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.
It was pure luck that I landed in Blue Cat Cafe. A friend and I stumbled on it while walking home to our Airbnb late at night during a trip to Austin. Of course I insisted it be our first stop the next morning.
The cafe was started with funds from a Kickstarter campaign and sports both good food and creative decor. Yes, it’s a bit over the top cat-crazy, but in a good way. In typical Austin style, the food comes from a food truck and includes a variety of vegan Tex-Mex dishes. Coffee drinks are also all vegan. Visitors order outside, and servers bring everything in when it’s ready. It’s also possible to eat out in the courtyard.
Some of the cats are adoptable, while others are permanent residents. A three-collar system identifies the status of each cat. Those with green collars are in need of homes. A red collar indicates that a cat is in the process of being adopted. The remaining cats are permanent residents.
Location: 95 Navasota Street, Austin, TX, USA
Opening hours: Monday through Thursday, 10 am – 9 pm; Friday and Saturday 10 am – 10 pm; Sunday 11 am – 7 pm
Admission charge: $3
Cats: Some are adoptable though the Blue Cat Foundation
Price for a small latte: $3.00
Located in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle, Seattle Meowtropolitan is Seattle’s first cat cafe.The friends I was visiting made a reservation for us to visit on a weekday at opening time. There were only a few other guests present, so there were plenty of cats to go around.
The cafe contains one room with a few tables where food and drinks can be purchased. It’s possible to sit in this section and watch the cats through a glass wall. A visit to the cat room costs $10 for 50 minutes, with one drink included in the entrance charge.
If you can’t get to Seattle, the cafe has a webcam on which you can watch the cats from 3 pm – 4 pm PST.
If you do make the trek, be sure to check out the Archie McPhee store that’s just down the block. You might want to pick up a dashboard cat buddha as a souvenir.
Location: 1225 N 45th Street, Seattle, WA, 98103, USA
Opening hours for cat lounge: Tuesday through Sunday, 11 am – 3 pm and 4 pm – 9 pm
Opening hours for cafe: Monday, 9 am – 6 pm; Tuesday through Sunday, 9 am – 9 pm
Admission charge: $10 to enter cat lounge, includes one drink
Reservations: Possible to book online
Cats: 10-15 shelter cats from the Regional Animal Services of King County; some are adoptable
Food and drink: Various coffee drinks with vegan milk options available; pastries and snacks but not full meals
Price for a small latte: $3.30