What’s With the Cat Café on Atlantic Avenue?

There are two types of people in this world. People who love cats… and the rest of us. Count me among the rest of us, with the added bonus of an acute allergy to cats.

So when I heard that a cat café was opening on Atlantic Avenue, I was befuddled. People want to go and drink coffee with cats circling their feet? A kitten to go with your cappuccino? People who love cats are an interesting bunch, I thought. I’ll stick to Tazza for sit down, or Cranberry’s to go.

But I went to the Cat Café. I didn’t mean to go to the Cat Café. I was on my way to Chez Moi (for the happy hour $1 oysters – highly recommended!) and passed by this adorable, inviting storefront at 149 Atlantic Avenue.

Catfront2Outside, there was a group of people clamoring to get inside, so I couldn’t resist peeking in to see what all the fuss was about. There was a lovely greeter at the door who asked guests to sign a waiver and pay a $5 donation for half an hour of cat browsing and petting. You see, the Cat Café is a front for the Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition. It’s not about the coffee at all, it’s about rescuing cats and finding them good homes.


Inside, there’s a couch, a coffee table, cute knick knacks, space in the back for events, and lots of cats. A group of four cats partying in a cage were named Sheila E, Dr. Fink, and Wendy & Lisa. (R.I.P. Prince.) Elsewhere, in a glass terrarium were a mother cat (Grizabella), and her three kittens (Rumple, Jelly, and Jem) romping around. (If you get the reference, first to comment wins a prize – a free subscription to BHB.)


There were cats lounging on ledges on the wall, and one spread out on the coffee table. There were cats everywhere. And there were the happiest, smiliest people I’ve ever seen crowded into a space in this cranky city. After lingering far longer than I had planned, my face was itchy and my eyes were stinging, but I couldn’t help but be thoroughly charmed and happy that there is a cat café in our neighborhood.

(Cat lover or not, if you find yourself in a bad mood, just watch this kitten livecam from the Cat Café. I’ll bet you’ll smile too.)

To donate to BBAWC, click here. For more info on Brooklyn Cat Café, click here.

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  • StoptheChop

    And I think they’re looking for more volunteers—- we need the cafe to be open longer hours ;)

  • Andrew Porter

    Cats are good, but if I need exposure to kitties, I can knock on any of three doors, just on my floor…

    Then there’s the place for all your adventurous kitty needs:

  • Mary Kim

    From our friends at the Cat Café:

    BYOM (Bring Your Own Mats) to YOGA

    Sunday, 6/5, at 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

    Luisa Noelle Howell, certified personal trainer and yoga guide, will teach our yoga class at Brooklyn Cat Cafe. An amazing trainer – Luisa will help you stretch your body and mind during this 45 minute class. Cafe opens at 9:00 a.m. for you to check in and play with cats.

    Sign up at:


  • StudioBrooklyn

    Mary, just wanted to tell you I really enjoyed your article. I’m a multiple cat owner and I become immediately suspicious of people who express distaste for cats (or any mammals really), so the way you sort of came around at the end was very heartwarming, I thought.

  • Mary Kim

    Thank you! You’ll be happy to know that I had an hour-long, dreadful telephone conference yesterday, and watched the cafe’s live kittycam the whole time to get me through it.

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com/ Claude Scales

    Well, I hardly need a “free subscription to BHB”, but since no one has taken the bait: the reference is to T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”, which spawned (and thereby no doubt had Eliot spinning in his grave) a Broadway musical that is about to be revived.

  • Mary Kim

    Winnah winnah chicken dinnah! A less learned person would have jumped to the Broadway musical. Well done, Mr. Scales.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Love the kittycam! :)