Cat cafés are a growing global phenomena but are some better than others? Some are cozy and cluttered while others are sleek and modern. Some cafés don’t allow their feline residents to be adopted while other cafés double as adoption facilities. As cat café culture continues to grow in popularity, it’s up to the public and café customers to decide what’s best.
What do you as a cat lover want in a cat café? Let the battle for the best cat café begin! Let us know with your comments.
Tell us: have you visited a cat café? Would you adopt a cat from one? If there is a cat café in your city and you’d like to review it for us, please email Layla at [email protected]
The best way to help raise awareness are unbiased cat café reviews ideally from locals who can visit on more than one occasion. Our roving reporter Denise DiBetta aka Dee and her assistant Nik Halaka recently visited Cat Town Cat Café the first U.S. cat caféin Oakland, California. Not only are Dee and Nik locals, they are mega pop cat culture fans.
OAKLAND’S CAT TOWN CAFÉ
This past Saturday, January 3rd, Nik and I celebrated the New Year by visiting the 3-months’ new Cat Town Café in Oakland, California! The Café opened in October 2014, and since then we’d heard a lot of buzz about it from friends and blogging peers who’d been there multiple times…so of course we were excited to see it for ourselves!
Though we had done some research prior to our visit, our actual experience there far exceeded our expectations. I won’t go into elaborate details about the super cool co-owners, Ann Dunn and Adam Myatt, or the awesome mission, vision and values of the organization itself, as all those details have been blogged about, and can be found on the Cat Town Café’s website, at http://cattownoakland.org/
But for those of you who would appreciate a brief summary, Ann and Adam run an independent, non-profit organization, and partner with volunteers from Oakland Animal Services. Their efforts target at-risk kitties, least likely to be adopted, that have been surrendered to Oakland’s Municipal shelter. Through the foster-based program that Ann and Adam have created, many at-risk kitties are afforded the opportunity to blossom and find loving, permanent homes, thus lowering the number of animals that ultimately end up being euthanized. Good job Ann and Adam!
When we entered the Cat Town Café, we were immediately greeted by the smell of freshly brewed artisan coffee and smiles from friendly, feline-loving staff. Cat themed art popped everywhere from the walls, and unique merchandise on display added intrigue and visual excitement upon entering the Café.Delicious pastries and bagels were available for purchase, and bistro table for guest seating dotted the room. From the Café itself, we could see the ‘main attraction’ (the cat room!) through large windows, where modern cat furniture and charming custom-built cat structures created a welcoming environment for both kitties and would-be adopters alike.Though walk-ins are fine, reservations are encouraged if you want to be assured a visit to the cat room, as only a limited number of people are allowed in at any given time.
Our reservation was for 12 noon, and after a friendly chat with Janet at the cashier’s booth, and wolfing down a scrumptious sea salt bagel with vegan cream cheese and a blueberry scone, Nik and I were escorted into the cat room by Adam himself, where we were immediately impressed by the whimsical yet very tranquil atmosphere.Comfortable sitting chairs were occupied with potential adopters who were either playing with, or quietly observing the kitties. There were 12 kitties present in the cat room that day, however as kitties will do, some had made themselves ‘invisible’ by crawling deep inside of the cat structures to sleep. Rules posted in and around the cat room discouraged behaviors such as picking up the kitties, or bothering them if they were at rest…but playing with them if they were awake, and taking pictures without using a flash was highly encouraged!Samantha and Stephanie, two of the Café’s friendly volunteers, were on hand in the cat room to share some interesting information with us. They told us that the custom-built cat structures were created by the same artist who created the structures that make up the range at the very popular Subpar Miniature Golf course in Alameda, California. http://subparminigolf.com/ The structures represent several historical buildings that grace the skyline of downtown Oakland, one of them being the Tribune building, inside of which we observed a beautiful young black kitty sleeping peacefully on a fleece bed.
Samantha and Stephanie went on to explain that the limit for the cat room is about twenty kitties, and that eleven to fourteen kitties is really the “happy place” in terms of occupancy. The kitties at the Café live in the cat room 24/7, and there is a ‘quiet room’ off to the side of the main room for those kitties who are new to the facility, or just feeling shy and want to be alone. The volunteers work with the kitties outside of business hours to help socialize them, and by-appointment adoptions take place on Mondays and Tuesdays when the Café is closed for business.
As of January 3rd, 77 kitties had been adopted into loving forever homes! What an accomplishment! Needless to say we were extremely impressed with our experience at the Cat Town Café, and would encourage anyone living in the Bay Area, or passing through, to visit. Be sure and make an advance reservation if possible — $10 per person donation, which confirms your admittance into the cat room — and go with an appetite so that you can enjoy some of the delicious offerings for sale! You’ll love your time spent in the cat room, and perhaps you’ll even leave the with a new best friend! Hopefully you will have the opportunity to meet Ann or Adam while you are there, and I’m sure you’ll agree with us that they are about the kindest, friendliest people you will ever come into contact with.
Visit Cat Town Café’s Facebook page for news and to meet their latest cats.