472 Third Ave.
San Diego, CA 92010
Before you visit The Cat Cafe, you should ask yourself: “Do I really like cats?”
Consider this, not because they’re inescapable — the two kitties present lay curled in their cubbies with typical catlike indifference — but because there’s otherwise not much of a reason to go.
The Cat Cafe doubles as an adoption clinic, giving patrons the chance to meet and play with potential pets. The building is split in two, consisting of a narrow cafe section and the larger playpen, which holds tables, chairs and, of course, cats.
In the cafe, you can pick your favorite combination of coffee, chocolate, caramel and milk and grab one of the prepackaged pastries before heading to the playpen. Kitty containment is taken very seriously — double doors between areas avert any sort of culinary cat-astrophe.
Drink prices range from $2 to $5, depending on complexity and size. The small hot chocolate fulfilled its warm, chocolatey promise but did nothing to stand out. The sweets cost $2 to $3, which would be acceptable had they been made on-site. Despite their sugary efforts, neither the blueberry muffin nor the apple strudel inspired particular appetite. Both tasted more like something bought in bulk from a supermarket than sold at a cafe. I lost my will to continue after a couple bites.
Of course, while there are dozens of places to grab a cup of joe and a donut, only one comes with cats.
The Cat Cafe’s titular inhabitants are well cared after. The floor is littered with toys, and the pet doors in the back ensure that the cats are never overwhelmed by human interaction —although while I was there, the two kitties were either unimpressed with my efforts or too tired to play.
A poster board proudly displays past successes — though if you’re thinking of adopting, the owner recommends that you call ahead.
Cat cafes originated in Taiwan but were popularized in Japan. The Cat Cafe is one of many cat cafes that have now begun to pop up in America.
If you need your morning fix or a quick snack, The Cat Cafe falls short. But if you’re planning to adopt, The Cat Cafe is an excellent place to wet your whiskers while looking for your new best friend.