Cat-loving New Yorkers and tourists flocked to the Purina ONE Cat Cafe in the Bowery at the opening of the first cat cafe to ever hit North America. Feline fans went over to the new pop-up cat cafe Thursday to spend time with their furry feline friends while sipping caffeinated drinks, like the signature Cat’achino, a cappuccino with a foam feline on top.
All of the kittens at the cafe were provided by North Shore Animal League, the largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption shelter in the country. Apparently, the cats’ adorable faces also charmed the Purina staff: one film crew member ended up adopting a 9-month-old tabby cat named Blake before the cafe’s 10am opening Thursday. Many of the spectators in New York were intrigued by the concept – even though cat cafes have long existed in Europe and Asia.
Japan has had popular feline-friendly places to hangout for years, while London’s first cat cafe, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, opened in March. KitTea in San Francisco is set to be the first permanent kitty cafe in the United States when it debuts this coming summer.
For now, the pop-up, which is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day until Sunday, is “designed to create a conversation on cat health,” Purina ONE spokeswoman Niky Roberts said. “All of these cats have lots of energy – we want people to see their energy” after eating a nutrition-packed diet.
Each of the 16 cats in the pop-up cafe had been evaluated by North Shore’s behavioral expert. The remaining cats, whose ages range from a few months to five years, are still up for adoption.
Photo Credit: Amy Sussman/Invision for Purina ONE/AP.