Neighborhood Spotlight: The Cat Café

San Diegans can now enjoy a coffee and play with the cats at the Cat Café



Now San Diegans have the ability to play with cats, get a caffeine fix, and give back to the local economy, all at the same time. Cat lovers and coffee fanatics can rejoice because The Cat Café has finally opened in San Diego.

Jan. 6, the cafe opened to the San Diego Community and will be open daily from 7a.m. to 3p.m. The Cat Cafe is the fourth of its kind to open in the United States, after competing in a highly publicized race in to see which city would open the first cat cafe in America.

Located in the Marina district of downtown San Diego, The Cat Café stands out with award-winning coffee, cute cats and strong support for animals and local businesses – the perfect combination for a spontaneous San Diego excursion.

The Cat Café has a simple menu that features a variety of coffee blends, provided by Café Virtuoso and West Coast Coffee Roasters.

There are also several pastries, sodas, bottled waters and small packaged snacks you can snack on while playing with the cats. Understandably, the coffee is not the main focal point of The Cat Café, so the menu items are not extremely out of the ordinary. However, having the ability to enjoy a latte while petting a cat offers a creative and unique experience for the average person.

Adding the coffee trend to the cat trend steps away from the adoption center environment, and creates a new atmosphere of relaxation and entertainment.

Unlike other cat cafes that require a fee to play with the cats, The Cat Café in San Diego makes its income through the beverages, snacks and shop merchandise.

Tony Wang, the general manager of the cafe explained their choice of using local suppliers.
“We chose to buy local rather than Costco, not only for the higher quality of coffee,” Wang said. “But also to support local businesses.”

In addition to the local economic support, Cafe Virtuoso and West Coast Coffee Roasters both serve fair trade blends, providing a global awareness aspect to The Cat Café.

Adjacent to the small coffee shop, there is a large playroom that features about six cats. All of the cats are rescues from the San Diego Humane Society and are available for adoption with a $65 fee.

Don’t get any ideas campus residents, cats aren’t allowed in the dorms yet.

The playroom is occupied with multiple cat toys, cat condos, catnip-objects, scratch stands and resting spots for cats. At the front of the playroom, there are biographies of the different cats that are available for playtime and adoption.

This gives the cats that are up for adoption a great chance to interact with other cats as well as their new potential families.

Separated from the playing area, there is an office for the manager and a discreet holding area for the cats. The cats are able to escape into their holding area if they do not want human attention.

In order to care for the mental health of the cats, there is a twenty-person limit in the cat room and a 15-minute limit of allotted playing time per group. In addition, there is a five-minute gap between each group, giving time to let the cats refresh and prepare for another set of crazed humans.

Don’t be alarmed or concerned if the cats appear shy at first; offer them love and they will hopefully warm up to you. Oftentimes, the cats may just stare at you disapprovingly from their discreet cat condo position and offer judgments on your actions with their blatant stare.

Cat cafes across the globe offer a refreshing approach to doing business. They successfully combine two otherwise completely unrelated trends, coffee and cats, into one concept. Plus, The Cat Café adds the component of giving back to the community.

These three aspects create the ultimate bucket list item for those cat lovers who are looking for what San Diego has to offer. If cats, coffee and community support are not enough to woo you, consider the infinite amount of cat puns you can finally use in captions on Instagram.