On Thursday, the Happy Cat Café opened its doors downtown, creating a purrfect spot for lovers of both coffee and cats.
The new cat café, at 447 Division Ave. S., is home to approximately 10 cats at a time, all of which are available for adoption through Carol’s Ferals.
Visitors are invited to enjoy a cup of coffee while hanging out in the company of the café’s cats. The café also offers a selection of teas, juices and other beverages as well as snacks, which are available for $1. All beverages are self-serve currently.
The coffee shop portion of the café will fully open later this year and will include a full espresso set-up and bakery items including donuts, muffins, cookies and cake, all provided by local bakeries.
Visits to the café are made through reservations on the Happy Cat Café website, although the café does accept walk-ins as long as space is available. There is also a viewing window if you just want to stop in and see what the café is all about.
A standard visit costs $10 per person for one hour in the café and includes a hot beverage, can of soda or bottled water.
The Happy Cat Café also offers several special events including Cats and Canvas, DIY Night with Cats, Game Night with Cats, and Happy Cat Yoga. If you want the cats to yourself, you can reserve the café for a private event.
The Happy Cat Café is the work of Kati Palmurkar, a self-described “crazy cat lady.” In an interview two years ago with GR|Mag’s sister publication Grand Rapids Business Journal, Palmurkar said she’s watched the cat café trend taking place in larger cities around the world and wanted to bring the concept to Grand Rapids.
“The purpose of Happy Cat Café is to connect humans with cats in a new, fun way,” Palmurkar said. “Guests that aren’t able to have their own pet for many reasons can enjoy the health benefits of pet ownership without the commitment. Guests that are looking for a new pet can adopt from us in a calm, relaxing atmosphere where the cats can be themselves and aren’t cooped up in cages.”
Happy Cat Café has already experienced its first adoption. “We had 12 cats in the café for opening day, and we now have 11, because one got adopted,” Palmurkar said.
“We are so happy that Grand Rapids was so patient and supportive of us,” she said. “We hope the cafe will become a must visit attraction in the community.”
Visit the Happy Cat Café and maybe walk away with a new furry friend.
*Photos courtesy of Happy Cat Café