FINALLY. America's first permanent cat cafe opens in Oakland
Cat ladies of the US, rejoice!!!
After months of waiting, during which people were forced to get their coffee without being entertaintained by adorable kitties, the first-ever permanent cat cafe has opened at long last. Cat Town Cafe in Oakland opened its doors on October 25th, beating out several other cat cafes (like San Francisco's KitTea, which will open in December or January) to become America's first (other than the temporary NYC pop up). Cat Cafes, while popular in Japan, aren't as easy to start in the US. Cat Town Cafe, which is run by Cat Town, a non-profit that works in conjunction with Oakland Animal Services to place cats in good homes, had to sort out complicated health code and funding issues.
Because of health code reasons, the cafe and the cats are in two different rooms, seperated by a hallway and closed doors-- although you are welcome to bring your coffee and treats into the so-called "Cat Zone". If you want to guarantee entrance into the very popular Cat Zone, then you can reserve a spot ahead of time for a $10 donation, which gets you in the room with the cats for a full hour. Otherwise, you can enjoy a cup of coffee and observe the cats from the window while you wait for your audience with the resident cats, all of which are adoptable-- in case you take a shine to one while you're visiting. Within a few days of opening, they had already found homes for 6 of the cats!
And don't worry-- the Cat Town Cafe isn't leaning too hard on the cat gimmick; the drip coffee and human treats are good too. The java comes from local roaster Bicycle Coffee. The decor also deserves a mention: the Cat Zone has been decorated by graffiti artists and the cats are free to climb all over the furniture and Oakland-landmark-inspired cat play spaces. The Cat Town Cafe doesn't just provide a service to cat-lovers-- it also allows the cats to roam around and socialize instead of forcing them to be cooped up in a cage. It's a win-win!
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