CLEVELAND- Cat cafes are making a mark here in Ohio.
- affoGATO is the first cat cafe to open in Northeast Ohio
- Reservations are encouraged for the cat lounge
- The cats can be adopted through the Cleveland APL
The spaces, which invite humans to spend some time with furry felines in a coffee shop-like setting, were first created overseas but have grown in popularity here in the U.S.
Cities including Columbus and Dayton already have the outposts, and now Northeast Ohio has one, too.
affoGATO opened earlier this month.
“Cat cafes are already in pretty much every other major city except for Cleveland, so we’re kind of the last one to get one," said Amanda Miller, co-owner of affoGATO. "I used to visit one in Washington, D.C. that I really loved, and when I moved back to Cleveland, I really missed going, so we decided to try and make one of our own.”
Visitors first enter a cafe when visiting affoGATO.
A wall divides the coffee shop and the cat lounge to abide by health department rules.
“It runs just like a normal cafe, just with cat-themed drinks," Miller explained. "You can visit there anytime, drink, eat snacks. We have large windows that you can view the cats through if you don’t want to get a reservation. If you want to come into the cat lounge, where the cats live, then we encourage people to get a reservation on our website. There’s a cover charge of $10 on weekdays or $12 on weekends, and that lets people come in for an hour to relax, play, hang out with the cats, that kind of thing.”
If visitors make a strong connection with any of the seven cats currently at the cafe, all of the animals are up for adoption through the Cleveland APL.
The shelter provides the space with all of its furry residents.
“They tend to either be cats who seem super friendly in their cages, like they really want to be around people," she said. "Or they send us cats who seem really scared in their cages, they think their personality might come out a little more if they were in a more homey environment. And so far that’s been the case, they’ve done a really great job picking cats that really get along with the people who come to visit here.”
Miller said two cats have already been adopted since the cafe opened its doors.