Cat cafes have been popping up around the country, and Minnesota has finally hopped on the bandwagon to join two of the best things: cats and coffee. Cafe Meow opened on Feb. 16 in downtown Minneapolis. While a little far from Macalester by public transit, if you like exploring the cities and getting out of the Mac-Groveland neighborhood, it is a fun trip. The cafe’s main goal is to provide a comfortable and inviting cafe experience while simultaneously giving customers the chance to meet, mingle and potentially adopt cats. The cafe pairs with multiple organizations to foster the rescue cats, such as No Kitten Left Behind and Minnesota Animal Rescue. While the cafe welcomes everyone to meet and play with cats, the store hopes that these cats eventually will find permanent homes of their own. Due to codes and regulations, the cafe and the cats are separate, with one room setup with tables where the food and drink is served and prepared, and an adjoining room for the cats. Anyone can come to the cafe and it functions independently. However, there is a fee of ten dollars per hour to play with the cats, and it is best to make a reservation ahead of time as space is limited.
The cafe itself is very cute, with a good selection of teas, coffees and cat themed treats. I ordered a chai while I was playing with the cats and was very satisfied. The staff were very friendly and offered to place my order and bring me my drink so I didn’t have to leave the cat room. The tea was very flavorful and not overly sweetened, and while the drinks were on the pricey side for an average cafe, it felt worth it as I knew my money was being put to a good cause.
The cat room was a blast. There were seven or eight cats in the room, of various ages and breeds. The room was full of structures for the cats to climb on, including shelves that allowed them to climb up the ceiling as well as many cubbies for them to retreat to when they were feeling less social. The cafe staff made sure to limit the amount of people in the cat room at a time in order to allow people to get personal time with the cats as well as not overcrowd the small place. I went with a friend between one and two in the afternoon. However, for the first twenty or so minutes pretty much every cat was asleep, which the staff said was pretty normal for the afternoons. Although they eventually woke up and started to socialize, I would have liked to have been warned or notified that the cats would be mostly sleeping during the afternoons.
Besides their sleepy nature and lack of interactive play time with the cats, I would give Cafe Meow a positive review. While I don’t like the idea of having to pay money to spend time with cats, I do understand that the cafe has to keep up the costs of feeding and taking care of all these cats. Despite being a very new business, the Cafe Meow had already found homes for seven cats after only being open for little over a week. For all you cat and coffee lovers, I highly recommend stopping by Cafe Meow for a tasty and cuddly study break.
The Cafe Meow is located at 2323 Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis.