While I was in Orlando for Global Pet Expo, the Orlando Cat Café hosted me for a book signing. This was only my second visit to a cat café (Meow Parlour in New York City was the other one I visited,) and once again, I was impressed with how well executed the concept was.
The idea of cat cafés has been catching on like wildfire over the last few years, and new ones seem to be popping up in cities around the country all the time. The concept is similar for most: there’s a coffee shop area where you purchase your beverages and snacks, and then you pay a separate fee to enter the actual cat café to spend time with the cats. The cats come from local rescue groups and are all available for adoption.
The Orlando Cat Café works with The Animal League, and they clearly know the cats in their program well. Not every cat would easily adapt to a cat café setting, so cats are carefully chosen and are given time to acclimate before being let out with visitors, although I watched a new litter of kittens arrive while I was there, and they seemed to have no problems checking things out right away.
The vibe of the place was incredibly peaceful. While there was an occasional hiss or swat, most of the cats were confident, relaxed and clearly happy to be there.
I got a chance to check out the back area of the café, and loved the individual cubbies (made from wine boxes) for the cats. I was very impressed with the lack of any kind of smell, even in the back area. Everything was scrupulously clean.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention just how delicious the frothy concoction from Axum coffee that you see me holding in one of the photos was – I can’t recall what it was called, but it was a combination of coffee, milk, nutella and, of course, lots of whipped cream on top!
For more information about the Orlando Cat Café, please visit their website.