Located in Oakland, CA is America’s first cat café, Cat Town Café. Publications have been raving about this cat café, so Spoon decided to visit to see what the paw-sitive buzz was all about.
What’s a cat café?
A cat café is exactly what its name suggests: a place where people go to drink coffee and enjoy the company of cats. The idea came from Taipei, Taiwan where the world’s first cat café opened in 1998. What sets Oakland’s Cat Town Café apart from other cat cafés is its mission to find loving homes for its homeless cats and kittens. As of early March 2015, 142 cats have been adopted since October 25th, 2014.
What is in the cat café?
The café is split into two sections: a coffee bar and the Cat Zone. Cat Town Café proudly serves Bicycle Coffee pour-overs, Shades of Sugar macarons and Rolling Sloane’s baked goods (They offer vegan and gluten-free options as well).
Spoon tip: #freecoffeefriday happens on the first Friday of every month.
The café also sells adorable cat merchandise. Customers can purchase t-shirts, mugs, calendars and even fashionable stockings. Because the café is non-profit, all proceeds go towards cat amenities.
And what about the cats?
The moment you step in the Cat Zone, you are – quite literally – in Cat Town. Everything is cat-sized and cat-themed, from the murals depicting the Port of Oakland and urban life, to the sushi restaurants painted onto cat-apartments. Their towers depict actual Oakland landmarks, like Oakland City Hall.
Every day in the Cat Zone, 6 to 20 adoptable cats wait for cuddles and play sessions (toys provided), and more importantly, permanent homes. Some cats calmly greet you with cool stares and careful steps.
Others shyly peek out from the nooks and crannies of their towers.
Some chase the toys you dangle in front of their faces, and others nap quietly in the sun.
Each cat has its own personality, and you are bound to be immediately attached to one (or more). Love at first sight? We think yes.
How can you visit?
Walk-ins are free, but only 14 visitors are allowed in the Cat Zone each hour. Because the café is very popular, you should make a reservation for $10 to guarantee entry upon arrival, especially on weekends. Reservation fees go straight toward the cats’ food, toys and shelter.
If you’re looking to adopt a feline friend, this is the purrfect place to visit. And for those of us who aren’t able to have pets, stop by Cat Town Café for some pet therapy.