We don’t have any pets at our house (unless you count fish), but I do like dogs and cats. I first heard about cat cafes while watching the Amazing Race. And then I found out there was one in New York City – it’s called Meow Parlour. My kids freaked out and couldn’t wait to go.
What is a cat cafe? Basically it’s a store front with adoptable free-roaming cats (from a shelter). You can play with them.
As for the cafe part, Meow Parlour has a bakery nearby where you can get baked treats (you can’t bring in outside food), or you can order the treats while there, and they deliver.
We got lucky when we went – it happened to be a kitten weekend, and they were fostering a handful of kitties. Usually they don’t have kittens because they are more adoptable. They were also super cute and a lot of fun.
What do you do at a cat cafe? When you enter the Meow Parlour, you register at the desk (do yourself a favor and fill out the waiver online before you go). You’ll get buzzed in, removing your shoes and leaving jackets/backpacks in the front. You have to use hand sanitizer and then can then get cat toys and go play. They do have a few rules, like not waking up sleeping cats and not picking any of them up. And a warning that if you go in the bathroom, a cat will likely follow you in and not come out. That makes it tough, since you’re not allowed to pick them up. Just tell someone who works there.
They have a lot of seating on the floor, and some low benches. They also have higher seating and counters, but I didn’t see any cats up there. Basically, if you want to play with the cats, you better not have bad knees. The counters had some cat-related board games (for adults) like Exploding Kittens (which we later bought elsewhere), and a book of cat alumni that have gone to their forever homes (people, not graves).
Watch our video of a cat knocking over the Jenga game.
We had an awesome time and can’t wait to go back.
Cost: It’s $5 for 30 minutes, or $10/hour per person. If you pay for 30 minutes up front, you can stay longer and just pay the extra when you leave.
Reservations: You really should make a reservation – and know that they book up in advance. Seriously! They do take some walk-ins, but unless you live in the area or don’t know your schedule, you may not want to risk it. The space isn’t large and when fully booked it’s a little crowded.
Events: The Meow Parlour has special times for kids 10 and under, and a yoga and kitties class.
Location: Meow Parlour is at 46 Hester Street in the Lower East Side.