Don’t worry, this isn’t a “fluff” piece.
Volunteers at this special cafe know for a fact that coffee and cat cuddles are the ‘purr-fect’ combination for helping find these felines furever homes.
Created in 2011 as a foster-based partnership with Oakland Animal Services in California, the Cat Town initiative was created to help promote the care of at-risk felines in need of a second chance. In 2014, the nonprofit expanded to include the Cat Town Cafe, a coffee shop where patrons are encouraged to play with the cats, and, hopefully, form a lasting bond.
Open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30AM -7PM, the Cat Town Cafe & Adoption Center is able to operate through a partnership with Adam Myatt of Hoodcats and Ann Dunn, Executive Director and Founder of Cat Town.
Cats already enjoying the comfort of a temporary foster home can be pampered and played with by appointment, but the frisky felines of the coffee joint are happy to accept drop-ins.
Cafe patrons are invited to enter the Cat Zone, where anywhere from 8-24 roaming cats and kittens are rolling around just waiting for belly rubs—and, in the longer term, adoption.
A $10 donation lets you schedule an hour-long visit in advance, and walk-ins are welcome for a $5 donation. Entry is free with a Cafe purchase.
Not only was the Cat Town Cafe the first Cat Cafe in the U.S., but it is the only nonprofit Cat Café in the country.
We discovered Cat Town Café through the national PBS series “Shelter Me”created by filmmaker Steve Latham that celebrates and promotes the adoption of shelter pets.
This particular episode, which airs on May 22 and is hosted by Kristen Bell, is called “Hearts and Paws” (it screens in different areas at different times, so check out ShelterMe.tv for local listings, and to see the first five episodes of the series after May 24).
“The only way to decrease the number of dogs and cats being euthanized each year in the U.S. is to build awareness about the challenges animal shelters face and get more people to help,” Latham said.
He also created ShelterMe.com, a “Social Petwork” designed to help boost adoptions by encouraging the general public to head into their local shelters and make videos of pets in need of adoption, then post them to the site.
“It’s a way to get animals who wouldn’t have gotten a walk or had anyone to play with that day some love and affection,” he said.
These ShelterMe.com profiles can —and should — be shared across social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to help increase a pet’s chances of being adopted, rescued or fostered.
For their part, since 2011, Cat Town has rescued more than 1,100 cats and helped lower the shelter’s euthanasia rate from 42% to 7%.
And, just to prove that yoga isn’t just for the Downward Facing Dogs, Cat Town hosts Cat Zone Yoga every Thursday of the month at 6:30pm.
To sneak a peak of the upcoming ShelterMe episode, check out the trailer below: