Happy Anniversary To The Cat Café

It’s time to pawty!

Five years ago, the Brooklyn Cat Café opened its doors on Atlantic Avenue. So successful that it quickly outgrew that space, the Café moved to 76 Montague Street two years later, significantly expanding its operations, and in 2019, more than 30,000 people from around the world visited the Café, with hundreds more attending private events and classes.

Walking into the Café brings a rush of sheer delight: the gamboling kittens in the terrarium (which you can watch on a live camera 24/7); the feline sentries who come to check out the new visitor; the blasé older cats who look at you skeptically, wondering whether you’ve brought treats.

When the pandemic hit last March, I signed up to be a Café driver and travelled to four of the five boroughs to pick up and deliver foster and adopted cats and kittens. I dropped off and picked up cats from several borough veterinary clinics, who support the Café by offering lower-cost vet and dental care and spay/neuter services. I watched people weep with joy as a new pet was delivered to them and with happy sadness as one of their fosters left to go a permanent home.

Closed for six months in 2019 as a result of the pandemic, the Café lost 85% of its revenue even as it continued its vital work to help New York City’s felines. A recipient of grants from the ASPCA, Petco Love, and GS Humane, the Café went into overdrive, finding foster and adoptive homes for hundreds of cats. As a result of the funding, the Café was able to launch a low-cost, pop-up veterinary clinic and will soon open a low-cost spay/neutr clinic.

Some eye-popping numbers:

  • In 2020, over 1,100 cats went through the Café’s foster network.
  • More than 1,000 cats were daopted in that time period (compared to 430 in 2019)
  • There are currently 150 cats in the Café’s foster system, and 350 have been adopted so far this year.

Visitors to the Café this weekend will be entered to win a free one-hour private kitten party, a free one-hour visit for two at Brooklyn Cat Café, or a Turning Five and Feline Fine 5 Year Anniversary Benefit T-shirt. All visitors will receive cat-ear headbands and can purchase vintage Brooklyn Cat Café T-shirts for $5 while supplies last.

Tickets are also available for Turning Five and Feline Fine, a virtual five-year anniversary benefit featuring Seth Meyers, Téa Leoni, John Doman, Lance Reddick, Reshma Shetty, Ophira Eisenberg, Laura Brown and more guest stars to be announced soon. The event will stream at 7 pm on June 3rd. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at fiveyears.catcafebk.com.

Brooklyn Cat Café is open Friday – Sunday, 12 pm – 7 pm. Cost is $10 per person per half hour and advance reservations are required at catcafebk.com/reservations.

Find them on social media. Even better…find them on Montague Street, and celebrate and support this neighborhood gem.

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Cat Café

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  • winchell’s cavanaugh

    How come when I tried to adopt a cat from them, they would not accept my application because, I had never had a cat before and therefore did not have a standing relationship with a vet? I don’t understand how they can be so selective. Very disappointing and do not think they have the cats’ best interest at heart with that attitude.