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Pet friendly café in Miami caters to cats and cat people, too

The first cat cafe opens in Miami. The Cat's Meow Cafe is part coffee bar, part adoption agency.
The first cat cafe opens in Miami. The Cat's Meow Cafe is part coffee bar, part adoption agency. (WPLG)

MIAMI, Fla. – The newest café to open in Miami is more than pet friendly. It's a place where felines are the primary guests.

There could be a place for a pun here. So, here goes. Let's just say The Cat's Meow Café's grand opening celebration on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. was purr-fect.

The Cat’s Meow Café in Miami’s MiMo district is part animal adoption center and part coffee bar. The goal? A place to have fun with adorable kittens and cats, and through interaction, you may like one (or two) and take her (or him) home.

Owner Elizabeth Gaillardo raised $16,000 on Kickstarter to help open her dream business with an explanation on the site about what a Cat Café is.

“A cat café is an environment where you can relax, indulge on pastries and coffee (or tea) while cuddling with cats! The best part, you ask? All cats locally rescued and are up for adoption! The café area and cat rooms are separated by a partition wall for no cross-contamination. Our cat room will function as a great source of enrichment for the cats, who will roam freely within the facility.”

Isabella was the first feline adopted at the Cat's Meow Cafe's grand opening ceremony Saturday.
Isabella was the first feline adopted at the Cat's Meow Cafe's grand opening ceremony Saturday. (WPLG)

Of course, safe and social distancing will be encouraged and masks must be worn. If someone forgets a mask they are provide with one. Multiple stations of hand sanitizers are also throughout the cafe. They will be closed on Mondays for deep cleaning and sanitation, otherwise hours are noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Her goal? Pure Cat-i-faction.

The first adoption on Saturday was a tabby kitten named Isabella.

The Cat’s Meow Café, the city of Miami’s first cat café , opened its doors with a soft launch on March 7, 2020, but was forced to delay its official grand opening due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Guests can interact with several cats at once, allowing them to connect with unique cat personalities.

The lounge is limited to 8 people at a time with social distancing in place. Sticker markings are along the floor for social distancing guidance. High-touch surface areas are sanitized continuously.

If a guest falls in love with a cat during their lounge visit, adoption can be done on the spot following a screening process.

Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department (Animal Services) has partnered with The Cat’s Meow Café. The café provides a temporary home to shelter cats from Animal Services in an effort to get rescued felines adopted.

The cafe will care for 15 to 20 cats at a time and they’ll all be vetted, spayed/neutered as part of the adoption process. Gaillardo explained that the idea is for the cafe to act as a big foster home for felines who come the local shelter, Miami-Dade County Animal Services.

According to Gaillardo’s Kickstarter page, the first ever Cat Café opened in Asia in 1998, but the concept did not become popular until Japan opened their own in 2004. This feel good experience made its way to the UK, Europe, Australia and recently, in the United States. CatTown, located in Oakland California was the first U.S. Cat Café to open its doors to rescued cats, in 2014. There are over 60-plus Cat Café‘s in the U.S.,

You must make a reservation for cuddle time with cats. Cost is $17 for a one-hour Cat Lounge visit. Beverages and snacks are available. The Cat’s Meow Café is at 7541 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138.


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