A Pair of Cat Cafes and Chance to See Zoo Tigers for Free in October

Learn where you can get cozy with felines in metro Detroit or Ohio and where you can see big cats free of charge out west.

Is your kiddo crazy for cats? They’re furry and cuddle and tons of fun that any kid would love, but if you’re not in the market for new pet (or want a more low key pet) and still want to give your kid a feline fix, spec out two cat cafes in Ferndale and Dayton. If that still isn’t enough to cure your cat fever with some free tigers exhibits in California.


Coffee with Cats in Ferndale

“I hope that people feel happy when they walk in the Catfé,” says Deanne Iovan, executive director of the Catfé Lounge in Ferndale. “Visitors are usually surprised that so many cats can coexist within our 1,000-square-foot space.”

With the vibe of a family room mixed with a hip coffee shop, this catfé encourages visitors to get cozy – and get snuggles, courtesy of the furry friends all around them.

The concept of cat cafes first had its start in Taiwan in the late 1990s before spreading throughout Asia and exploding in Japan. The trend has slowly taken hold in the U.S. – both because of the novel idea of enjoying a cup of coffee while cats purr next to your feet and it offers a chance for potential pet parents to interact with cats they can adopt.

Since opening in 2015, the Catfé Lounge – operated under the direction of the Ferndale Cat Shelter – has helped more than 800 cats and kittens find furr-ever homes.

“We have a few rules, though,” Iovan says. “No running in the Catfé, and picking up cats and kittens by little ones is prohibited.”

Regular activities are featured, including exercise classes. “We want our Catfé to be a space for the entire community to enjoy,” she notes. “It’s a joyful space for every age!”

Looking for more local catfes? Check out our list of spots.


Cuddling Cats in Dayton

Located in Dayton, Ohio, Gem City Catfe has become a cat haven – both for visitors and the cats that roam the modern-looking, sleek space. Even better, owner Karen Gudal-Johnson reports that they’ve had 91 cat adoptions over the past 10 months they’ve been in business.

Families are very welcome here. “We love seeing families have an activity they can experience together,” she says. “It can be a challenge to find experiences for kids and adults of all ages to enjoy but playing with cats and drinking hot chocolate seems to do the trick.”

Tabletop games are available or bring your own. Be sure to make a reservation before your visit. gemcitycatfe.com.


See the Big Cats for Free in San Diego

Take your kids’ interest in felines to the next level by giving them a chance to see the big cats. The famed San Diego Zoo in California offers a special deal throughout the month of October – kids get in free when they’re accompanied by a paying adult. Once inside, head straight for the Tiger Trail in the Lost Forest area. October is also the annual Kids Free San Diego month with 100-plus free deals just for kids all month long, including all of the major attractions and museums.

Photo courtesy of Gem City Catfe


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