Let’s face it — lots of kids are fascinated by cats. After all, cats can shimmy up walls, scamper atop high furniture, and are loving and playful. If your family is not quite ready for a cat of your own though, pay a visit to San Diego’s newly-opened Cat Café downtown. Kiddos can pet and play with the kitties, and you even have the option of adopting one (or more). Here’s your insider’s guide to The Cat Café.
The Cat Café Concept
Cat cafés originated in Taiwan, and eventually became popular in Japan, where many apartments forbid pet ownership. They are slowly gaining popularity within the United States and throughout the world. For kids wanting a kitty but can’t have one of their own -– whether due to allergies, household rules or otherwise — a trip to the Cat Café in San Diego is one way to let them get the kitty time they’re craving.
Photo Credit: Marissa Mullen
When you enter The Cat Café, you’re greeted with the coffee shop area where you begin your journey. All that’s required to see the cats is to purchase a drink or food item. On the menu are a variety of different coffees, hot chocolate, tea, assorted sodas, and bottled water. If you want a treat to munch on, there are also tasty muffins, croissants, donuts, scones and other snacks. You can then move on to the enclosed play space, which houses the cats.
The number of cats running the joint varies at any given time, but there could potentially be as many as ten. Feel free to spread out on the comfy carpet and pet the kitty of your choice. The room is filled with feline comforts like soft beds, scratching posts, and climbing shelves. There are also feather toys, balls, and cat tunnels that kids can use to interact with the cats. Tables and chairs are set up, should you prefer to sit with your drink and simply watch the kitties in action. There’s even free Wi-Fi!
Want To Take A Kitty Home?
The Cat Café offers the unique experience of giving you a good look at the cats’ personalities through lots of hands-on playtime and cuddling. If you and the kids fall in love with a kitty (which is likely to happen), you have the option of adopting it! The Cat Café has a partnership with the San Diego Humane Society, which is where the kitties in the café come from. The cats have been spayed, neutered, and are up to date on their vaccinations. Simply pay the reasonable adoption fee of $65 for cats or $95 for kittens, and you can take one home on the same day. You’ll also get a box of freebies for your new kitty.
Know Before You Go
The Cat Café is open daily from 7 a.m – 3 p.m. If it’s busy, there will be a little bit of a wait before you can claw your way into the cat area. But it’s worth it! There’s also a 15-minute time limit to play with the kitties when there are a several people waiting. Remember to encourage your little ones to be gentle while petting the kitties!
472 Third Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92101
Have you visited The Cat Café? Tell us what you thought about it!
— Written and photographed by Marissa Mullen