Caturday felids: cafes and furniture

Cat cafes (an idea I claim credit for, since I thought of such a thing when I was a postdoc in Davis), are popping up all over. What more relaxing thing can you imagine than enjoying a coffee and pastry with a cat in your lap, purring away? I visited a cat cafe in Vienna, and had a great time, and now I hear that one has opened up in London.

Laws make it difficult to open such places in America, but a temporary one (apparently designed to place homeless cats) has opened in New York City—on the Bowery in Manhattan.  CNN reports that it is a joint venture of PurinaOne and the North Shore Animal League, and aims to adopt out 16 cats. It opened Thursday and, sadly, will close tomorrow.  I wish it were permanent. If any readers want to visit and report, the address is 168 Bowery.


CNN reports on its success:

As cat people sipped cappuccinos with cat faces drawn in the foam and flicked furry, feathered balls attached to sticks by string at feline guests, Roberts said the café featured a “Cat Chat” speaker series with discussions led by a cat behaviorist, a veterinarian and other cat experts.

Nearby, Valerie the cat had been camped out on Casey Schimon for about an hour, when someone came over to say Valerie had been adopted.

“I’m so excited for her, because she is seriously the most precious thing, and somebody is going to be very happy,” an only slightly sad looking Schimon said.

. . . Cat coffee houses started in Asia, have gained popularity in Europe, and there are talks of opening a few in such places as California, Oregon and Canada. Bu for now, organizers say the Cat Café in New York is the first feline coffee spot in North America.

“I just want to look at cats. I really like them. I go to school here, so I’m far from my cats. I just wanted to get my fill,” said Melissa Torres, who waited nearly two hours to get in the café, “You hear about them in Japan, and I always thought I would have to go to Japan to go to a cat café.

Really, do we need more of these or what? You get a cat to stroke while you sip your joe, and the cats get adopted. What’s not to like?

Here’s a video of the cafe contributed by reader dano1843; be sure to look for the cattucinno:

D*g cafes would, of course, be a bust.


For our second feature, reader Steve alerted me to Gizmag, where I found a newly invented “CA Table”, created by Chinese designer Ruan Hao. Here, in Hao’s own words, is his rationale:

People who live with cats always have these kind of experiences.

1. Putting away the cat from your laptop is like a sentimental ritual of temporary farewell.

2. A proper sized hole could be so irresistible to cats. Their curiosity would be greatly satisfied through repetitively exploring the unknown path behind the hole.

The design of CATable was a fusion of those experiences, as well a locus where the interaction occurs. It is a table for us, and a paradise for cats.

So here’s the table:





The piece says that although the table is lovely, it won’t achieve its aim. I think I agree:

Does [Hao] not understand? Buy a cat an expensive toy, and it will take great delight in playing with the box, and show nothing but contempt for the toy itself. Build a cat a thousand-dollar gorgeous table full of hidey holes, and you’ll do nothing but reaffirm Muffy’s deep affection for the window sill and the warm laptop keyboard.

If you’re a well-heeled cat owner, you might try it out. All I can offer is a free autographed copy of WEIT if you buy one of these and sent me a photo of your cat in it. (Like that’s gonna work!)

For more cat accountrements, see the list of Gizmag‘s top ten cat gadgets, including cameras for cats to wear, litter boxes, cat castles, massage centers, and playhouses like this one:



  1. Posted April 26, 2014 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    I’d love cat cafes. After my last cat died I decided I didn’t want to own any more pets. But I’d love to go play with them sometimes. I’d like to visit a pug dog cafe too.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 26, 2014 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      It would be great if adoption places had a place like this so instead of boring animal crates, the cats could hang out in a place like this and people could interact with them.

      • Posted April 26, 2014 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        I was just thinking the same thing…that every animal shelter should partner with an hip downtown café / microbrewery / bistro — and that all said establishments should be competing with each other for the privilege.

        It’s the perfect partnership!


        • Posted April 26, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          Places with animals to adopt could be more creative. When I was a kid we once got a dog from the pound because they featured animals during on TV every afternoon on a station that ran old movies. It was a beautiful black and white collie.

          We do have a place here in Memphis called The House of Mews, in an area of town where there’s lots of date night activities. It has a zillion cats in there just hanging out.

          • Posted April 26, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            I could very easily see cat cafés being a prime spot for the dating scene….


  2. Diana MacPherson
    Posted April 26, 2014 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Jerry, you should open a cat cafe when you retire!

  3. gophergold
    Posted April 26, 2014 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    My pet rats would love that table.

  4. dorcheat
    Posted April 26, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Ceiling Cat, allow me to introduce you to Table Cat.

  5. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted April 26, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    White Cat wants us to know there are birds outside the window of that Cat Cafe, at 1:00 and again at 1:30.

  6. Chris
    Posted April 28, 2014 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    A cat cafe in London? Ooooh, I must see.

    *quick google*

    Bethnal Green Road? Hm, I used to live very close to that area. If I still did I imagine that I’d spend all day there!

    Anyway, I has neighbours with cats, and one has taken up sitting on my door-mat so I get to borrow kittehs on a daily basis.

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