by Liz Tarnof
If you are a lover of cats, a coffee aficionado, or looking for a new place to relax and unwind, look no further than The Cat Café located in downtown San Diego’s Marina District. While cat cafés are big in other areas of the world, the United States doesn’t have many at all. San Diego is home to the first cat café in Southern California. I took some time to interview the owner Tony Wang, and toured the comfy Cat Café.
After Tony heard about a cat café in Paris, France that had a one to two month wait, he decided why not open one up himself where he could offer adoptable cats, delicious coffee and snacks, and at the most, a thirty minute wait for patrons. So why a Cat Café? According to Tony, “I think a combination of a really good cup of coffee and adoptable cats gives you two things a lot of people can use. A little caffeine to start off your day and then a little decompressing, relaxation and de-stressing with the animals.” Although the cats are available for your enjoyment after purchase of a beverage (which are delicious by the way; I recommend the white mocha), or snack, the main goal is to adopt out these wonderful felines. “The goal is to help find space at the Humane Society for adoptable animals, and for these cats to go to a loving home” says Tony.
Right now, The Cat Café features “The Fab Five,” which has now become the fab four after Butterball, an orange and white tabby, got adopted this past Saturday. The remaining adoptable cats are Janis, a quiet, loving, and friendly black and white female. Giselle, an Abyssinian-esque type cat whom Tony has dubbed the “supermodel of all the cats,” is often strutting her stuff and owning the place as if it’s her own personal catwalk (no pun intended). Then there is the tabby brothers, Wexler and Larson. Wexler comes weighing in at 17 pounds, but don’t fear, this big guy isn’t chubby; he’s just sturdy and well suited for a great hugging buddy! Larson is a year younger, and very laid back. Tony is hoping to adopt both out together as they have bonded and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company. “Watching them play and interact is amazing. They had a 2 minute long play fight session the other day which I shared on video. They made everybody laugh and smile,” described Tony.
At the moment, The Cat Café only features adult cats, mainly a year or older. However, for any of you that are in the market for kittens, Tony said he is sure that The Cat Café will bring them in once kitten season rolls around. If you’re curious whether the cats will integrate with you and your family, Tony has stated that The Humane Society has handpicked cats with an even temperament, and personalities that work well with multiple people, children, and of course solo owners. However, nothing beats coming to The Cat Café in person to drink some java and hang out with the cats and see what they’re about!
The Cat Café is located at 472 Third Ave, San Diego, CA and is open from 7am to 3pm daily.