If you’re a person who enjoys caffeine with a side of cat cuddles, you’ll love the opportunity to visit a cat café. Cat cafes are a haven for cat lovers, offering a lounge area filled with friendly felines and a menu of drinks and light bites.
Originating in Asia, these businesses gained massive popularity throughout Japan as a way for guests to decompress while enjoying the companionship of cats, sparking a global phenomenon. In recent years, cat cafes have started springing up in cities worldwide, and the focus has shifted towards partnering with rescue groups and featuring cats who are up for adoption—a win-win for cats and cat lovers!
Here are four cat cafes in North America that you won’t want to miss.
New York, New York
About the café: Meow Parlour is New York City’s first cat café, offering a tranquil escape from the bustling streets of the Lower East Side. Meow Parlour is a feline paradise with a massive wall of climbing structures for its resident cats, who are all adoptable through KittyKind. While guests can enjoy their coffee at a window-side bar, most visitors opt instead for a pillow seat on the floor, where they can snuggle up close with a kitty. Meow Parlour has helped more than 200 cats find loving homes, including special needs cats and those who are more challenging to place. “We’re proud of the fact that we feature harder to adopt cats like Fanny and Nicky, our two special needs cats with cerebellar hypoplasia” says founder Christina Ha. “We want to help cats who need a cheerleader to boost their adoption chances.”
What makes it special: Meow Parlour is owned by the cat-loving team behind one of the city’s finest bakeries, Macaron Parlour—and their delicious French macarons are one of the most sought after items on the menu. They even offer cat themed macarons complete with tabby stripes and whiskers. Purrfect!
Details: While Meow Parlour offers walk-ins based on availability, they often book out for weeks in advance. Make a 30-minute reservation for $6 online to guarantee a spot.
About the café: Cat Town is a nonprofit cat café in Oakland, featuring a revolving door of cats seeking loving adopters. As the very first cat café in the United States, Cat Town built the model for integrating felines and food as a new strategy for saving lives. Inspired by his visit to several cat cafes in Japan, co-founder Adam Myatt collaborated with his local animal rescue to develop a café where people could drink coffee and help cats at the same time. According to Myatt, “I reached out and asked the rescue if they thought we could save more cats by creating a café featuring cats that were up for adoption. It’s a crazy idea…but Oakland is crazy enough to do it!” The impact has been huge—since its founding in 2014, the cat café has saved so many animals from the city’s shelter that Oakland has become a no-kill city for cats.
What makes it special? The café is designed to look like a miniature version of the city, with four cat-sized structures modeled after iconic buildings in downtown Oakland.
Details: Walk-ins are available for a $5 donation, but the best way to guarantee a spot is to make a one-hour appointment online for $10. Entry fees are tax-deductible and support the cats!
Kawaii Kitty Café
About the café: Kawaii Kitty Café is an adorable little shop in South Philadelphia that truly lives up to its cutesy name. With an aesthetic theme centered around Japanese Kawaii culture, the café features interior design, art, and even food that is girly-cute. “We are basically a happy pastel cat wonderland!” says owner Kristin Eissler, whose café has helped find homes for over 100 cats in its first nine months. Even the cat’s names are stylized—within the café’s walls you’ll meet cats with names such as Fanny Pack, Whoopsie Goldberg, and Megatron. “We pride ourselves on giving the cats silly names, personalities, and funny back stories. It helps people connect with our cats.”
What makes it special:One of the most popular items on the menu is the cat themed milkshake. It comes with a photo of a featured cat, a Kawaii toy, pastel ice cream, whipped cream, and tons of Japanese candy and sprinkles!
Details: The cat room can accommodate up to 8 guests at a time, and you can book the entire room or share the room with other guests. A one-hour reservation spot is $10 per person and can be booked online.
About the café: Catfé is a gathering space for cat lovers and adoptable felines at the International Village Mall in Vancouver. The café features vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options for guests to enjoy while playing with an assortment of friendly felines. As a satellite adoption center for the BC SPCA, the café focuses on helping adoptable cats thrive in a home-like environment until they meet their perfect adopters. Catfe’s cats are so desirable that they actually have experienced several days in which they had to close due to all the cats being adopted!
What makes it special:Catfe may be the only coffee shop you’ll find in a mall that offers “catpuccinos”—a delicious treat with cat-shaped latte art.
Details: The cat room can accommodate up to 16 guests, with 10 spots able to be reserved online and the others held for walk-ins. A reservation is $5 per person with a café purchase, or $8 just to play with the cats!
Images courtesy: Christa Hamilton and Ethan Covey for Meow Parlour; Kawaii Kitty Café.
Hannah Shaw is the founder of Kitten Lady. Her mission is to change the way we perceive & treat animals—especially orphaned kittens.