Cat Town started in 2011 as a rescue organization in Oakland, California, placing cats in foster homes and eventually helping them find permanent homes. In 2014, the Cat Town Cafe and Adoption Center opened. The cafe provides space for up to 20 cats and brings in potential adopters; nearly 1400 cats have found homes through Cat Town since 2011.
Cat Town is a nonprofit organization, and matching cats with people is clearly their mission. The cafe contains an area with a couple of tables where one can buy coffee, cookies, and bagels. Cats are in a separate cat zone that is viewable through a glass wall. The cat zone is clean, well lit, and decorated with colorful murals and models of local landmarks. Volunteers are on hand to answer questions about the cats and to talk to potential adopters. There are no tables and only a few chairs (mostly taken by cats), so it’s not a cafe where one would come to sit and chat with a friend or read a book. However, it’s very much a place where one can get some quality cat-petting time.
In addition to the main room, there is a smaller room with alcoves for the more timid cats. Only two visitors are allowed in the room at one time, and there is a sign indicating that one should be quiet to permit the cats to relax.
There is a fee of $10/hour to visit if booking online in advance. It’s only $5/hour for drop-ins, but they were quite busy the week I was looking to book online, so I’d recommend making a reservation. And as a nonprofit, the fee you pay to visit is tax deductible!
Location: 2869 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611
Cafe hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10:00-19:00
Cat zone hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 9:30-19:00; Monday & Tuesday by appointment for adoptions
Admission charge: $10/hour when booked online; $5/hour for walk-ins
Price of a coffee (no lattes): $3.00
You also might want to check out Hood Cats, a side project of Adam Myott, one of the founders of Cat Town. I was mighty happy a few weeks ago when the Hood Cats calendar turned up in my mailbox.