Cat cafe is fun for fans of felines
Cat cafe is fun for fans of felines A cat climbs on the back of Megan Ledet, left, as Christina Souza, right, looks on at the Cat Town Cafe in Oakland, California (AP photos)
Cat cafe is fun for fans of felines
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Cat lovers in Northern California are pouncing at the chance to spend time with feline company at a cat cafe in Oakland.

Cat Town Cafe is giving dozens of visitors a chance to mingle with furry friends while sipping coffee and nibbling on cat-themed cookies.

The cafe opened last month and has been full since opening day. It was inspired by the cat cafe craze in Japan, where many people live in cramped high-rise apartments that don't allow pets.

While making feline friends became popular therapy for lonely or anxious workers in Japan, the Oakland coffee shop puts the focus on the animals.

The tuxedo, orange tabby and Siamese cats napping or stretching in the sun in Cat Town come from a shelter and are available for adoption.

"Most of them have been at the shelter for four months or more. So as much as this is a super fun experience, it's really a mission-driven project to get the cats out of the shelter and into great homes," said Ann Dunn, founder of Cat Town Oakland. It's a nonprofit group that helps place cats least likely to be adopted from the Oakland Animal Shelter.

She said there were 14 adoptions in their first 12 days.

For a $10 donation to the organization, visitors get one hour of kitty company in the cafe, where they can play with felines, scratch their backs and watch them nap. Each person is given a designated window of time to make sure there are not too many people at once in the room painted with cartoon-like, bright murals of cats.

Cat naps are very popular at the cafe, but Christina Souza, who visited on a recent afternoon, didn't seem to mind.

"I think it's fun, it's great, it's exciting," Souza said. "Why not have more venues where cats can let out their fun personalities?"

Cat cafes are open in London, Vienna and Paris, but Cat Town's founders believe their coffee shop is the first of its kind in the United States.

Critical thinking challenge: Why would interacting with cats at a cat caf improve their odds of being adopted?

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Assigned 9 times

  • TaylorSeifert-Ste
    11/18/2014 - 09:14 a.m.

    This is a great way to prompt animal adoption. Plus, for some people having animals around helps claim them. It benefits both the animals and the business so I think it is an awesome idea.

  • jacob.francel46
    11/18/2014 - 10:55 a.m.

    Wow! I wish I could go to Oakland to the Cat Cafe, as a cat lover myself. But I live in San Diego so, I'd have to take a trip there. I think that's cool you can sip some coffee, and nibble a cookie, while petting a cat, that's just awesome! I think that's nice they're getting cats from the pound and putting them in the Cat Cafe to chill, instead of being trapped in their little cage. I think it's nice people can adopt from there after bonding with the cat. Bravo to them.

  • GraceM-Pay
    11/18/2014 - 12:34 p.m.

    Because if they cats interact with the people that come into the shop, and they like the cat. Then they would wanna buy the kitty. Specially if the cat/person(s) get attached to the cat. I know if I went there I would get attached to a cat.

  • SofiaA-Pay
    11/18/2014 - 12:34 p.m.

    I think that if someone gets a chance to interact with the cats they'll see if they like them or not. If the person is considering adopting a cat it would help that person get to know the cat better. It's that same thing with other animals like dogs, if you interact with them first not only will the animal itself get comfortable but the owner would too.

  • AnnaK-Pay
    11/18/2014 - 12:36 p.m.

    Interacting with cats at a cafe would improve their chances of being adopted because more people get to see the cats. I also think it's because the people get to interact with the cats letting the people see the animals personality. I think this is good for the cats and cat lovers because the cat lovers get to see the cats and the cats don't have to stay cooped up in a cage all day. Personally I think it's great because the animals are getting homes but I think they should make a dog cafe!

  • HayleeM-Pay
    11/18/2014 - 12:36 p.m.

    Because when cats are at like a shelter they are stuck in this little cage type thing. They don't really get to move around at all because of the little space they get at the shelter. They also cant really show their personalities there because they are stuck in such a little space to where they can barely move about. When the cats are at Cat Cafe then they actually have the space to move around and interact with other cats and humans. they can show their true personalities.

  • DaltonL-Pay
    11/18/2014 - 12:38 p.m.

    People come to the cafe to play and spend time with the cats. The cats start to grow on the people, and the people want to adopt the cat so they can take it home. Also, the cats show the people what they are like, and that they are friendly and would like a family, so people want to adopt the cute cuddly cats.

  • JamesW-Pay
    11/18/2014 - 12:38 p.m.

    Interacting with cats is a great way to get to know them. It's also a good way to find out of the cat likes you back. If you were to adopt a cat normally, you might find out that the cat doesn't really like you, or vice verse. This way, you can find out if the cat is a good match for you.

  • KarmenA-Pay
    11/18/2014 - 12:39 p.m.

    The animals will end up being known, when more people know about you it could improve your odds of anything.You have to be the good kind of known, though. If the cat acts good then it will end up being adopted more quickly, however if it is a horrid cat and it bites peoples toes then it probably will take much, much longer to be adopted because everyone will know about it and what it has done.

  • WestonJ-Pay
    11/18/2014 - 12:39 p.m.

    When interacting with cats at the cafe people will usually see their fun personality and decide that it would be nice to get a cat . The person could also be lonely and would like to get a cat as a companion, just so they have a friend and can play with it.

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