Cat Cafes: Come for the Coffee, Stay for the Kitties

Cat Cafes: Come for the Coffee, Stay for the Kitties

Are you a “cat person” but not a cat owner? Hey, we get it! Ownership entails responsibility, and not everybody has time to care for a pet. Or maybe you’ve been waiting for the right time (or the right furball)? Whatever your situation, there’s a feline phenomenon you need to know about: cat cafés.

CatCafe 1

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CatCafe 2

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Starting in Taiwan in 1998, cat cafés have been steadily popping up around the globe, from France to Japan to Australia. They combine the cozy atmosphere of a neighborhood coffee shop with—you guessed it—cats! Patrons can enjoy their lattes alongside a cuddly friend, while the cats have the ability to roam to their hearts’ content. But until recently, the sensation had yet to come stateside.

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That all changed a few months ago with the opening of Cat Town Café in Oakland, CA. Besides being the first cat café in America, Cat Town arrived with another mission: to increase feline adoption.

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Many of the kitties that come through Cat Town are formerly stray or feral and were not being adopted from local shelters. A major benefit of a place like Cat Town is that it gives kitties the opportunity to acclimate gradually to human interaction, rather than being pulled out of their cages for a forced “playtime.” They are able to show off their winning personalities over time, which makes them more adoptable.

Within the Cat Zone, kitties have plenty of places to play, sleep, and hide. The custom-built play structures include mini versions of big buildings to make the kitties feel like the kings of their domain—which they totally are. In this cat café, cat comfort is the most important thing! No more than 20 kitties and 14 people are allowed in the Cat Zone at any point. This allows cats maximum comfort and minimum stress. If the Cat Zone has reached human-capacity, there are viewing windows for guests to watch the playing, even if they aren’t doing it themselves.

CatCafe 5

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Novelty is definitely part of the appeal of cat cafés, but there’s no denying the numbers of cats finding new homes. After just over 3 months, Cat Town Café has completed over 115 adoptions with no signs of slowing down. And even if you don’t walk away with a new cat, you can always enjoy some cat-themed pastries. 

Our stance on cat café adoption centers? The more the mew-ier!

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