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Oakland's (and America's) First Cat Cafe Sets Opening Date

Cat Town Cafe is nearing the finish line.

Cat cafes have been the story of 2014, with seemingly every major city boasting a crowdfunding campaign to replicate the popular Japanese model of combining afternoon coffee hangouts and cuddles with anonymous kitties. But while Purina One did host a pop-up cat cafe in NYC earlier this year, a permanent cat cafe has yet to open in the U.S. That honor is very likely to go to Cat Town Cafe, which has set an opening date of October 25 in Oakland (2869 Broadway, at 29th St.)

As the big day nears, owners Ann Dunn (founder of the titular rescue organization) and Adam Myatt (of the blog Hoodcats) have been firming up the food and drink offerings at Cat Town Cafe, which had already announced it'd be serving Bicycle coffee (Myatt has trained as a barista there). The cafe will stock bagels from the Authentic Bagel Co., sandwiches from S+M Vegan, and sweets from Kitchener Collective, including cat macaroons from Shades of Sugar. After stocking up on snacks, guests then head into the Cat Zone, which is separated from the main cafe according to health-department protocol. A cafe purchase buys an hour of time in the Cat Zone, but there are crowd limits; the only way to guarantee entry will be to make a reservation in advance, for a $10/person fee that supports cat rescue efforts. Kids are welcome, but one adult must be present for every two children under 12. Once inside, guests can even buy raw-food cat snacks from RAWR to entice their favorite kitties to play, or share a cup of catnip tea (which is safe for both cats and humans).

All the cats in Cat Zone are rescue cats who'll be available for adoption (they're screened to make sure they can handle people; Cat Town will maintain a non-public facility for the more delicate felines). The Cat Zone cats will have a very cool living space, complete with cargo-crane beds and play structures based on downtown Oakland's skyline. They'll even be surrounded by a cat-centric art gallery, complete with cat merchandise for sale. Essentially, it's a paradise for cat-lovers; dog people need not apply. We'll keep you posted with photos and more when opening day rolls around.

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