Atlanta’s first cat cafe opened for business in March and is already a hit in the cat community. Located at 415 Memorial Drive SE, Suite C, in Grand Park, cat lovers can now mingle with 12 adoptable cats, courtesy of PAWS Atlanta (Georgia’s oldest no-kill shelter).
Hadyn Hilton has had a love for animals since she was really young. Her love for cats led the way for Hadyn to create a place where cat lovers could gather, have a good cup of coffee (she’s teamed up with Atlanta’s own Ebrik Coffee Room where everything from regular coffee to Turkish coffee to smoothies will be one the menu) and book an hour session in the cat lounge.
In September 2015, Hadyn approached her husband Josh (whom she first met over coffee) with the idea and in March 2016 she visited her first cat café. She went on to have a Kickstart fundraiser and eventually found a landlord who would allow her dream to become a reality. The Java Cat Cafe website reads
“Java Cats offers the cats an amazing opportunity to live in a customized cat paradise while being loved on every day, allowing their personalities to shine, until they find their furever home!”
Here’s what Hadyn says to expect:
-We will provide a complimentary drip coffee or tea beverage of choice for your one-hour cuddle session.
-You can cancel your reservation up to 24 hours in advance of your visit.
-Minors under the age of 18 must have an adult or guardian agree to our minor waiver.
-Adults must agree to the adult waiver. (The waiver will be under terms and conditions).
-All ages are welcome to visit our cat lounge, however, we require that children under the age 12 must be accompanied by an adult inside the cat lounge.
-You are entering the cat lounge at your own risk.
The business is partitioned off to prevent the cats from escaping as someone enters the cat lounge. There’s also a separate HVAV system for the cat lounge than the bar, so those who suffer cat allergies can still come out and enjoy the beverages and light snacks without worry. The people working in the cat lounge won’t be working in the part where food is served. Hadyn says the cafe had to go through a lot of inspections and will have to follow regulations to ensure the safety of the patrons, as well as the cats.
Java Cat Cafe has extended their hours to meet demand. The cat lounge opens at 10 a.m. and reservations are booked for one hour to spend with the cats. All of the cats are specially chosen by PAWS Atlanta to be friendly. While being allowed up to 19 cats in the lounge, Hadyn will limit the cats to 12, with 12 patrons being in with the cats at one time.
People in the cafe can see into the cat lounge without actually going inside. So if you’re there with someone allergic to cats, they can watch you as you play with the cats and the chances of the cats causing an attack are slim. Lint rollers will be provided for those exiting the cat lounge so cat hair can be removed.
No alcoholic beverages will be served, as the parking lot has too few spots available to allow the business to obtain a liquor license. Wi-Fi is available.
The cats can be adopted on-site, as Hadyn is undergoing training by PAWS Atlanta to screen those wishing to adopt one of the cats. She’ll be using the same process to screen the cats with cat lounge applicants that PAWS Atlanta uses at their shelter.
If you’d like to check out the Java Cat Cafe, click here. Reservations are strongly suggested. The cost is $10 per hour and you can take your coffee inside with you to enjoy as you spend time with the cats. For the record, they won’t be accepting cats from outside PAWS Atlanta.
A lot of cat cafes don’t offer cats up for adoption, so they’re really only benefitting themselves. Readers, not only does Hadyn help cats, the cafe also works to improve the lives of the homeless in Atlanta. The Gathering, an Atlanta Mission project that equips homeless individuals with culinary skills, provides the cafe’s prepackaged snacks and boxed lunches.
You’ve done a great job, Hadyn and Josh! You’ve thought of everything! Check out Java Cat Cafe on Facebook for more information and photos. Hadyn has also done a video on the Facebook page which is quite long but answers most questions.