A Cat Cafe is . . .

A scene from July 2015 at Denver Cat Company, featuring a customer playing with Raul, a delightful past resident who has since found a home

A scene from July 2015 at Denver Cat Company, featuring a customer playing with Raul, a delightful past resident who has since found a home

 

 

. . . just about the most delightful place on earth.

Cat cafés have been an established feature of social life in Japan for over a decade, imported there from Taiwan.  The concept is simple: a cat café is a coffee shop with cats in residence, either for companionship or adoption (or both). Visitors purchase entry passes to enjoy the privilege of hanging out with the café cats.  Beverages and snacks are also often on the menu, but there are no hard and fast rules on how to do it besides the mission to provide kitty companionship to cat lovers.

Purina ONE was responsible for America's first cat café in New York City in April 2014, but it was only a "pop-up," open for less than a week, and only for educational and promotional purposes.  It was extremely popular and soon sparked a wave of cat cafe launches across the U.S.

Denver Cat Company was at the cutting edge of this trend and was the second cat cafe in the United States, after Oakland, Calif.  In 2015, the following cities opened cat cafes: Portland (Oregon), Seattle, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Manhattan, San Diego, and Austin, TX.  More can be expected to open in every major metropolitan center in the next year or so.