May 12th, 2014
12:00 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

The other day, a cold-hearted Brooklyn kid kicked a cat, and then the Internet exploded.

I’m with the Internet on this one. I have two cats that I’m fiercely in love with and this kind of story makes me insane.

Clearly, there are a lot of people in my camp. Witness the multiple cat cafés - casual spots that stock snacks, drinks and temporary cat companionship - that are in various stages of opening here in the U.S.

Note that local health departments have rules about live animals in eating establishments, so you’ll no doubt see a separation of the food service area from the cat hangout zone. There are also animal treatment rules to be observed; you probably won’t be able to pick up the cute cat lounging nearby, although most of these places will double as pet adoption agencies.

Note: None of these spots are open yet. To get a look at a successful cat café culture, check out Tokyo, where there are places where each cat has its own set of baby pictures, headshots and videos. Awwwwwww.

Cat Café - New York City (@PurinaOnecat)
It was open for only a weekend, but Purina ONE’s Cat Café in the East Village was so popular that patrons waited in lines for hours to spend a half hour with the adoptable cats. The pop-up launched in part to spread awareness on cat health and adoption; in addition to hanging out with and being able to adopt cats, people could hear talks from cat behaviorists and veterinarians. Here’s hoping its success means a permanent Cat Café is coming to NYC.
Cat Town Café - Oakland, California (@CatTownoakland)
Later this year, Ann Dunn, who leads an Oakland cat rescue organization, and local musician Adam Myatt are opening Cat Town Café with help from Pet Food Express, which will help cover the rent. The café’s main goal is to facilitate adoptions, but the space will be divided into two areas: a cat-free coffee shop (where food will be prepared), and the “cat zone” where customers can play with the star attractions. If you’re in the area and want to help with design and construction, they’d love to meet you.
Purringtons Cat Lounge - Portland, Oregon (@purringtons)
Kristin Castillo quit her corporate job to seek funding for Portland’s first (and only) cat café. She plans to serve wine, beer and snacks like beef jerky and popcorn, as well as a light food menu, and will host special events like movie nights and readings. Purringtons will have 10 “resident cats” that patrons can play with, and adopt as well.
KitTea - San Francisco, California (@KitTea_SF)
Inspired by the cat café revolution, Courtney Hatt and David Braginsky are crowdfunding right now to open KitTea - a chill place for rescued cats and the humans who want to hang out with them. As the name and their logo—a cat silhouette inside a teapot—suggests, they’ll have a tea-focused menu and items like chocolate truffles to eat. Meanwhile, their Facebook page has a lot of adorable photos and illustrations.
The Cat Café - San Diego, California (@CatCafeSanDiego)
Tony Wang, a local cat lover, recently started an Indiegogo campaign to open San Diego’s first cat café. Wang plans to open in the Marina District, with a houseful of adoptable cats, and drip coffee, espresso and pastries. If you contribute to his fund-raising efforts there’s a chance to win an autographed book from the "My Cat From Hell" star Jackson Galaxy.

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Filed under: Content Partner • Culture • Food and Wine • Pets • Restaurants • Theme • Trends

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. RC

    I used to work in a mom & pop type auto parts store in a small country town in California. One day this cat just wandered in the back door and adopted us. At the time our store was infested with mice. within 2 weeks all trace of mice was gone, so we named her mouse. You are what you eat. People would come in just to visit the cat! Then she blessed us with a litter of kittens. As soon as they were old enough, we adopted out every one of them to our customers. Would probably never fly these days. Too bad.....

    May 13, 2014 at 11:22 am |
    • TNT

      Nice story! 😃

      May 14, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
  2. JGN

    One of the best of the cheap Gyros restaurants in the Latin Quarter in Paris had a sweet little black and white cat who was so sick of the food she was clearly just there for companionship. She would lounge on the seat next to me while I read and ate my cheap and delicious lunch. I loved it. I think the health department probably started with 'get the chickens out of the kitchen' in this country and sorta went crazy from there. I see nothing at all wrong about either cats or dogs if well cared for being in restaurants, any more than it would bother me to have my two cats in my kitchen. They are not allowed on the food counters or table, so what can it possibly matter?

    May 13, 2014 at 10:03 am |
  3. palintwit

    Sarah Palin's salad bowls all say 'Cool Whip' on the side.

    May 13, 2014 at 9:30 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      And the 'wine glasses' have the latest promotional movie?


      May 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
      • PT supporter

        The printing on the cups says: "SuperBigGlup"

        May 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
  4. Truth™

    Well, in honor of the headline, here's a jaunt down memory lane. Makes me wonder just how much c0caine was involved in the making of this....

    May 13, 2014 at 8:09 am |
    • Thinking things through

      Just as an note, the ad before my video "experience" was from Caboki – Etch-a-Sketch (if anyone here remembers that toy from eons ago!) hair insertion on a bald head. At any rate, thanks for the vid.

      May 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
  5. Dog Lover

    Bad idea. Leave your pets at home.

    May 13, 2014 at 6:41 am |
    • beth

      How about you don't go to cafes which allow pets?

      May 13, 2014 at 9:51 am |
      • Dog Lover

        How 'bout you blow it out your cornhole?
        How 'bout you find out why before jumping to conclusions... nah, just blow.

        May 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
  6. Thinking things through

    I enjoy my very own cat cafe every time I dine in at home.

    May 13, 2014 at 6:34 am |
  7. Cat Lover

    I love that there are places that welcome felines. I read the link to the story about the cat kicker and it made me want to cry.

    May 12, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
    • k9z

      I think it is wonderful too! I wish we had a Cat Cafe here:) As for the cat kicker, they need to meet up with some big dogs. They will answer in the end.

      May 12, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
      • Cat Lover

        This is off topic, but did they ever find the cat in that video? A kick that hard would certainly require a visit to the vet.

        May 13, 2014 at 9:02 am |
        • Suzi Mitchell

          I think the cat was rescued by North Shore Animal League on Long Island. Howard Stern mentioned this on his radio show. He said that his wife Beth was called to help the cat and she referred the caller to the North Shore Animal League. Both Howard and Beth Stern work with the North Shore Animal League and they are about to get a new litter of baby kittens to raise and adopt out :)

          May 13, 2014 at 9:20 am |
  8. Moeses

    I remember eating in a restaurant in Athens that looked as if it was overrun with stray cats. Upon further inspection, the cats would walk up and down the center aisle to and from a room near the kitchen. They did not beg, or pay any attention to the customers at all. It was very strange. I asked and was told that the restaurant supplied food for the cats in hopes of deterring them from pestering the patrons of this open-air restaurant. It turned out to be one of the best dining experiences that I have ever had, and the food was great too. Not sure how that would work with the health codes in this country.

    May 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
  9. Felix Katdinsky

    There is a similar themed restaurant in DC's Chinatown where patrons get to pick out the cat they want. It is a Chinese themed place offering authentic Chinese dishes, including grilled rat, as popularized in the west by a National Geographic magazine article on current Chinese restaurant trends. .

    May 12, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
  10. Frankenstein's Monster


    May 12, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
  11. Troy

    The humans WILL bring in fleas and infest the cats. Not good!

    May 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
  12. Kristen Castillo

    Purringtons Cat Lounge in Portland actually offering a REAL food (light) menu! Probably not a bit of beef jerky in sight. Stay tuned for rapidly developing updates! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or our Indiegogo fund raiser at

    May 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
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