One of my favorite things about traveling as a cat lover is meeting cats from all different places. Like, I'll seriously never forget that one gorgeous kitty I met in a head shop in Portland, OR (who is officially memorialized on my Instagram). And then there's Sunday, the beloved, famous cat who lives in Sunday's Best Vintage in Los Angeles, CA (and to whom I pay a visit every time I'm in town). And, of course, there was that one giant grey tabby who was up for adoption in NYC and who ended up scratching me very badly because I lost all self-control in his presence and couldn't stop petting him. Yeah, I bond with cats, y'all. And if you're also preoccupied with felines at all times, then you'll probably want to know about the many cat cafes in the U.S. to visit next year, so you can put together your dream 2019 travel itinerary in the most cat-obsessed fashion possible. Let's all sip on a beverage, hang out with kitties, and essentially enjoy life to the fullest extent in the new year by hopping from cat cafe to cat cafe.
Cat cafes were popularized in Japan but they have made their way to the U.S. in recent years, much to the glee of all cat-obsessed Americans like myself. And what's great is that the majority of these cafes are very much focused on the well-being of the cats in their establishment (as they should be!), and serve as an alternative model for rescued cat adoption. Many cat cafes partner with shelters and rescue agencies and help the cats in their care find happy forever homes, rather than forcing them to live in a cafe for their whole lives, which obviously wouldn't be ideal.
The care and safety of the kitties at any cat cafe should be always be prioritized over the experience of the customer, so avoid visiting any cafe that seems iffy in the care department. Things like entrances and exits not being properly secured or cafe cats not being supervised by staff or appearing scared or uncomfortable should all be treated as red flags.
That all said, there are plenty of fully dream-worthy cat cafes sprinkled all throughout the U.S. at this point, so you can easily work one into one of your 2019 trips. Or, you know, you could plan entire vacations around visiting said cat cafes, which would be the more sensible choice for any true cat lover. I certainly wouldn't judge you for it.
Here are a few purrfect cat cafes in the U.S. to visit in 2019 that will make your kitty vacation dreams come true.
CatCafe Lounge — Los Angeles, CA
CatCafe Lounge prides itself on being the only nonprofit cat cafe in LA, and its mission is to reduce the euthanasia of shelter cats by helping them find forever homes. Visit the cafe to grab a drink or a small bite, then hang out with more than 30 adoptable kitties who are looking for some love and affection. They also offer party packages so you can reserve the place with friends and get the purr-babies all to yourselves.
Cat Town — Oakland, CA
At Cat Town, the care of the cats is impeccable, and each of them are up for adoption. Grab a treat and some coffee from RAWR Coffee Bar, then head into the "cat zone" to meet the felines. While reservations are highly encouraged for the cat zone, they also take walk-ins when space is available, so don't hesitate to stop in even if it's last minute.
Denver Cat Company — Denver, CO
One of the first ever U.S. cat cafes, Denver Cat Company partners with several local rescue agencies and hosts around 15 fully adoptable cats in their facility at any given time — all of whom are ready to play and snuggle as you sip your coffee or tea. This place has WiFi, too, so you can literally bring your laptop and get work done while playing with more than a dozen cats. Talk about ideal working conditions.
Java Cats Cafe — Atlanta, GA
Java Cats Cafe is a cat cafe with an admirable mission: "To bring the citizens of Atlanta joy through the love of an adoptable cat, coffee, and food provided by homeless locals in the process of getting back on their feet." So by visiting, you're not only getting your much-desired cat fix — you're also supporting the local community and an organization that helps cats get adopted. It's a win-win.
The Windy Kitty — Chicago, IL
The Windy Kitty (based in the Windy City, of course) claims to be the "happiest place in Chicago" — and TBH, given that cats and coffee are involved, I fully believe them. In addition to their cafe full of adoptable rescue kitties, they also host fun events at the cafe like yoga and paint nights. Because everything is better with cats, and clearly they know it.
Brooklyn Cat Cafe — New York, NY
Touted as being the only nonprofit cat cafe in NYC, Brooklyn Cat Cafe offers patrons the dreamy experience of playing and bonding with adorably sweet kitties (all of whom are up for adoption!). They don't prepare fresh coffee, but they do sell packaged drinks, treats, and snacks, so you can still get your kitty fix and enjoy a beverage or bite to eat.
affoGATO Cat Cafe — Cleveland, OH
affoGATO Cat Cafe is brand spankin' new — in fact, its grand opening will take place on Jan. 2, 2019, so add it to your list ASAP. This cat haven partners with a local animal rescue to house adoptable kitties, and they encourage patrons to come study, get work done, meet a friend, or just spend some solo time all while hangin' with the cats in the cafe.
Treetops Kitty Cafe — Kennett Square, PA
Treetops Kitty Cafe runs as a nonprofit and has helped find homes for more than 2,000 animals since they opened, so they're definitely worth your time. For a small fee, you're able to go mingle with the adoptable kitties and purchase a drink or snack. Plus, their shop offers a variety of fun, cat-themed merchandise, and you can even buy pet food here.
Le Cat Cafe — Philadelphia, PA
Le Cat Cafe (which is decidedly Purrrrisian-style) is the partner of a local cat rescue organization — and since opening the cafe, their adoption rate has reportedly skyrocketed. Fully run by volunteers and donations, this cafe is reservation only, so book a spot! You can simply have coffee and chill, or partake in one of their special events, like kitty yoga.
Pounce Cat Cafe + Wine Bar — Charleston, SC
Pounce Cat Cafe + Wine Bar serves up literally everything I could ever want while on vacation: cats, wine, and coffee. WOW. They partner with a local shelter, so all their cats are adoptable. If you book yourself a slot, you'll be able to hang with the kitties commitment-free while you sip on a caffeinated or or alcoholic beverage of your choice.
Emerald Kitty Cafe — Seattle, WA
Emerald Kitty Cafe is a fully cat-themed cafe that's adjoining to the Emerald Kitty Pet Rescue — so you can grab an adorably kitty-themed coffee drink or delicious snack and then head on in to meet the adoptable cats. Plus, all the proceeds from the cafe go directly back toward helping the animals who are up for adoption, so you can get your caffeine fix while helping kitties, too.