Cat Cafés have been a longtime fixture within Japan. These cute café charge a small fee by the hour to let you spend time with the cats in addition to selling food and drink. They allow locals who may not be able to keep pets in their apartment to interact with and enjoy feline company. These trendy cafés also help homeless cats find new homes, either by becoming permanent residents within their café, or by allowing adoptions by the customers who frequent these cafés.
Want to cuddle with some cute felines while sipping tea or eating sweets? The good news is you don’t have to travel to Japan to get your cuddle on. While it seems bizarre, these cat cafés have crossed overseas and began to take root in North America. Here’s our pick for the ten best Cat Café in North America.
Hint the best ones are near the bottom of the list!
The Cat Café – San Diego, CA, USA
We love that this cat café specializes in finding permanent homes for cats with special needs. It helps raise awareness for cats with medical conditions or disabilities. If you purchase a food or beverage item it’s free to enter the cat café; otherwise, you must make a “small” donation. (No information is available as to the exact amount.) This café also specializes in brewing small-batch western-roasted coffees. All of the cats in this café are available for adoption. Take a look at their website http://www.catcafesd.com/ which includes live-stream video camera footage of the cats.
Calico Nook – Franklin, MA, USA
New England’s first cat café also operates a second hand designer fashion boutique with all proceeds benefiting the felines. In addition to the second hand shop, the store also features cat themed retail items and custom art. The café also provides a public library and art exhibit area. This café is co-owned and ran by a former veterinarian surgeon and director. More information is available at http://www.caliconook.com/about-us.html
Denver Cat Company, Denver, CO, USA
This is one of the only Cat café to not charge an entrance fee and also not require you to make a purchase of food or beverage. Their cat café is free to the public Mon-Fri. A $5 donation however is required if you’d like to visit on the weekend. They also provide useful information for anyone looking to start their own cat café. All of the cats at this café are available for adoption and provided through rescue organizations. More info can be found at http://www.denvercatco.com/
Purringtons Cat Lounge – Portland, OR, USA
This trendy, cute cat café features a custom made structure and private room to help the cats escape from human visitors if they’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed. The café is also open to adoption 3 days a week. As of June 6th, 2015, Purrringtons has helped find forever homes for over 40 cats as a result of a visitor falling in love with one of the cats during a visit to their café. Walk-ins are welcome. Reservations are also available at their website http://purringtonscatlounge.com/ and an $8 donation fee is required for each guest regardless of entry method.
Le Café Chat L’Heureux – Montreal, QC, Canada
This café features an extensive menu including items for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert including a wide selection of vegan and gluten-free menu items. It aims to act as a source therapy and relaxation for humans by providing a calm environment for them to lie down and nap with or play with the resident cats. The cats here are not available for adoption and instead live full time within the café. They offer catering services and education services as well as a shop that sells homemade petfood and pet items. They have a lot of photos of their cats and menu items at their website http://www.cafechatlheureux.com/en-ca/our-cafe
Le Café des Chats – Montreal, QC, Canada
This was the first cat café to open up in North America. Unlike many other cat café in North America, this one features kittens and cats that are permanent residents within the café. In other words, they are not available for adoption. However, this draws in repeat visitors who want to interact with their favorite felines. Before their new life as café mascots, these cats came from rescue and shelter organizations. They have some pretty strict policies for guests visiting the café, including forbidding you from waking or feeding any of the cats. Learn more by visiting http://www.lecafedeschats.fr/ (note this site is in French)
Green Cat Café – San Francisco, CA, USA
Here’s the most educational cat café on our list. They hold public lectures, forums, panels, and workshops to support local animal care agencies, and also educate the public about a variety of cat behavior related topics. It’s also the first environmentally friendly cat café. The menu features only healthy and organic food and beverages. A meeting room can be reserved for private groups. They also have one room strictly full of kittens with no adult cats. All of the cats and kittens in this café are available for adoption. Learn more by visiting http://www.greencatcafe.com
KitTea – San Francisco, CA, USA
This is the best cat café on the list if you’re a tea lover. They import high quality tea from a small sustainable farm in Kyoto, Japan including Hojicha, Matcha, Sencha, and Genmaicha. The goal is to help as many cats as possible to find loving forever homes through adoption programs within their café. Their standard reservation time is one hour blocks. Children under 9 years old are not permitted in this café to ensure the safety of the cats. This is so far the only cat café that allows you to reserve the entire café and kitties all to yourself for up to 2 hours for private events. This café is set to open in June 2015. More information is available at http://www.kitteasf.com/
Cat Town Café -Oakland, CA, USA
In October, 2014, Cat Town Café opened USA’s first ever cat café in Oakland, California. This cute café features various Oakland landmarks reimagined as cat-sized play areas and has a myriad of colorful cat-themed murals decorating their walls. The café is split into two areas, one serving food and beverages, and the other a designated free roaming area for the cats to play in.
Walk-ins are welcome, and reservations are also taken online. Both walk-ins or pre-registered guests will need to make a small 10 dollar donation to support Cat Town’s rescue efforts. If you would like to adopt one of their cats after making a reservation and a donation, you can apply that 10 dollars towards their adoption fees. You can learn more by visiting their website at http://www.cattowncafe.com/
Meow Palour – New York City, NY, USA
Meow Palour is New York City’s first cat café. It costs only $4 per half hour and you can reserve space for up to a maximum of 5 hours. All the cats are adoptable. “Meow Parlour has teamed up with KittyKind, an all-volunteer, no kill rescue group located in NYC. KittyKind specializes in adopting out cats so if you fall in love, you can apply to adopt one!” Yummy snacks are available in a separate building around the corner; so if you’re hungry, stop there first to purchase your snacks before heading into the Parlour. They allow you to bring your food and beverage into the Parlour as well.
Due to the popularity of this café, reservations should be made well in advance online. They do take a limited number of walk-in clients each day, based on spacing and availability. Spaces go quick, and reservations are often sold out up to 3 months in advance. Visit http://www.meowparlour.com/ to learn more about their cats or browse their menu.