Coffee and cats blend in Oakland



Jamie Soto,

Cat cafes started in Japan, where people can have a beverage while they play with cats that roam around the venue. Oakland’s Cat Town Cafe offers East Bay residents the chance to drink some coffee and hang out with a couple of furry friends.

Cat Town Oakland is a non profit cat shelter that helps find homes and owners for cats that are held by Oakland Animal Services. The cats are sent from the shelter to Cat Town Cafe and customers have the option of adopting a pet on the spot.

“I absolutely love Cat Cafe Town. I never really liked going to animal shelters, because the cats always looked sick and dirty,” said Marisol Perez an Oakland resident. “I ended up coming to the Cat Town Cafe for the first time in December, and adopted my first cat, and now I come back every now and then.”

Cat Town Cafe offers a different and comfortable life for the cats up for adoption. Instead of having cats living in the shelters metal cages, they live in environment where they are free to roam, are surrounded people and given a lot of attention.

At first, the owners struggled on being able to open the cafe and avoid health codes, because it would be in violation by having beverages and cats walking around in the same area.

“The building is split into a cafe and cat zone to work with health code laws regarding food preparation areas, Cat Town Cafe allows 14 people every hour to observe and play with cats,” said Cat Town Cafe founder Adam Myatt.

The ventilation system filters the air so only the scents from from the cafe fills the building. This allows people with cat allergies to still be able to come in and purchase cafe products without any risks.

The employees are divided into two work stations, some are workers in the cafe while others are workers in the cat zone. They are not allowed to intermix during work times, and have their own designated bathrooms to further make sure allergies are kept away from customers.

Collecting money for a business that is based around shelter cats is a struggle. Donations are needed to help cover the daily costs of the rescue work.

Approximately 75 percent of the sheltered cats need some sort of medical attention while in the cat town cafe care. The cat cafe intentionally keeps the adoption fees low, which attributes to their need for donations to help cover medical bills and purchase supplies.

Opened in October 2014, the Cat Town Cafe is comfortable, humane, and creative, and hopefully more businesses are made for other stray animals to be as comfortable as the ones in Cat Town Cafe.