Cat cafés are a relatively new development. The first official cat café, Cat Flower Garden in Taipei, Taiwan, opened less than a quarter-century ago in 1998. Since then hundreds have opened worldwide. They are particularly popular in Japan and the United States and are becoming more widespread throughout the globe.
Each country’s model of a cat café varies a little bit. For most North American cat cafés, the goal is to find new homes for shelter cats. In other countries, café cats are often permanent residents instead. These cat-filled cafés and lounges are particularly attractive to those who love cats but are unable to have any of their own because of property rules, allergic family members, or simply a lack of time.
While cat cafés have made great strides in popularity here in the U.S., the recent economic downturn has made it more difficult for them to continue their work. Some cat cafés in the Sacramento area have managed to keep their doors open, but others have temporarily shuttered their establishments to avoid having to close completely.
Whether you are looking for a new cat to share your home and life with or you are a cat lover whose circumstances prevent you from getting a feline family member, a cat café may be the solution you’ve been looking for.
Currently in Business
Cat cafés in the United States are typically focused on getting cats adopted rather than on turning a large profit. The majority of the income from cat cafés in the United States is typically funneled right back into either caring for cats or keeping the business running, and little is left over to provide a cushion. Covid-19 related restrictions drastically reduced the number of patrons businesses have been able to serve, especially food-related businesses, which further cuts into their budget. Despite the challenges facing small businesses during a pandemic, two cat cafés near Sacramento have managed to keep their doors open for business.
1266 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
KitTea’s comfortable cat lounge is a great place to relax and enjoy some friendly feline company for 50 minutes at a time. The lounge employs between 20-30 cats to cuddle and play with, several adoptable cats along with 14 purrmanent residents who not only provide cuddles and companionship to the humans who visit, but also help comfort and socialize new cats when they arrive at the shop.
Customers can either book a 50-minute shared session or a private session for just themselves and their friends and family for either 50 or 110 minutes. Up to 12 individuals can attend private sessions, though until pandemic restrictions ease up all parties should be part of the same quarantine group. KitTea also has Mewvie nights, allowing patrons to enjoy the cats for a longer time while viewing a movie together.
The company has ceased the majority of its food and drink offerings, but customers are provided with a refreshing Revive kombucha at the end of their session and can purchase food from the nearby Arizmendi Bakery or UpForDayz Café.
Mini Cat Town
2200 Eastridge Loop
San Jose, CA 95121
Stoneridge Shopping Center
1 Stoneridge Mall Rd
Pleasanton CA, 94588
Mini Cat Town is a cat lounge rather than a cat café, and somewhat unique in their vision. While the majority of cat cafés and lounges are focused on finding homes for mostly adult rescue cats, Mini Cat Town focuses on saving the most at-risk feline population — neonatal kittens. Kittens who are old enough for adoption are introduced to the lounge area where they get valuable socialization while waiting to meet their new forever family.
The nonprofit group works with several shelters in the area, taking in young and orphaned kittens. As Mini Cat Town is focused on the youngest kittens, their charges are frequently too small to be adopted when they first come to the rescue. They are often looking for people to foster found kittens until they are old enough to be safely socialized. Mini Cat Town provides foster families with all the food, supplies, and health care that the kittens will need to thrive until they are old enough to head to the adoption floor.
Both the Eastridge Shopping Center adoption floor and the one at Stoneridge Shopping Center are open from Sunday through Thursday from noon to 6 PM and Friday and Saturday, noon to 7 PM. Admission to either center is on a walk-in basis and there is often a wait, particularly on the weekends.
454 F Street
Lincoln, CA 95648
FieldHaven Marketplace is a thrift store just 30 minutes north of downtown Sacramento. Its mission is to raise funds to benefit the FieldHaven Feline Center, a non-profit organization devoted to the welfare of cats. Champy’s Catfe is a comfortable little spot tucked away just inside the entrance. The Catfe, like the rest of the FieldHaven Marketplace, is open for in person visits from 10 AM to 5 PM Thursday through Saturday and 11 AM to 4 PM on Sunday.
Though the Catfe does not have any coffee or tea for sale at the moment, they do encourage visitors to bring their own so patrons can enjoy the companionship of friendly, adoptable cats and kittens while sipping on a cup of coffee or tea and utilizing their free WiFi.
The Dancing Cat
702 E. Julian
San Jose, CA 95112
The Dancing Cat in San José offers patrons the opportunity to interact with up to ten adoptable cats for sessions of an hour each. This establishment is unique in that its space is centered around a large art table filled with supplies to encourage patrons to indulge their inner creativity. In addition, The Dancing Cat has delightful guided art opportunities, including embroidery and zentangle.
Reservations to spend an hour at this café can be made for up to six guests aged five and up Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 PM. Those who are seeking a new cat to adopt should fill out an adoption application before going to the café in order to schedule an adoption interview ahead of time.
The founders, staff, and volunteers at these facilities are determined to make a difference in the lives of the cats that depend on them. If you want to help ensure the health and welfare of the cats in these facilities as well, there are many ways you can show your support. Along with visiting the cat cafés themselves, you can donate to the organizations, volunteer with them, or in some cases, purchase merchandise. You can even show your support by adopting a new feline into the family!
If you have recently adopted a new cat or kitten, The Comforted Kitty can help make the transition easier. Book us now to check in on your new pet when you are busy at work or to ensure that they are healthy and content when you are away for a day or two. We are proud to be one of the exclusive cat-sitting services in Sacramento. You won’t find more professional, experienced or caring cat sitters than The Comforted Kitty.