11 Cat Cafes You Have to Visit
Once a curiosity for animal lovers in Asia, cat cafes — where visitors can enjoy drinks, snacks and adopt a kitty — are now popping up all over America.
Photo By: Catmosphere Laguna
Photo By: Seattle Meowtropolitan
Photo By: Erica Danger
Photo By: Kawaii Kitty Cafe
Photo By: Ryan Peschman
Photo By: Purrfect Day
Photo By: Charming Cat Cafe
Photo By: David Williams Photography
Photo By: Kit Tea
Photo By: Cat Cafe South Beach
Photo By: Neko Cat Cafe
Catmosphere Laguna (Laguna Beach, CA)
Halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, Orange County’s first cat café is as serene as its coastal setting. Founder Gail Allyn Landau partners with local shelters to fill her cozy community space with guests, gourmet treats (like the "Meowmosa") and 10-12 cats in search of their forever homes. (As is standard practice at responsible cat cafes, Catmosphere’s kitties are pre-screened for health and personality — these guys and gals want to make new friends.) Not in the area? Not a problem: The café streams live Kitty Kams that bring the fuzz to you.
Seattle Meowtropolitan (Seattle, WA)
If you fancy finding om with critters finding homes, consider registering for Seattle Meowtropolitan's "Meowga Membership Unlimited." A recurring payment of $80 per month gets you into four yoga-with-cats classes (where Seattle Meowtropolitan’s 25 adoptable cats, fostered in partnership with Regional Animal Services of King County, roam and stretch along with human participants), as well as a complimentary cup of tea. If you’d prefer to sketch your feline friends, the café also hosts instructor-led portrait sessions paired with cats and wine.
CatCafe Lounge (Los Angeles, CA)
Good news: The only nonprofit cat café in Los Angeles is a registered 501(c)(3), which means that admission — which includes a beverage — is considered a tax-deductible donation. Great news: This May, the CatCafe Lounge folks will also be opening the Tiny Beans Kitten Lounge, a summer space that aims to save 300 kittens in three months, and purchasing tickets to that cat-lover’s dream qualifies as a donation as well. Since CatCafe Lounge just happens to be a block from The Last Bookstore, California’s largest used and new book and record store, we suggest picking up a new read, then cracking it open beside a few kitties (and contributing to a fantastic cause in the process). Best day ever? Probably.
Kawaii Kitty Café (Philadelphia, PA)
As befitting a cat café with "cute" (kawaii means cute in Japanese) right there in the name, Kawaii Kitty Café specializes in extra-adorable drinks like unicorn hot cocoa and hot and iced cat face lattes. (Sippers beware: "Our kitties also love lattes," the team notes, "so make sure to shield your drinks.") The sweet space also specializes in finding homes for its adoptable café kitties, in partnership with the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) — because an adorable Instagram shot and helping make Philly a no-kill city is just plain winning.
Sip & Purr (Milwaukee, WI)
After opening its doors in June of 2018, Milwaukee’s first cat café has already adopted out more than 200 of its feline inhabitants, thanks to a combination of local collaboration (with Lakeland Animal Shelter) and great programming (think yoga, drag bingo, book club, family movie nights with cats and kitten showers). Founder and owner Katy McHugh has also brought rescues to the café from Egypt (after a personal visit) and Qatar (with assistance from two international rescue groups). Sip & Purr even accommodates folks who prefer to appreciate cats at a distance, as the café portion of the facility (which boasts three themed beers and six themed cocktails, in addition to a full food and drink menu) is separated from the cat lounge. There is, quite literally, something for everyone.
Purrfect Day Café (Louisville, KY)
When Purrfect Day Café debuted last summer, the team hoped to arrange adoptions for at least 600 of their cats (in partnership with the Kentucky Humane Society) in its first year. As café "purrprietor" Chuck Patton notes, however, cat cafes are part of a growing movement that’s changing the way animals are adopted: "Our community in Louisville, Kentucky has been so supportive that we have adopted out over 821 cats in just eight months," he says. Whether you fancy yoga with cats, bourbon with a Bengal, or a handful of Kitty Litter (that is, popcorn with white and dark chocolate and graham cracker dust), Purrfect Day is ready to pair you with Louisville’s most lovable locals.
