Midterms are near, stressors are here. Don’t you wish there was a way to get a much-needed serotonin boost while also supporting a good cause? Despite being rather allergic to cats, I decided to take myself out to do something new for once. Introducing: CatCafe Lounge, a small well-decorated coffee shop and cat play area neighboring UCLA, where you can grab a drink and go play with some kittens for an afternoon! Truly, what more could a college student need? Read on to hear about our experience!
What is CatCafe Lounge?
Located just south of Westwood, the small but chic lounge and its adjoining “cat free” coffee area is the perfect spot for any date. Taking inspiration from similar concepts in Asia, the company’s founder, Kristi Labrenz, conceptualized the space as a haven for cats to build social ties with humans and a way to rehabilitate them through adoption.
Guests are able to enjoy a beverage while lounging in a room full of adorable, adoptable cats (20-30) for up to an hour, with the proceeds from each visit benefitting the company’s mission to find a “furever home” for each kitten.
How was our experience?
As a person who is typically quite allergic to cats, I was personally a bit apprehensive in experiencing my first cat cafe. Needless to say, taking allergy meds before going was the ONLY thing I had to worry about. The interior of the cafe gives a very chic, modern look and is completely clean. Moving through a set of double doors (no escape artist “kittos” today!) into the lounge took us into a tastefully decorated, cat-friendly area with an attached “catio” for some sunshine and fun.
The wonderful staff taught us how to introduce ourselves to the kittens and how to use the toys to play with them. Some of the cats were on the shyer end, but many warmed up to us by the end of the session. It was such a joy watching them chase each other, climb up the walls stacked with kitten tracks like they were racecars and overall interact with everybody in the lounge. I definitely felt like a calmer, more comfortable version of myself by the end, as I’m sure many of the guests did.
What if I want to adopt or foster?
All of the kittens in the lounge are ready for adoption! Additionally, feel free to ask the knowledgeable staff about any questions you might have.
Overall, the cafe allowed me to experience behaving like a kid again, especially in the middle of a stressful quarter of more online school. It also validated my love for going out and trying new things around the city, something that had been on the back burner for the last few months. If you get the chance to, I’d highly recommend taking your friends and going on a date with the cats, coffee and a WHOLE lot of cuddles!