Coffee shops are now taking on a funky new craze, and it’s no surprise that Washington state, home to a fanatic coffee culture, has also hopped on the bandwagon of cat cafes. What started in Taiwan has now made its way to the U.S., and will be coming soon to Tacoma.
The first cat cafe in Washington opened in December of 2015 in Wailingford, Seattle. Seattle’s Meowtroplitian cafe has been successfully uniting cat lovers and their furry felines ever since. This summer, Tacoma will receive their very first cat cafe in the Lincoln District.
Taylor Albright — cat lover and founder and owner of the Cat & Co. Lounge — has started a Kickstarter for the business. The money raised will go towards securing funds for permits, liquor and food licenses, and the supplies that she needs to open Cat & Co. Lounge. Albright has a goal of raising $15,000, and she has raised about 10 percent of this amount so far with only 26 days to go.
Albright first discovered Seattle’s cat cafe a few months ago while exploring Capitol Hill with her best friend. They stumbled upon a cafe with cats displayed in the front window and instantly fell in love with the idea of pairing wine with kitties — Albright’s two favorite things. For the rest of that night, they hung out at the cafe, brainstorming ideas on how to bring a piece of that cat cafe home to Tacoma. In order to dedicate all of her time and attention into doing this, Albright has recently quit her other job.
Cat & Co. Lounge will offer a variety of beverages including beer, wine and coffee along with individually wrapped pastries and snacks from local food establishments such as Corina’s Bakery in Tacoma.
The cat cafe will have a special area dedicated for the cats to mingle and play. To best utilize this play space, Cat & Co. Lounge is partnering with The Humane Society of Tacoma-Pierce County to provide more opportunities for adoption. Cats that are featured in the cafe will be available to adopt on the spot. The kitties will be able to roam around, mingle with other cats and show off their personalities. This socialization benefits both the kitties and their perspective owners.
The cat play area isn’t only good for the feline lounge goers, though; there are also personal benefits to the people who are around the cats.
“Studies have shown that cat interactions can reduce stress, boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, along with increasing your own sociability,” Albright said.
Cat & Co. Lounge will also host several community events to encourage people to spend time with the cats and reap the benefits of doing so. These events will include things such as yoga with cats and book clubs to connect the furry friends with community members.
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