The Charming Cat Café (Lewisville, TX)
Northwest of Dallas in Lewisville, Texas, Music City Mall plays host to dozens of retailers, restaurants and vendors, a cinema, an escape room... and The Charming Cat Café, which just might be the only (official) establishment in the world offering Dungeons & Dragons and cat events. The café’s titular kitties find their way to the mall via Kitty Save, a local 501(c)(3) animal welfare group founded by Bev Freed. After many years of coordinating Kitty Save’s in-store adoption events, Bev realized that a public foster setting was more conducive to low-stress love connections for her needy feline pals—and in December of 2015, she opened the café’s doors and proved herself right.
Koneko (New York, NY)
"How is it," Koneko ("kitten" in Japanese) asked, "that in the greatest city in the world there’s not one café where you can have a glass of sake with a cat in your lap?" Founder Benjamin Kalb pulled out all the stops to give it one. Partnering with Anjellicle Cats Rescue, Koneko features a rotating cast of international artists and sweets, house-made izakaya snacks and a diverse array of beverages. Kalb created this kaleidoscopic Eden for people and felines on New York City’s Lower East Side where Koneko’s cast of 20 adoptable cats and admiring humans roam as they please through spaces that are sunlit, cozy and — in the case of the Catio (pictured here) — even outdoors. We’ll drink to that.
KitTea (San Francisco, CA)
"With your ticket," the team at San Francisco’s KitTea notes, "comes a bottomless selection of four premium Japanese green teas [hand-picked at a partner farm in Kyoto], each as subtle and nuanced as our one-eyed resident, Blinx." Blinx and a dozen other rescues are the café’s human-loving "purr-manent residents," and share their home with up to 11 adoptable kitties that have been rescued from high-risk situations (identifiable to visitors by collars and bow ties). If you’re lucky enough to score a ticket for Caturday Morning Cartoons, in turn, you’ll also get mini boxes of sugary cereal (with granola and almond milk options, naturally) and all the vintage 'toons and commercials you can handle ("Cat jammies encouraged"). KitTea bills itself as "a shortcut to happiness," and it’s hard to argue with them — just try to scroll through this gallery of their hundreds of adopted kitties without smiling.
Cat Café South Beach (Miami, FL)
Adoptable kitties climb miniature replicas of South Beach’s iconic lifeguard towers at Miami’s first cat café, because how else could Celyta Jackson and her team welcome visitors to "purradise"? More than 100,000 cats live on the streets in Miami-Dade County, according to the Humane Society of Greater Miami, and only one in five of those that are brought to the local Animal Services facilities are adopted. Celyta wanted to increase those adoption statistics and help control the feral population, so she’s created a beachy gourmet-café-slash-kitty-lounge, Cat Café South Beach, to do just that. Her furry residents are all looking for homes, and funds from their adoptions support SOBE Cats Spay & Neuter, a community group that provides much-needed services for cats that are still on the street. Purradise, indeed.
NEKO Seattle (Seattle, WA)
After spending two years in Japan, Caitlin Unsell and Cory James came back to Seattle with dreams of opening a cat café in the States. Their version is a particularly special one: NEKO ("cat" in Japanese) partners with Regional Animal Services of King County and focuses on finding homes for kitties living with the feline leukemia virus (FeLV), a disease that can shorten their life spans and predispose them to other conditions. FeLV does NOT make them any less deserving of loving families (or less capable of being marvelous companions) — and NEKO has been so successful in fostering human-feline connections with their extra-special population that they’re planning to open a second location (in Bellingham, Washington) later this year. Go on: Let them show you their kitties.