Cat Town Cafe

img_4162Cat 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
Reservations: Recommended
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.







(AT) Cats and Tea 茶飲輕食

(AT) Cats and Tea, located in the southern Taiwan city of Tainan, is my favorite sort of cat cafe. There’s no entrance fee (just buy a drink and/or snack as you would at any cafe), freshly-prepared food is served, and the cafe helps homeless cats find human companions. The owners are also involved in the local TNR (trap/neuter/release) program. Win, win, win!

There were 12 cats in residence when I visited, and they had quite a range of personalities. Some were happy to play and be petted, especially when treats were involved, while others were a bit nervous and hung out in the back of the cafe or in a cat carrier. Two were confined to a large cage as you’d see in a cat shelter where cats might not all get along. There was also a tiny kitten who did a bit of meowing and seemed a lost until finally snuggling with another cat (mom?). As the cats are adoptable, it makes sense that they’d be less accustomed to living in a cat cafe than cats who are permanent residents of a cafe.

The menu was in Chinese, but the kind woman who took my order spoke English and suggested the waffles when I said I was vegetarian. There were a few options for toppings, and I chose cherry. I also got an iced latte that came with a convenient cat-blocking lid with a hole for the straw.

The tasty waffles (NT$150, around $4.70) were made to order. The cafe was clean, had excellent air conditioning (a bonus in the hot and humid Taiwanese summer), and provided the opportunity for plenty of cat petting. I visited at noon on a weekday, and there were two other tables of guests. One kind guest brought the kitten and then another cat over to me so I could hold them. As is common in cat cafes, a common spoken language isn’t necessary. Everyone understands cat love.

Location: No. 70 Jianye St, West Central District, Tainan City, Taiwan (700 台南 市 中 西區 建 業 街 72 號)

Hours: 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM, closed Tuesdays

Admission charge: None, but there is a minimum purchase of NT$100 ($3.10)

Reservations: Yes, but walk-ins are welcome

Price for a latte: NT$120 ($3.75)