Cat Cafés are a fairly new concept, first introduced in Taipei, Taiwan in 1998, just two years before the turn of the century. Hundreds of Cat Cafés have been launched worldwide since Cat Flower Garden first opened its doors in 1998, a large number of them in Japan and in the United States.
Interacting with pets can reduce stress, ease loneliness, and reduce anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, not everyone can own a pet. Cat cafés allow people who might otherwise not be able to care for a cat the opportunity to interact with friendly felines. In many countries, cat cafés are typically populated by permanent residents. Most North American cat cafés, including the three highlighted in this article, are populated mostly with adoptable cats looking for a new home.
While cat cafés are becoming more popular, they can be expensive to run and maintain. The rules and restrictions that were put in place during the covid 19 pandemic made this an even more challenging tasks and many cafés shut their doors forever. Fortunately, a few of them survived and
147 E Garfield St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
La Gattara Cat Café & Boutique in Phoenix has been recognized multiple times by the City of Tempe for improving the lives of many free-roaming cats, and by The Best of Phoenix for their exceptional work in the community. They have facilitated the adoption of over 900 cats from the café to their new forever homes since opening their doors in 2017. At La Gattara Cat Café, not only can customers can enjoy refreshing beverages or tasty snacks while surrounded by friendly felines, but they can play board games, paint a cat, or enjoy yoga with cats.
Individuals who are looking to add a new feline family member to their clan will enjoy visiting the café and getting to know the adoptable cats. Like most cat cafés located in the United States, La Gattara focuses on finding new homes for homeless cats. Customers of La Gattara take home approximately two to four cats per week. Sessions at La Gattara are one hour long and reservations are strongly recommended.
Kitty Pause Café
1837 W Guadalupe Rd, Suite 107
Mesa, AZ 85202
Kitty Pause Café in Mesa, AZ is decorated with play cubes, cat toys, wall perches and walkways for the cats, a life-sized climbing tree, and comfy chairs, pillows, and cushions for the human visitors. They have 55 minute reservable open sessions where you can sit, drink coffee, and just generally hang out with the cats. In addition, you can book time specifically to play bingo, color, or practice yoga surrounded by the friendly fluffballs at Kitty Pause Café.
This playfully designed café is new on the scene, first opening their doors on August 29th of 2021, and they partner with local non-profit Saving One Life. The majority of the cats that you’ll meet at Kitty Pause are adoptable and looking for their new forever homes. The café is open each day from Thursday through Monday, and their calendar of events is updated monthly.
El Jefe Cat Lounge
3025 N Cambell Ave
Tucson, AZ 85719
Cat lovers in Tucson can get their feline fix by visiting the cats at the El Jefe Cat Lounge, a three-story space designed to be comfortable and entertaining for both the cats and their visitors. El Jefe is named in honor of a jaguar that locals call El Jefe, which is Spanish for the chief or the boss. El Jefe the jaguar has frequently been spotted on the trails of the Santa Rita Mountains. The cats inside the El Jefe Cat Lounge are considerably less wild than the café’s namesake and looking for a new home.
The café is open from 11 am to 7 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11 am to 8 pm each Friday and Saturday. Reservations are not required to visit El Jefe, but they are strongly recommended, particularly on the weekends. If you want to participate in one of their many additional events, such as meditation, cat trivia, or bingo, or book a party at El Jefe, you can register on their website.
Although the Songbird Coffee & Tea House in Phoenix isn’t technically a cat café, the reviews are littered with mentions of the friendly feline who resides there. InkyBob is a well-loved feature of the Songbird, which serves locally sourced coffees and teas out of a historic house built in 1904 on Roosevelt Road in the Downtown area.
Thousands of cats living in Arizona are without permanent homes or forever families. Frequenting cat cafés is a great way to make a difference in the lives of these cats. Not only does it improve the lives of the current cats while living at the café, it often leads to adoption by a loving new pet parent, making room to save even more cats from the tragedy of the animal shelter.