Cats & Coffee

Merry Christmas Seattle: Here's a Cat Cafe

Seattle Meowtropolitan, the city's first cat cafe will open its doors within the month.

By Joanna Sappenfield November 23, 2015

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Seattle’s first cat cafe will be open by Christmas in its official home in Wallingford at 1225 N 45th St.

As the first local outpost of the national cat cafe trend, Seattle Meowtropolitian’s efforts to open a place where cat lovers and caffeine partakers come together has attracted a lot of attention. The concept is originally from Taiwan and made popular in Japan—a place where people go to drink coffee and hang out with cats. Seattle Meowtropolitian has Americanized the concept slightly, making the cafe an outlet for cat adoption.

Lai, who happens to be allergic to cats, spent the last year planning Seattle Meowtropolitan and promises it’s “absolutely opening before Christmas,” he said, almost having to reassure himself of the statement.

The cafe will have huge windows (also appreciated by feline occupants) and a medieval/fantasy themed interior. Owner, Mat Lai says he and his partners are “really into fantasy." While further specifics are scarce, Lai promises a cat wonderland as soon as you walk in—“Disney with cats.” 

When you first walk in the cafe, you won’t be greeted by the cats rubbing on your legs or staring at you while using the litterbox (those will be hidden in cat structures). All feline activity will be waiting in a separate room while you place your order. Herkimer is the roaster of choice and Fuji Bakery will provide the baked goods.

There will be 10 to 15 cats living in the cat lounge at the cafe, in partnership with the Regional Animal Services of King County. Seattle Meowtropolitian will act almost like a foster home for the cats as customers sip their Americanos and fall in love with the felines and hopefully adopt them and take them home. 

Fifteen to 20 customers will be allowed in the cat cafe at one time. Due to what's likely to be some pretty high interest, all petting and cuddling of the cats will have be done by reservation only, says Lai, at least for the first few months.

Lai’s main goal of the cafe is to educate the public about cats—"living creatures, not toys"—so expect some house rules. For example, do not disturb sleeping cats. So-called “Feline Guardians” will be in the cat lounge at all times and if cats get tired of the human interaction there is a separate cat-only room where they can escape. 

Last February Lai and his team set up a popup cat cafe which drew over 800 people in the space of two days. So that reservation-only policy seems like a smart move. Keep tabs on Seattle Meowtropolitan's progress on its Facebook page.


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