America's First Cat Cafe Opens In Oakland But, Come On, One Is Not Enough

Do you like cute cats? Well, you're about to really wish you lived in the Bay Area, mark my words. That's because the first-ever cat cafe in the United States opened its doors in Oakland, California Saturday, dishing out equal measures of caffeine and comfortable feline companionship. Yes, you read that right — cat cafes are coming to America, and frankly, they're long overdue.

It's possible that the words "cat cafe" don't ring familiar to you, and that would make sense — until now, they'd been the exclusive province of foreign countries, with Japan having likely the richest and most passionate following. Basically, a cat cafe is a cafe, but get this: it also has cats. Like, a whole bunch of them. And as with most cats, they're aggressively cute, to say the least.

Now, with the opening of Cat Town Cafe in Oakland, locals have a one-stop shop for all their coffee, cat play, and adoption needs. Yes, that's right, you can actually take one of these adorable little guys or girls home with you, provided you've got the room in your home, and in your heart. According to Time's Katy Steinmetz, there were health code pitfalls along the way — for hygiene and allergy reasons, the cats are separated from the cafe area with two doors, and air only flows into their area, not out.

As detailed by Fast Company's Evie Nagy, Cat Town Cafe may not be the only American cat cafe for very long — a number of places have considered bringing the concept stateside lately, with pending locations recently rumored in San Francisco and Portland. But Cat Town Cafe was the first to navigate the complex layers of building and health codes to actually get their feline shrine in order.

It's thanks to the efforts of co-founders Ann Dunn and Adam Myatt, a pair of Oaklanders with kitties on the brain — Dunn is the president of Cat Town, an Oakland-based rescue shelter. Cat Town Cafe is essentially the duo's dynamic new means to take well-socialized cats looking for homes, and make people fall in love with them.

Sadly, for the time being, you'll only be able to visit a cat cafe here in the states if you're in Oakland, and that's a ways off for many people, but in all likelihood it won't take long for this sort of business to spread to other cities across the country. After all, if there's one thing cool young people enjoy, it's cats. Doesn't matter if they're playing the piano, battling a giants Halloween spider, or just curling up against your leg, there's just an irresistible charm.

Cat Town Cafe is open from Wednesday through Sunday each week, from 8 am to 7 pm, with the free-roaming "cat zone" open from 10 am to 7 pm. If it's busy, you'll need a reservation to get in and pal around with the kitties (for a $10 fee), but if you just happen to walk in and there's space available, you can play around with them for free.

Images: Adam Myatt/Cat Town Cafe (3)