The Rise of Cat Cafés

Why you should give one a shot

Photo by Camden & Hailey George on Unsplash

Few things are more fun than hanging out with lots of cats while you sip a steaming hot cup of coffee. It’s not my living room I’m describing, though I do have both of those things, it’s a cat café.

According to BBC Travel, the first cat café in Taipei, Taiwan, opened in 1998 and was called the Cat Flower Garden. Since then, more cat cafés have opened in other countries, like Russia, Spain, and Canada. Cat cafés are extremely popular in Japan, where there are nearly 150 cafes, many of which are centered around large cities like Tokyo.

Cat cafes offer a service to their patrons unique to large Japanese cities like Tokyo, where apartments are small and expensive. Patrons can play, pet, and hold adorable felines as they sip caffeinated beverages and socialize with friends. Many landlords have strict no-pet policies, so these cafes allow the patrons to get their cute cat fixes without the burden of cat ownership.

Hiring feline staff

In recent years, cat cafés have taken off in the United States as well. While good housing may not be a problem in this country, tenants who want to keep a cat or two can usually pay a pet deposit to ensure their furry friends are welcome in their new homes.

Cat cafés often provide an alternative to the traditional humane association or animal shelter, so the cafes in the U.S. may be popular for different reasons.

Cafés usually partner with cat rescues to hire their feline “staff.” Using this business model, they free up space for other cats at shelters or in foster care that may require more medical care or treatment.

Making room for other kitties

The cafés also clear space at animal shelters to make more room for stray cats and kittens who might otherwise have to be left behind or worse.

Cat cafés offer their patrons the ability to interact with cats and kittens in a stress-free environment. The cats get to roam cage-free as prospective cat owners sip their favorite caffeinated beverage and interact with the cats.

Exploring cat adoption in this way allows prospective cat owners to watch cats interact with other cats and people in the cat’s environment. Seeing the cats in action gives the visitor an idea of how the cat will behave once they’re adopted.

Some cat cafes hold special events like movie nights, kitty yoga, and pilates to entice prospective adopters. These events can be a fun way to socialize and meet some cute felines.

Adopting Scout

I went to the café with a friend. We wanted to experience kitty yoga, and my friend was looking to adopt. Little Scout was playfully chasing other kittens across the floor when I arrived. Then she hung out near my yoga mat, playing with a catnip mouse.

She was so active that I hadn’t noticed right away that she was blind. It wasn’t until she sat on my mat and purred in my ear that I noticed. I was hooked. As she played with my shoestrings, I contemplated how to tell my other two cats that she’d be joining us. As my friend and I drank coffee and ate muffins, I completed my application to adopt her.

To further seal the deal, she followed me to the door like she didn’t want to say goodbye. I picked her up the next day.

Scout had some medical issues, including an ear infection and an upper respiratory infection, so she basically spent her first month in quarantine. Little did I know, we’d all spend the next year in quarantine. Having a kitten around made life more fun.


If you’re interested in adopting a new feline friend or just hanging out with some furry friends, cat cafes are a great option. What better way to get your caffeine fix than to do it with a cute kitten on your lap? Who knows, you may come home with a new friend.

Click here for a list of cat cafes in the United States.


Carl Sandburg never kept a cat

There’s nothing silent about little cat feet…

Hermione Granger the cat taking a break from the chase

Carl Sandburg said that fog comes on little cat feet…on silent haunches and then moves on.

It’s quite clear that Carl never kept a cat as there’s no such thing as silent haunches on a cat. In fact, silent is not a word to describe any area of a cat’s anatomyespecially when the cats in question are two rambunctious kitties who are also sisters.

I adopted my cats when they were wee kittens. They were actually sleeping in a little purring puddle of kitten fluff in a cage at Petco. They looked so cute like that and in between their kitten snores, a leg or a paw would twitch and they’d flex and change positions. I stood there and watched them, smiling the entire time. I could’ve stared at them for hours. Now, I do.

I came into Petco that day to adopt one kitten. I left with two.

It’s been one noisy condo almost ever since.

That cage at Petco was more of a sales pitch than a nap as that was the quietest they’ve ever been. When I first adopted them, they were confined to my office and spent the balance of their time climbing on the couch and looking out the window. They’d sometimes engage in a wrestling match or two. A few times, I had to retrieve one of them as they scaled my bookcase. I usually managed to grab them before too many books tumbled in their wake. But as they became more comfortable with their surroundings, they became more rambunctious.

They staged a jailbreak and there was no going back

One morning when I opened the door to feed them, they took off. The jailbreak was real. There was no way to corral them in that one room after that. The first games of tag commenced.

As a careful spectator of these games, I’ve noticed several things. The games start soon after breakfast in the morning when both of them are fortified and hydrated and then pick up again late at night. The games are loud and raucous. I have to admit, fun to watch. I never know who will be the chaser and who will be the chased. It changes almost every day.

They’re both guilty

I’m not sure which one instigates the games — Harper or Hermione. My guess is that it varies depending on who feels particularly feisty that morning. Once one of them starts it — the game lasts for about a half-hour and usually begins in my bedroom. One cat chases the other down the hall and back again. Somewhere in there, they change positions and the chaser becomes the chased.

Sometimes, if Harper is the one being chased, she’ll make a sharp left turn and scamper in the space between the couch and the wall — her way of taking a little breather. Hermione is bigger than Harper, and Harper knows her sister won’t fit back there. But, Hermione is onto this little trick of hers and usually waits for Harper at the other end of the couch. And the game continues.

It’s not just the games of tag. My little blind cat has figured out that if she scrapes her claws across the mirror on the back of my bedroom door, the sound is loud enough and annoying enough to wake me up. She knows that if she continues to do it until I get out of bed, I will feed her and her sisters. I’m still not totally convinced her sisters didn’t teach her this little trick. She’s blind so how’d she find the mirror?

The other two marauders share the blame

Anyway, Scout’s tactics have worked out in her favor. She’s now included in the games of tag. She sometimes even starts them, which is huge. When she was a kitten, the two cats did everything to avoid her. They hissed at her when she wanted to play with them and they’d run away if she tried to engage them in any way. I think she got her feelings hurt more than once. Now they’re becoming friends. That’s good but the noise volume has definitely gone up.

So, Carl Sandberg if you’re out there somewhere, the fog never rolls in like little cat feet. That is unless it stomps, scampers, or shuffles in.

That sounds more like a good thunderstorm and when one of those rolls in, it’s enough for those little cat feet to swiftly retreat.

It’s true. More than one game of tag has been called on account of rain. And it always starts with a loud thunderclap. My cats run for cover.

And then it’s quiet…at least for a little while.

Two Cats, One Human, A Whole Lot of Sibling Rivalry

A few years ago, I adopted two kittens. That was not what I intended. They were littermates. I had planned to adopt one kitten I’d seen on a rescue site. But when I arrived at Petco to meet her, she was asleep in the same cage with her sister. They were entwined as they slept. It was difficult to see where one kitten started and the other one ended. When I saw them asleep like that, there was no way I could break them up. I adopted both of them. That was brilliant marketing on their part. And they haven’t slept together like that since.

I Hear it Before I See it

In fact, they spend a lot of their time in an endless game of tag. I’m not quite sure which one initially started this epic game, but it’s been going on for five years and there’s no sign of it stopping. I usually hear the stomping, stamping sounds of their little paws on the linoleum. One cat chases the other down the hallway. I can only guess what happens at the other end as the original chaser becomes the chased on the way back down. This goes on and on. At some point, Harper will take a sharp left turn and head down the small space between the wall and the couch. She knows her sister Hermione’s fluff is too big to allow her to follow her. But Hermione’s on to this little trick, she’s usually waiting for Harper at the other end of the couch. And the game continues.

The game doesn’t usually stop until one of them gets tired or it’s meal time.

The games don’t end there. One time, as Harper walked past Hermione, Hermione stuck out her paw and goosed her. Harper turned around and tackled her sister to the floor. Hermione maneuvered herself away from her sister’s grasp. They circled each other, darting, weaving and ready to pounce at the right moment. The result was a wrestling match that lasted about fifteen minutes before one of them retreated. I’m sure the initial attack was payback for another offense, but that wrestling match sure was fun to watch.

When they were wee kittens, they would play with the same catnip toys. Sometimes, that playtime would lead into more wrestling matches. But as they’ve gotten older, they’ve mellowed some and the wrestling matches haven’t been quite as often.

Sometimes, their younger sister Scout will initiate a wrestling match and the other girls will occasionally indulge her. Scout’s level of enthusiasm for these games is high, and her sisters will occasionally include her in the games of tag. Since Scout is blind, they’ve even learned to modify the game some and slow down a little so she can catch up.

That seems to be a trend with the cats as they’ve grown up. I’ve noticed lately that the girls watch out for each other. Hermione always meows when her sister Harper gets stuck behind the dryer. I’m sure Hermione was chasing Harper when she jumped up on the dryer and overshot her landing on the other side. At least, Hermione helped her out, right?

They even look out for little Scout. A year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to say that. Harper and Hermione didn’t accept Scout in the beginning. I don’t think they understood that because she’s blind, she has special needs. They’ve grown to understand her better over the last year. Sometimes, Scout gets confused by her surroundings–like she’s not quite sure where she is. The other cats have started to rush to help her.

I’m happy to see them finally get along.