New York's First Cat Cafe Opens Today

Christa Hamilton Photography
Christa Hamilton Photography / Christa Hamilton Photography

If you love cats, but apartment restrictions or general reticence towards the added responsibility has kept you from pet ownership, Manhattan's first cat cafe, Meow Parlour, has you covered. (Presumably, you are also welcome if, like me, you have two perfectly wonderful feline friends at home but still want to hang out with a bunch of cool cats.)

Macaroon shop owner Christina Ha joined forces with one of her bakers, Emilie Legrand, to open the East Coast's first cat cafe (the concept is already popular overseas in cities like Paris and Tokyo, and Cat Town Café, the first cat cafe in the United States, opened in Oakland this fall). The neighboring Meow Parlour Patisserie sells cat-themed sweets, and built-ins around the cafe cater to the many cats who will call the cozy space home. Every one of the adorable felines you can cuddle up to—it costs $4 for each half hour slot—is available for adoption through KittyKind, a nonprofit cat rescue and adoption service that has vetted each of the cafe's residents.

To avoid lines around the block (which the pop-up Purina cat cafe suffered in April), interested feline aficionados will have to sign up online for a designated time slot. To keep the stars of the show from getting overwhelmed each time slot will be capped at 20 people.

If you're wondering how well a cat cafe will do, consider that all the adult time slots—there are separate blocks of time reserved for kids under 10 that still have some availability—are booked through mid-January.