Food & Drink

7 Things to Know About San Diego's First Cat Cafe

In early January, San Diego got its very first cat cafe. No, it is not a place for cats to go purchase pastries, as that would be a terrible business model. Instead, it's a coffee shop in the Gaslamp Quarter where patrons can enjoy their caffeine surrounded by adorable and playful cats, without any of the responsibility of pet ownership. Here’s what you need to know about The Cat Cafe:

Erin Jackson

1. It's not just gimmickry, it actually serves excellent coffee

Sure, The Cat Cafe could probably get away with slinging a mediocre brew — since, let’s face it: the cats are the main draw — but it doesn't. Espresso beans come from Cafe Virtuoso; drip beans come from West Coast Coffee Roasters. Drink prices are similar to other coffee shops, which again, generally have an alarming lack of cats. There’s also free Wi-Fi, which presumably goes largely towards cat videos. 

Erin Jackson

2. Five cats live here, but more could be on the way

Right now, a quintet of felines have the run of the joint, but owner Tony Wang says he would like to have as many as 10 cats roaming the cafe. That’s five potential cats for each hand: a crazy cat lady (or man’s) paradise!

Erin Jackson

3. Despite being around so much caffeine, these cats are super chill

The Cat Cafe works in partnership with the San Diego Humane Society to find adoptable cats who will be comfortable in the cafe environment. The cats that are currently in the cafe range in age from nine months to three-years-old, and from friendly to... REALLY friendly! Check out their bios here.

Erin Jackson

4. You can take them home with you

Well, don't just like, walk out with one, but go through the proper channels and they can be yours. All of the cats have been spayed or neutered and are up to date on their vaccinations, which means if you fall in love with one of them, you can take him or her home (on the same day!). Adoption fees are the same as you’d pay at The Humane Society ($65 for adult cats; $95 for kittens). The adoption paperwork generally takes about 30 minutes, and checks are the preferred method of payment. When you take a cat home, you’ll also get a free box of goodies from PetBox.

Erin Jackson

5. If you want to just keep it casual, no judgments

Not ready to make a long-term commitment? That’s cool. These cats are totally okay with that! In fact, the only strings they’re interested in are the ones you dangle above their heads. Yes, we realize that's actually a feather in the photo, but there aren't enough feather-puns that also apply to relationships. 

Erin Jackson

6. If you were a cat, you’d want to live here

Creature comforts like cat trees, cushy beds, climbing shelves, scratching posts, and toys are available in abundance -- not to mention, a steady stream of humans who are eager to dole out the love. Sometimes too eager.

Erin Jackson

7. The cafe allows the cats to come out of their shells

Life as a shelter cat isn’t the greatest, despite staff efforts to keep cats happy. At The Cat Cafe, cats get lots of love from visiting humans and face time with other felines. This allows them to gain confidence and come into their own. Plus, you’ll get a really good indication of their personality if you’re looking to adopt. And if you're not, again, the lattes are legit.

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