Neko Cat Cafe is home to some of the cutest cats in Washington State (besides my own fur babies Luna and Cosmo, of course) and is full of good vibes, playful adorable felines, yummy drinks and delicious desserts. My wife and I recently visited their Seattle location which is right in our neighborhood of Capitol Hill (there’s also an additional spot in Bellingham) and had a wonderful time interacting with all the kitties. Neko is the perfect place for a unique and fun date night to spend an hour playing with some cuddly companions, and since most of the cats are available for adoption, maybe you can even help one find their fur-ever home!
The cafe has several permanent resident kitties, but the rest of the cat crew are looking to be rehomed. Neko provides a great in-between space for these cats, providing them with a comforting place to socialize with other furry friends, human visitors, and staff before finding their forever family. In addition to the kitty play area, the cafe side of Neko serves coffee and tea, as well as alcoholic beverages and snacks for visitors to enjoy.
Between the two cat rooms in Seattle and Bellingham, Neko has adopted 340 cats, including over 100 special needs kitties! The adoptions each month vary depending on the needs of their shelter partner and the cafe’s current kitty population. If the shelter is filling up, Neko will always make room for as many kitties as they can. The Seattle location currently has 11-15 cats and Bellingham has 20-25 furry residents.
Every cat has totally different needs and “hisstories”. One new cat may prance into the cat room and accept immediate adoration, while another cat may need Neko to quickly find an adopter with a quiet home to open up, and another may need a lot of one-on-one love with staff before they feel safe with any human visitors or other cats. The cafe happily welcomes any cat and loves working with the challenging ones.
I had the opportunity to chat with Rae Kearns, the Mar”cat”ing Director of Neko Cat Cafe, who shared some insight with me about many aspects of the cafe including its history, procedures, and the daily lives and interactions of the cats and staff.
“One of our favorite things is watching a shy, anxious kitty completely change with time, consistency, and unending love from our staff. Every cat stays with us until they’ve found their ‘furever’ people and we get to spend that whole time spoiling them. By giving cats a safe environment to show their true colors, we’re able to match them with the best family possible.”
Rae also informed me of some of the hardships and challenges of opening up the cafe, particularly with finding a space on Capitol Hill.
“Trying to convince a landlord that you want to fill a space with adoptable kitties in the middle of the city was nearly impossible.”
Neko has a full staff, so the volunteer “oppurrtunities” are minimal, but there are plenty of other ways for folks to support the cafe, including donation, adoption, and reservation website links below.
Keep Up With The Kitties
Animal cafes seem to be much more popular in other parts of the world, and I have visited several adorable cat and dog cafes in Thailand during my travels around Asia. Up until recently, finding these types of cafes were, unfortunately, few and far between throughout the U.S., but it’s wonderful to see places like Neko opening up on this side of the planet to give people the opportunity to play with (and potentially bring home) some new furry friends. Come say hello to some of the cutest kitties in Washington State by booking a reservation at Neko Cat Cafe today!