By Natalie Furtick
Cats and coffee, who could ask for more? Seattle’s first cat cafe recently opened in Wallingford, and has generated a lot of buzz.
According to a recent Seattle Times poll, nearly one in ten single women in the Seattle area live alone with at least one cat. This puts Seattle in second place for its population of cat ladies, behind Portland. Matt Lai, Andrew Hsieh, and Louisa Liu, the co-founders of the cafe, came across the idea of combining cats and coffee online, and were immediately inspired. “Rather than take the approach of putting cats in a café for humans to enjoy, we thought about building a space cats would enjoy,” Lai said. Thinking that it could be successful in Seattle, they put their plan to action.
The Meowtropolitan Cat Cafe opened on December 19, 2015 and is located on the corner of 45th street and Stone Way N. They offer coffee, pastries, and feline companionship.
The cafe partners with the Regional Animal Services of King County, RASKC, who select cats with “mature socialization skills” to live and participate in the Cat Cafe.
With a reservation and a fee of just $10, cat ladies around Seattle get to spend 50 minutes with between 10 and 15 cats. A free drink is included. Their menu consists of several drinks with clever names, such as “catpucinno” and “meowca.” The cafe donates a portion of their sales each month to a different rescue, shelter, or nonprofit.
The cafe has been an immediate success. Online reservations for all December visits filled up within a couple days of the grand opening.
Online reservations are easy. You choose a date and time, and pay up-front. Weekends are their busiest time, and reservations should be made at least a week in advance.
Most of the cats in the cafe are up for adoption, however, there are a few that are considered “house cats,” which means they have been adopted by the cafe.
“There is a very wide range of customers…from people who work at shelters or own many cats, to people that have never seen or been around a cat before,” a feline guardian said.
Lists of guidelines are posted throughout the cat lounge. The lists consist of basic rules to follow when inside the cafe, such as no picking up the cats or feeding them.
According to one of the feline guardians, when new cats are placed in the cafe, they take about two weeks to feel comfortable in the new space and socialize with the customers. The cafe is closed on Mondays for cleaning, adoptions, and to give the cats a break.
The shelter has been slow recently, therefore the cafe can not accept all adoption offers immediately, or else there would be very few left for the cafe. There is currently a waiting list on adoptions, and only one cat can be adopted per week.
Sophomore Claire Furtick described her experience as “eye-opening and very unique,” and thought the idea of combining cats and coffee in one space “was a great way for people to mingle with cats and potentially fall for one.” The Meowtropolitan Cat Cafe is a paw-sitively great addition to Seattle!
Photo by: Claire Furtick