What is a Cat Cafe?
A cat cafe is a local cafe where you have the opportunity to interact with cats. The concept originated in Taiwan and the idea has become very popular in Japan as many apartment dwellers are not allowed to have pets. Now the trend has hit the United States with some uber cool cat cafes opening in major towns and cities including New York, San Diego and Los Angeles.
If you are already familiar with the concept of a cat cafe and are looking for a comprehensive location guide, skip the introduction below and head straight to the section where we cover Cat Cafes in New York and San Diego.
What are the benefits of finding a cat cafe near me?
There are sooooo many benefits of heading to a local cat cafe. The benefits include (but are not limited to!):
- Helping you to relieve the stress of a busy urban life
- Allowing cat lovers some quality time with cats especially when they may not be able to own a cat due to work, time, financial commitments or rental property restrictions
- Time with cats is helpful for people who may have lost their own cat
- Offer a great education experience for kids
- Enhanced well being. Research shows that petting and playing with animals provides strong therapeautic benefits. Cats purring is linked to lowering stress and the likelihood of having a heart attack
What do cats get out of being in a cat cafe?
Many cats you will see in a cat cafe have arrived there from another rescue facility. Fostering in its own right saves the lives of millions of cats. By doing so cat cafe owners free up space for the local pet rescue facilities. In addition:
- Fostering allows cats to get a lot of attention and the opportunity to socialize
- Cats feel as though they are in a home. Interacting with humans is great for their well being
- Potential adopters are able to watch cat personalities in action before they decide which cat they may like to adopt
It is very important to support only cat cafes that:
- Allow a limited number of humans only to interact with cats at any given time
- Only have a small number of cats (the exact number will depend on the size of the cafe)
- Reference or communicate where their proceeds go. ie for the upkeep of the cats and their homes
- Offer appropriate rest areas for cats away from humans. Cats should have free access to this “retreat space” at all times
- Provide their cats with their own food, water and a litter tray
Patrons should only allowed to spend time with one cat at a time to combat cats thinking that they have to compete for attention. Small children in cat cafes must be supervised very diligently so that their noise or actions don’t frighten the cats at the cafe.
What do cat cafes serve?
Most cafes serve tea, coffee, cold drinks and snacks. Within the US there are some pretty strict food service regulations in place and so you will notice that cafes have separate areas for food and drink service to areas where patrons can spend time with the cats. You will find that the cats are usually in a separate playpen from the coffee bar.
Can I just rock up or do I need to book into a cat cafe?
It is usually best to make a reservation to head into the cat play area. Most cat cafes offer 30-60 minutes timeslots. The number of humans are limited to ensure that the cats are not overwhelmed by their human guests. The cat cafe opening hours will vary across the many cat cafes now open across the country. Just as an aside, you typically cannot take your own cat along to a cat cafe.
I am looking for a cat cafe near me. Any suggestions?
Yep. There are many cat cafes open around the globe. There are also many to choose from around the United States. Google is probably your best friend to find a local cat cafe. We’ve also rounded some up to get you started:
Cat Cafes in New York City
|New York City||Meow Parlour (Lower East side meets Chinatown)
|Koneko (the Lower East Side)
|The Brooklyn Cat Café (Brooklyn)
|Tea, coffee and pastries
Baked goods by Macaron Parlour (yum!)
|Artisanal Japanese-influenced menu plus sake, beer and wine and a café||Plates of food, pastries, tea and coffee|
|Yoga with kitties session||Three cat centric spaces: sunlit upper cattery, lower cattery and outdoor “catio”||Story time, movie nights, yoga and community cat classes|
|Merchandise available||Merchandise available: Cat centric photos, sculptures and prints for sale||Merchandise available
|Cats available for adoption via KittyKind||Cats available for adoption||Cats available for adoption|
Half hour timeslots
|Online reservation system
One (1) hour timeslots
Half hour timeslots
|Special time slots for children under 11||Volunteer-driven non profit run by Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition. Volunteers welcome to apply.|
Further reading about the Cat Cafes in New York
Cat Cafes in San Diego
|San Diego||The Cat Café
|Coffee shop area snacks and drinks|
|Enclosed play space|
|Adoption service available via San Diego Human Society|
|15 min time limit with each cat when the café is busy|
|Cats available for adoption|
|Online systems reservations recommended. Admission includes a drink and 1 hour in the cat playpen|
Further reading and Youtube clips about The Cat Cafe in San Diego
Stay tuned for more Cat Cafe Roundups
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