The Cat Cafes of California, Part I

California typically units the developments within the US and so it’s not stunning that the primary cat cafe began right here. California additionally leads the best way in relation to animal welfare, however I used to be stunned to study that the primary cat cafe to open within the US additionally pioneered the socialization approach utilized in most rescue and adoption centered cat cafes world wide.

The Neighbor’s Cat visited seven cat cafes in May, 2018. Today, we function 4 excellent areas in and close to the Bay area- Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco and Napa.

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Cat Town is the primary cat cafe within the United States, opening in 2014.

This alone could be a standout function, however when you think about their affect on cats cafes, rescue and adoption world wide, merely put, they’re heroes.

A non-profit rescue since 2011, their strategy has reworked the cat cafe scene into the cage free shelter extension & adoption heart mannequin that dominates not simply the United States (and world) in the present day. They additionally pioneered socialization methods used to enhance the adoption charges of shy and scared cats, in addition to people who have human avoiding (feral) tendencies.

The day I visited, I used to be lucky to satisfy with Ann Dunn, the founding father of Cat Town. She started as a volunteer at Oakland Animal Services, a shelter that on the time was under-resourced to take care of the variety of animals it obtained annually. She felt that it was a troublesome surroundings for some cats and sought an alternate that may assist these on the biggest threat for euthanasia.

Ann and Cat Town nonetheless work carefully with Oakland Animal Services, sharing the identical core group of volunteers which can be adept in figuring out cats that may profit from the surroundings supplied by Cat Town.

Cat Town started as a foster-based program in 2011 and in 2014, Ann launched Cat Town Cafe (now Cat Town Cafe and Adoption Center) in collaboration with Adam Myatt — aka the Cat Man of West Oakland. It is spectacular how they’ve surrounded themselves with a crew of outdoor consultants to advise them not simply in cat care and habits, however in administration and authorized points. Success doesn’t occur by chance, it takes a concerted effort.

Ann and I chatted inside The Studios at Cat Town, a 2017 enlargement of their important adoption heart the place workers and volunteers work with Oakland’s most troublesome to put shelter cats, offering devoted consideration and a higher alternative to be adopted.

We talked at size about their journey to being the place they’re in the present day and the way a lot she has discovered alongside the best way. For instance, whereas the adoption heart was an enormous success, the cafe facet of issues practically triggered them to go underneath, because the enterprise of operating a espresso store proved to be difficult.

Fortunately, destiny intervened and shortly the tremendous people of RAWR Coffee Bar took over the cafe facet of issues, which I need to say, they do a powerful job. My cup of Highwire espresso was excellent!

Once the cafe scenario stabilized, Ann turned her focus again to the Adoption Center, which she defined was the principle room the place a lot of the cats reside, and is a part of the socialization course of. Once cats in graduate from The Studios to the Adoption Center, shy cats study from the extra assured cats learn how to work together with people. I used to be amazed to study that there’s a structured and confirmed technique for acclimating and socializing cats.

After our discuss, I spent numerous time in each The Studio and Adoption Center bonding with cats and workers alike. The facility is wonderful- vibrant, colourful and clear and there may be positively a chill vibe which has a chilled have an effect on on cats and people alike. This place looks like a heat hug.

The compassion and vitality that Ann and her workers have for weak felines, coupled with the unbelievable imaginative and prescient and self-discipline they’ve demonstrated in making Cat Town profitable is one thing I don’t know that I can do ample justice in conveying. In my cat travels, I’ve met passionate cat lovers and profitable cat cafes, however the mixture of information, caring, dedication and intelligence blew me away and put Cat Town in a class of its personal.

If you like cat journey and are a cat lover, rescue advocate or cat cafe aficionado, contemplate Cat Town your final vacation spot.

I need to give a shout out and provide my gratitude and particular because of Ann and Cathy (communications supervisor) for being so beneficiant in talking with me and answering all of my questions.

For full cafe particulars, click here.

When I visited The Dancing Cat. it was like a lightbulb went off in my head.

The realization had lastly hit me. That spaying and neutering was actually the place the rubber meets the street within the cycle of rescue and adoption.

I didn’t simply go to the cat cafe (much less cafe than cozy cat socializing surroundings) but additionally participated in my first group eduction session. After expressing an curiosity in studying extra about TNR (trap-neuter-return), Lauren (the supervisor) recommended I return that night for a category centered on what it’s and the way it works.

