Over the years, there’s been a new trend in many cities around the world: cat cafes. These spaces are exactly what you might think: they’re cafes with cats in them. In addition to making coffee, tea, and other treats, these businesses also have cats that walk, play, and nap around the café.
One such café is Catfe in Vancouver, BC. This café is the first and only such space in the city and has an ever-changing roster of adoptable cats from BC SPCA! So, in addition to providing a wonderful space for coffee and cat fans, Catfe is actively working to finding homes for rescue cats in the Vancouver area.
Quick Notes Before You Go
Address: Unit #2035 88 West Pender St., Vancouver BC V6B 6N9
- On the second floor of the International Village Mall
Getting there: there’s free two hour parking in the lot off Abbott Street; just northwest of the Stadium SkyTrain; closest bus stop is Pender and Abbott
Hours: 11am to 8pm Sunday through Wednesday; 5-9* Thursday; 11-9 Friday and Saturday
- *Thursday evenings are adult only quiet times with a limited capacity, as this is the day that they regularly welcome new cats.
Admission: $5 a person in addition to any café purchase or $8 without
- This is to help cover costs of running the cafe
Reservations: can be made online to secure a spot at a certain time
- Arrive 5-10 minutes before your reservation to allow for check in
- Any questions about reservations go to: firstname.lastname@example.org
How Long: Cat lounge visits are for an hour
Want to adopt? Contact them at email@example.com
Other Things to Know
In order to keep everyone involved happy and healthy, Catfe has a few rules to adhere to both before coming to visit and during your time in the cat lounge. To ensure that the cats aren’t overwhelmed by a ton of people, only 16 people are allowed inside the lounge for an hour. It is possible to walk in and be able to go to see the cats but to secure a spot at a certain time, you can make a reservation!
In addition to the number of people that can go in, Catfe also has a policy that no children under 4 years old can be in the lounge and all children aged 5-10 years old have to be accompanied by an adult (no more than 2 kids per adult).
Catfe does specify that there are times in which cats are generally more active (in the late mornings from about 11am to 1pm). With that, do be mindful of is that even though this café centers on them, the cats here are still cats. They might not always be up for cuddles, play time, or attention and it’s important to respect their space if they don’t want to interact.
You may be there for them but they interact with many people throughout the day and sometimes, they might need a break. It’s important to respect them and their space.
When in the cat lounge, remember to:
- Use your indoor voice and quiet
- Be aware of how the cat is behaving/communicating.
- Wash hands before entering lounge
- Do not feed cats or leave food unattended
- Don’t pick up the cats. If they jump up on you, that’s okay!
- Don’t intentionally wake up a cat if it’s fast asleep
- Don’t chase after any cat or hold them down/restrict their movement
- Be gentle and kind
For other policies and frequently asked questions (including how they partner with BC SPCA and rehoming your own cat), check out their site!
I went on a sunny Friday afternoon and it was so much fun! The space itself is adorably cute, with cat related art all over the walls. There are café drinks (i.e. tea and coffee) and cute treats in the actual café part of the store (as it is divided into café/entrance and cat lounge). Many of the drinks are named after cat puns, which only adds to the charm of this space! (Think: ameowicano, captpuccino.)
While I was there, there were six cats roaming around. Two cats, Brixon and Tristan, were in a smaller room off of the cat lounge. These two are very bonded and Tristan was definitely the most outgoing one. The other four were: Sea Horse, an adorable 9 month kitten with lots of energy and a love of playing around; Inferno, a 5 year old orange love machine who I desperately wanted to adopt immediately; Sia, a 4 year old orange cat with three legs who at the time, seemed a little overwhelmed with attention; and Lynn, a longhaired cutie who loves people more than other cats and sadly, needed to be shaved after not being brushed in her last home.
It was really wonderful to spend time with these cats and it reminded me of just how much I miss having my own cat. And it was fun talking to the other people in the cat lounge at the same time! I do wish I could have stay a lot longer but I also realize why the café has an hour long visit with the cats. I could see how having more than the allowed 16 people could get overwhelming for the cats and limiting the time for each person allows for others to experience this unique and wonderful café. I also realize that for me to be fully satisfied with any cat experience, I have to be covered from head to toe in cats and that’s just a ridiculous expectation to put on any person or company.
Because of the time limit, this space would be a wonderful part of a weekend/day trip to Vancouver, BC if you’re coming in from outside the Vancouver Metro Area. If you have children, this café isn’t too far away from Science World (about a 15 minute walk) and the Vancouver Aquarium is a bit further away (a 15 minute drive). It’s a fun and wonderful space for any animal lover and if you do live in the area, it’s also a great space to potentially meet a new part of your family without the stress of being in a shelter!
If you aren’t in the Vancouver BC area and can’t make it to this special café, one of the best ways to follow along with all the cats that temporarily call this place home is through social media and on their website!