The pet cafes of New York City


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Danielle Sgambati

For many University students, the challenge of living away from home also means living away from their pets. Fortunately, New York City is home to a handful of notable spaces dedicated to playing with all kinds of animals—more specifically, cats. Cat cafes began in Taiwan, took off as a popular attraction in Japan and then made their way into a variety of large cities. Here are the top cafes that are accessible for University students to visit.

Brooklyn Cat Cafe | Brooklyn, NY

The Brooklyn Cat Cafe is a homey nook in the heart of the borough. They offer books to read and comfy places to sit with a furry friend. Cats roam around and lay next to baskets filled with toys or next to the treat dispensers. Some cats are waiting to find their new forever homes and can be adopted through the cafe. If visitors are not looking to adopt, they are still able to volunteer and spend time with the cats. Visitors can grab a cup of coffee or tea to relax with their new furry friends and there is also a variety of snack options available for purchase at the front counter.

Visitors may be surprised to see that there are rats named Remy, Emile and Ivory who are also housed in the cafe, but there is no need to be alarmed by them. These furry friends are there to play with the cats to reduce their anxiety.

The Brooklyn Cat Cafe has teamed up with Helping All Little Things, a small animal rescue organization who serves throughout New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. It is run by Danielle Challender, Jimmy Clark and Ericka Chadbourne. They work to rescue animals such as rats, rabbits, hamsters and turtles. University students can find all of them lending a hand at the Brooklyn Cat Cafe. The cafe hosts monthly events including movie nights, cat parties, and snuggle sessions. More information on these events is provided on their website. Prices range from $7 per half hour on a weekday if visitors book a reservation and $8 for walk-ins. On the weekend, the price goes up to $8 for a reservation or $9 walk-in per half hour. Brooklyn Cat Cafe is 100 percent volunteer-run and has placed over 250 cats in permanent adoptive homes over the past three years.

Meow Parlour | Manhattan, NY

The Meow Parlour is a cafe and foster home that works to find permanent placements for all of the cats they host. Visitors can come in and play with the cats and are even able to adopt them. University freshman Audrey Lemieux said, “I loved going to the cat cafe since I’m dorming in college and my pets are all the way back home. I really miss them all. With the cat cafe, it’s super nice because it makes you feel less lonely, plus its pretty well-priced.”

Ever since they opened their doors in 2014, Meow Parlour has helped over 600 cats find their perfect homes. There are cookies, pies, and drinks available for purchase to enjoy while playing with the cats. They are also known for their impressive macaron bar. Meow Parlour costs $8 per half hour. For the best experience, Meow Parlour recommends that visitors book a reservation but walk-ins are acceptable if the space is not full during their desired time slot.

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Koneko Cat Cafe | New York, NY

Koneko Cat Cafe is a classic spot featuring a Japanese-influenced menu. They also serve beer and wine for visitors over the age of 21. The menu is larger than most of these local cat cafes offering a variety of pastries, breakfasts and snacks that are made fresh every day in-store. Koneko’s central mission is to provide cats with an amazing stay before adoption. They are partnered with Anjellicle Cats Rescue which helps them confirm that the cats are provided with a perfect and safe new home. Visitors can reserve a spot in the Cattery by the hour for $20 per person both online or over the phone.

Every Thursday and Friday, they host “kitty brunches” you can go to for $35 which includes a breakfast item and a beverage of choice plus admission to the Cattery from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Château le Woof | Astoria, NY

Chateau le Woof is both a cafe and a full-service pet shop. The coffee bar serves La Colombe drip coffee, as well as a wide selection of other coffees and teas. A variety of healthy snacks and treats are available for purchase for both you and your furry friend to enjoy. The Chateau Le Woof allows visitors  to bring their own animals to the cafe. Visitors can book time for their own pet to socialize at the doggy daycare, arrange for private training sessions, schedule a grooming appointment or look for a new best friend.