Not solely was I educated on the fundamentals, however what I discovered modified me and the main focus of my writing. It was at that second that I shifted my emphasis from cat journey to elevating consciousness for rescue, adoption and TNR. I nonetheless love visiting and writing about cat cafes (they supply a relaxed surroundings for kitties to shine in entrance of potential adopters!), however I additionally need to be a pressure for change in decreasing euthanasia charges by advocating rescue, adoption & TNR.

The Dancing Cat was the right spot for my transformation. Mary and Ann, the founders, have created a beautiful surroundings to hang around with new feline friends- every thing is mild, vibrant and colourful with stylish and comfy furnishings. A big desk with artwork provides encourages youngsters (and adults!) to be inventive within the firm of cats searching for their without end properties.

TDC is a non-profit that originally teamed up Silicon Valley Pet Project, the place they facilitated practically 300 adoptions since opening in 2016. As of September 1, 2018 The Dancing Cat started operations as an unbiased rescue group. Congratulations!

The day that we visited, the cats had been playful and entertaining. My favorites included mild Toro, dashing tuxedo Rocco and beautiful tabby Mowgli, who caught me eye together with his mischievous persona.

Top all of it off with the caring and compassionate workers, and our go to to The Dancing Cat stays certainly one of my brightest but, lightbulb and all.

For full cafe particulars, click here.

The first journey I ever took with my companion was a fun-filled weekend in San Francisco. We walked the Golden Gate Bridge, visited the seaside and even attended a historic Giants baseball recreation the place Barry Bonds hit his 700th residence run. We often reference that romantic get-away because the ‘getting severe’ turning level in our relationship.

Fourteen years later, we returned to San Francisco for one more heart-warming episode, this time involving cats!

On a cool and cloudy day, we arrived for our 10 am appointment, and I used to be delighted to see that the house, whereas small, was glossy, trendy and ‘catified’- crammed with blonde wooden furnishings, colourful pillows and many cabinets up excessive for the cats to climb.

The cat house is separated from the cafe by giant glass home windows, the place a number of patrons had been loved beautiful wanting meals and steaming cups of tea. True to the identify, tea is the featured beverage at KitTea and included in your admission are limitless cups of inexperienced tea.

Sixteen cats had been in residence the day we visited, with two obtainable for adoption: Carter, a beautiful grey and white kitty and Miso, a glossy black feline. We lucked out because the cats had been alert and stuffed with vitality at 10 am, entertaining the patrons as they frolicked about. One cutie named Dolly Purrton even climbed onto one customer’s again to her (and everybody’s) delight!

Hector, the cat wrangler was sort, politely answering all of my questions. He confirmed the parents within the room which toys the cats loved taking part in with.

Admission is greater than the common cat cafe, however contemplating KitTea’s prime location in San Francisco, is totally justifiable. The excellent foodservice, beautiful facility, lovable cats and type workers contribute equally to a top quality expertise.

For full cafe particulars, click here.

Most individuals go to Napa for the wine, however not me.

I got here for the cats.

We pulled into city after a reasonably lengthy drive out of San Francisco on a noon Friday. I used to be secretly delighted to see there weren’t any patrons within the kitty room, that means extra snuggles to assist soften away the stress.

Brenda was the gracious cat staffer available for our go to with the pleasant photographer Sally making an attempt to attract out the inside supermodel of every feline in residence. She definitely had loads to work with as there 15 beautiful kitties within the lounge that day together with long-haired calico/tabby combine Camille and the sultry grey & white Georgette.

But one candy child fully captivated my consideration and that was Bootsie. This little darling got here proper up and nudged me for mild rubs and ear scratches.

I’m tearing up simply fascinated with her.

That’s the factor about Ella’s, you possibly can’t assist however fall in love, not simply with the cats, however the entire place.

In partnership with Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch, the cat home has been open since 2017 and is cheerful and spacious with colourful and comfy seating. Equally sunny because the lounge, the workers are lighthearted and interesting. Just being there looks like a heat hug.

As for foods and drinks? Well, that is Napa in spite of everything. The coronary heart of wine nation with the best produce and tremendous eating scene to match. Post go to, on a advice from Brenda and Sally, we headed to Oxbow Public Market the place we indulged in wine and essentially the most scrumptious tacos ever.

Come to Napa the wine, however ensure and find time for the tremendous felines and people of Ella’s Cat House.

For full cafe particulars, click here.

The Neighbor’s Cat is the alter ego of Paula LaBine, an itinerant cat lover who writes about cat cafes, cat journey and rescue/adoption.  She is visiting each cat café on the planet, 200 in 29 international locations to this point!   Find her at or on Facebook/Twitter @catcafeviews.


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