15 Must-Visit Cat Cafés, and How They're Changing the Way We Adopt
Sometimes, it feels like dog lovers and parents get to have all the fun. Even if you don't have your own dog to take to cool new parks like Hair of the Dog Park and Bar, dog lovers everywhere can flock to the nearest park to get a healthy dose of doggo interactions. But, my cat-loving friends, I'm here to tell you there's now a place for us too—and they're called cat cafés.
What Is a Cat Café?
"Cat cafés are a living-room-like setting that allows visitors to interact with free-roaming cats," explains Helen Harris, co-owner of Purrington's Cat Lounge in Portland, Ore. The first one popped up in Taiwan in the late 90s. Almost 15 years later, the long-awaited trend spread to the United States with the first cat café opening its doors in Oakland, Calif.
The majority of the loafs in U.S. cat cafés aren't just any free-roaming cats. Unlike cat cafés around the world, most U.S. establishments partner with local shelters, housing adoptable cats and kittens. "Visitors can enjoy coffee, tea, wine, beer, or snacks while they hang out with cats," Harris explains. "The café can be a place to be with cats for those not able or ready to have pets of their own. Cafés also allow visitors to make an authentic connection with resident kitties if they are hoping to adopt one." Cat cafés promote adoption, give cats a break from shelter cages, socialize otherwise timid cats—and give us all the kitty fix we need.
15 Cat Cafés to Visit in the U.S.
If you're as cat-obsessed as I am (or want to dabble in non-committed cat cuddles), you'll want to know about the best cat cafés across the U.S. to visit. Look no further for your dream itinerary, because we've rounded up the 15 must-visit cafés!
Know before you go: Most cafés on this list require a reservation and entrance fee, so check out their website before heading out. If you're looking to adopt a kitty, they're happy to walk you through the process—just know that you probably won't be leaving with a cat that very same day. And if you already have a cat at home, the cafés aren't BYOC (bring your own cat), so it's best you leave her at home.
1. Cat Town, Oakland, Calif.
Thanks to Cat Town, the U.S.'s very first cat café, over 3,100 cats have found a home in the last ten years! Reserve a recreational visit for a fee, or if you're looking to adopt, just say so and you can request a free adoption appointment. The cuteness of the literal cat town is almost unbearable, only made better by the vegan snacks and locally-sourced coffee at the café's coffee bar, RAWR.
2. Crumbs and Whiskers, Washington D.C.
The Biden family didn't adopt First Cat Willow from Crumbs and Whiskers, which means your furry soulmate could still be looking for a home. Thanks to rescue partner Homeward Tails, you can spend an afternoon sipping steamy matcha lattes while getting acquainted with a new BFF—or 12. If you can't make it to their east coast location, don't fret! They have a second, swoon-worthy location on Melrose Avenue in LA. It's a fan favorite of Paris Hilton, Keith Urban, and Jennifer Garner among other celebs.
3. The Cat Café, San Diego
Meeeow-oga anyone? The Cat Café advertises relaxation and purr therapy, and we're all about it. We all know that petting a cat makes you downright happier, among other benefits. Sprinkle in some cat yoga and cookies supplied by The Cravory—and well, we can't think of a happier place on earth than this sunny San Diego cat café.
4. Frisky Cat Café, St. Augustine, Fla.
Clean, Nordic style, comfy furniture, furry pillows, and equally furry cats at this Florida cat café will make you feel anything but frisky, and oh so relaxed. Wondering what to pair with relaxation and cats? We heard their macaroons hit the spot.
5. Purrington's Cat Lounge, Portland, Ore.
It's not just floofs and a locally-sourced cup of java that makes you feel warm and tingly at Purrington's Cat Lounge—their mission is downright heartwarming, too. "Our shelter partner, Cat Adoption Team, is an amazing organization that works with other shelters all over the U.S. to alleviate overcrowded facilities," Harris explains. "We're often able to help more rural or overcrowded shelters find loving, permanent homes for even more cats."
6. Pounce Cat Café Wine Bar, Charleston, S.C.
This Instagram-worthy cat café is the purrfect place for a little kitty R&R and a glass of vino. Expect some serious coziness and an equally serious cuddle sesh. Plus, they have two swoon-worthy locations—in Charleston and Savannah.
7. Lucky Cat Café & Lounge, Louisville, Ky.
It's not just the 100-year-old converted home that sets this cat café apart from the rest. Lucky Cat Café & Lounge is one of a few cafés that is not-for-profit and completely run by cat-loving volunteers. "The work this non-profit cat café does for the well-being of our favorite felines is just what the world needs more of," says one reviewer, and we couldn't agree more.
8. Koneko, New York
This Lower East Side-based cat café is the first Japanese-American cat café, serving tea, sake, and house-made snacks like the highly-raved about okonomiyaki. The café is a staple for those looking to escape the city for some one-on-one cat cuddles in a sleek, minimal atmosphere. Plus, there's an open-air catio and did we mention New York cheesecake with raspberry-yuzu gelee? Yes, please!
9. Kitty Pause Cat Café, Mesa, Ariz.
If it's warm hospitality and cat-centric events you're on the prowl for, look no further than Kitty Pause Cat Café. This café knows that everything in life is better with cats—that's why they host rotating, cats-included events like yoga, bingo, movie night, and guided meditation.
10. The Kitty Beautiful, Orlando, Fla.
When sitting in a room full of cats is simply not enough, this southern cat café has you covered. For feline-oriented fitness, The Kitty Beautiful cat yoga classes are a must-do. The 60-minute-session costs $18 and includes trying your best not to boop a cat during warrior III and being out cat-posed by, well, cats. After the session, enjoy 30 minutes of zen with your new feline friends while sipping a well-deserved meowmosa.
11. The Catcade, Chicago
The Catcade is Chicago's very first and only non-profit, arcade-themed cat café. The only thing sweeter than unlimited free old-school arcade games is resident cat Leo and his clowder of adoptable cats.
12. Mount Purrnon Cat Café and Wine Bar, Alexandria, Va.
With the slogan "drink wine, save cats," this cat café has combined two of my favorite things in life. Yes, there are cats. Yes, there's wine. And it's conveniently located in the heart of historic Old Town Alexandria.
13. El Gato Coffee House, Houston
A brainchild of Renee Reed, a self-proclaimed cat person since childhood, El Gato Coffee House is Houston's one and only cat café (and under El Gato Charities soon-to-be Houston's only non-profit cat café). At any given time, you can snuggle, play, and sip coffee with 14–20 fully adoptable cats. For five years, the café has been transforming the way Houston adopts cats and will soon be celebrating their 500th adoption!
14. The Cheshire Grin Café, St. Louis
This Alice in Wonderland inspired cat café is as unique as each one of its adoptable felines. Inside you'll find a clowder of mischievous, talkative cats pawing around the midwestern café. If you happen to find your fairytale love among the residents, well that's just perfect.
15. Give Purrs a Chance, Berkeley Springs, Va.
As if the name of this cat café isn't heartwarming enough, the non-profit café is located in a huge two-story Victorian, making it the largest cat café in the U.S. and housing more adoptable cats than any others. A small entrance fee provides all-day access to the cat-run residence and Catique Boutique, a shop packed with handmade goods by local artisans.