether people are relocating, working away, travelling, holidaying, hospital visits, building & renovating, or simply need someone to help with the care of their cats, they rely on the outstanding service of the team at Hobbits Knob Cat Retreat. But, it is the general, professional cat knowledge that Tania and her team provide to the cats and their owners that has established such a reputation.
Now, Tania has decided to give back to the community with another one of her passions; assisting to work alongside & educate children and the wider community on animal welfare, raise awareness of abandoned and surrendered cats, and to provide another avenue of working with these cats to help them have a better chance of finding a loving new home. When Tania was only 18 and working full time as a Legal Secretary, she devoted her time, for the next few years, on a Saturday and Sunday volunteering at a Vet Clinic and her local animal refuge, whilst studying Animal Care and Behaviour, which led to a career in Veterinary Nursing for 10 years. Since living on the Sunshine Coast, she has been a proud supporter of local refuges and animal rescue groups, whether through silent donations or a more active sponsor.
‘Now that Hobbits Knob Cat Retreat is established, we wish to extend our services towards building an interactive Cat Café, where we house adult cats and provide training, enrichment and extra love & care in an exclusive cat friendly environment. We will educate and encourage the cat loving community to assist in this enrichment, which will give the cats a better chance of being rehomed.’
‘We look forward to providing the Sunshine Coast and beyond with an experience unlike any other. We aim to be the most talked about Café in the region and although the focus is on working closely with refuge cats to provide a different avenue to find their ‘forever home’, we aim to have some pretty fantastic coffee, drinks and treats.’
The Cat Retreat Café is fortunate to be in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge, an extraordinary organisation who works tirelessly to rehome stray and unwanted pets, whom will provide healthy adult cats to The Cat Retreat Café. Should you discover a loving connection with one of the cats, you can contact the Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge directly, where they will provide you with their Terms & Conditions, to ensure long-term welfare of the animal is maintained, before approving sale of the animal.
The Cat Retreat Café is designed specifically to suit the purpose along with providing minimal disruption to the feline guests on retreat at Hobbits Knob Cat Retreat.
Make A Booking
The ‘Zen Zone’, our interactive cat environment, is open 5 days a week for bookings of 1 hour long sessions. Bookings are essential to avoid disappointment. So come and visit, the cats are waiting for your cuddles.
Unfortunately, the Zen Zone is not a child’s playground, and if a child between 5 and 15 is not complying with the T&C’s they will be asked to leave the Zen Zone immediately, accompanied by their parent/guardian, with no refund.
Cats as Therapy
The ‘Zen Zone’, our interactive cat environment, is available for group bookings subject to availability. You can hire the entire space for one to three hour sessions. Bookings are essential.
Sip and Savour
Enjoy the serenity in a cat themed cafe, at our gorgeous hinterland property. Nestle in for a hot drink, or refresh yourself with a cool one. Indulge in our range of cakes and savoury items… yum!
Tania has created another business which is the closest to her heart. A business where cats become the friend, the listening ear, the shoulder to cry on, the hug, the non-judgemental love and devotion to children and adults.
“I am now confident to openly and publicly announce that I grew up in a violent, drug & alcohol fuelled home and my animals saved my life. This topic was always taboo and ‘too weird’, and I now do not see myself as a victim, but as a survivor, and I have my animals to thank for that. When times got bad, I would escape to my cats, dogs, chickens and birds, where I would non-judgementally express my true fellings and emotion, and it would be the only place I felt safe… in my own little ‘mind world’ with the animals. I used to worry what people would think about this admission and I kept it mostly to myself, but I’m now a mother to 3 beautiful children and understand that children especially, need a safe space, not only in their environment, but in their minds. Therefore, I will be providing the Cat Café ‘Zen Zone’ to therapy groups including counselling sessions, special needs children, yoga and meditation groups, retirement village patrons, nursing home & palliative care patients, and other groups feeling they need cats in their life for whatever reason.”
The Cat Retreat Café will provide two days (Tuesdays & Wednesdays) exclusively for these groups, children, adolescents and adults, where they can hire the entire space for an hour or two session and have the same cat interactive experience, but with their teacher, guardians or carers along with staff to help interact and educate with the cats.
“I have 40 years of life experience with cats. I have studied cats, their behaviour and personalities, all of my life with my own cats, books, my Veterinary Nursing career, volunteering at animal refuges and with Cattery guests, and pride myself on passing this experience and knowledge on to my valued team at Hobbits Knob Cat Retreat.”
Disconnect and take a break from reality, in a calm, peaceful environment where you can assist in the rehabilitation and enrichment of refuge and rescue adult cats to help in re-homing.
- Encourage interaction with the cats through petting, play, brushing, or simply just chilling out.
- Enjoy some mindfulness colouring or a dash of painting with the cats.
- Simply relax in the swinging chair, hammock or lounge with a cat, coffee and a book
- Chill out with your family and friends enjoying drinks and snacks in a fun, cat filled environment
- Challenge your friends to cat-themed board games or other fun games