Cat cafes have been popping up in Chicago, letting kitty lovers hang out with furry pals in a living room-like setting. Rather than being all about food and drink, these cafes are more about finding furr-ever homes for pets.
- Address: 1235 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
- Note: Reservations highly are recommended. Check the website for hours.
At this non-profit arcade-themed cat rescue and lounge, owners Christopher Gutierrez and Shelly Casey have cheeky attitudes and giant, cat-loving hearts. They take in cats from several areas, but mostly from Southeast Kentucky, which has a high kill rate for cats. The cafe is filled with cat decor, toys and free arcade games such as Nintendo64 Mario Kart. It’s a great place to relax with a canned beverage, snuggle with some kitties and play retro arcade games.
To enter, everyone must be 7 or older. Plus, cats cannot be picked up, but you are welcome to pet and play as much as you like. Cat yoga and comedy nights are on the calendar and the entire place can be rented for one-hour birthday parties.
- Address: 7225 N. Western Ave., Chicago
- Note: Book 30-minute visits in advance. Those under 17 need parental supervision. The money from your visit helps support shelter cats.
This cate cafe features a barista serving up coffee and tea. It is home to five cats that are healthy, but carry the FeLV feline leukemia virus. FeLV is impossible to cure and compromises the cat’s immune system, but does not pose a risk to other animals or humans.
Tree House chose to center its cat cafe around FeLV-positive cats to help destigmatize the virus and find furr-ever homes for these kitties that need a second chance. “The virus may shorten their lives, but they love even harder,” says Alana Grelyak, Tree House Humane Society marketing & community relations manager.
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