Cat cafés are hot. In the U.S., the trend took off in California in 2014 – and metro Detroit jumped in last year. Our two “catfés,” aka lounges with adoptable cats, are perfect places to get your kids’ feline fix and celebrate National Cat Day on Oct. 29.
Michigan’s original catfé is “like any coffee house or café,” says executive director Deanne Iovan. Run by the Ferndale Cat Shelter, it’s a quiet space to do homework or have coffee. The only difference: “There are cats around.”
Walk by and you’ll see cats enjoying the big front window. Inside, near the ceiling you may spot a cat walking the “runway.” The space is full of shelves and cabinets for kitties to climb and toys are strewn about.
“You can engage with them as much or as little as you want to,” Iovan says. The number of cats varies, but there may be up to six. While here, help yourself to self-serve coffee and tea and packaged snacks.
“It’s great for the cats and kittens to be around little kids because it makes them more adoptable.” There are rules, like 12 people max, no waking a sleeping cat – and parents must monitor kids. Iovan hopes to “connect the community to the homeless kitty population,” build awareness and raise money for their care.
Address: 821 Livernois St., Ferndale
Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday-Monday and Wednesday, noon-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
Events: Look online for events like yoga, “Purrlates,” kids story time and more. Costs vary.
Adoption: Apply to adopt a cat online (fees run $50-$100)
This colorful environment, run by the Humane Society of Huron Valley, is comfy for cats and humans. “In general, families are able to come and just visit,” says Karen Patterson, director of volunteers and humane education. “We have a lot of books and coloring pages and puzzles.” And cats snuggled nearby.
Bring your own food, link to the Wi-Fi or try a Family Mew-vie Night. Don’t be surprised if a cat lands on your lap. “The cats love it,” Patterson says.
There are guidelines to follow (pet cats gently, please!) and, aside from special events, toddlers 3 and under aren’t permitted. As many as 14-20 cats live here at a time – and you can get to know them before committing to adopt.
“The cats have free roam of the place, day and night,” explains manager Haley Chynoweth. “They cuddle on arm chairs and jump on the tables. It’s much easier to imagine the cat living in your home this way instead of meeting them in a cage.”
Address: 5245 Jackson Road, Suite A1, Ann Arbor
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Cost: $7/hour, $4/half hour
Events: Register for Cat Tales for ages 2-5 at 10:30-11:15 a.m. Oct. 16, Nov. 13 and Dec. 11 ($5/child and two adults) and Family Mew-vie Nights 7-9 p.m. Oct. 28 and Dec. 30 ($7)
Adoption: Inquire about adoption ($80/cat)