Friday, October 24, 2014

Cat Town Cafe :: First Permanent Cat Cafe in the United States

Le Café des Chats, Paris

Last Sunday, the Boston Globe published two beautiful pieces about cat cafes. I was one of the writers asked to contribute a story about my visit to one of the most purrfect places in Paris (well, at least in my opinion), Le Café des Chats. If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, you know just how much I adored my visit in April. An afternoon sitting with cats and savoring Champagne is all an American girl in Paris could ask for. Well, perhaps some Chanel and Hermès wouldn't hurt either. You can read all about Le Café des Chats here.

Cat cafes first took flight in Asia more than a decade ago. Today, the excitement can be found in European cities such as Madrid, Munich and Vienna. With restaurant health and safety codes more stringent in this country, the feline and food concept hasn't fully clawed its way to completion – although the craze could be coming to a city near you. And if you happen to live in Oakland, CA this tailspinning theory is set to come true tomorrow (October 25) with the grand opening of Cat Town Café – the first permanent cat cafe in the United States. 

Ann Dunn, founder of Cat Town – an Oakland non-profit that has been rescuing at-risk shelter cats since 2011, has been committed to finding both foster and forever homes for felines who don’t necessarily fare well in a caged environment. Together with her business partner, Adam Myatt, the duo transformed a 2,200 square foot space into a cafe and isolated “cat zone.” Visitors can purchase food from the cafe and then enter the "cat zone" where they'll be able to interact with the cats available for adoption.

"We’re not trying to be a regular cafe or restaurant. We’re an adoption center with cafe elements," Dunn said. "These cats would otherwise be sitting in tiny cages, but now they can roam freely while waiting for a permanent home."

Cat Town Café will brew beverages from Bicycle Coffee Company and sell bagels, sandwiches and cat shaped macaroons from other local purveyors. And for those of you looking for an extra pep in your step, there's catnip tea for people and for cats. Meow! Once in the designated "cat zone," patrons can purchase dry treats for their new feline friends. Meow! Meow! 

Cat Town Café is located at 2869 Broadway (at 29th Street) in Oakland. The cafe will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. The "cat zone" will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. Now, more importantlywhen will Mr. Chat and I be traveling to California???

Cat Town Café, Oakland
{photo credit}


  1. Replies
    1. It is such a cool experience and you have to be a true cat person to appreciate the concept. I know you'd love it, Kristen.