THe Cat Cafe: San Diego, CA
Address: 472 Third Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: +1 (619) 786-2289
Hours: Daily 8:00 - 16:00
Entrance Fee: $12/hour, includes drink
California Sun: Review of The Cat Cafe
Located in downtown San Diego, The Cat Cafe makes it easy to get your kitty fix.
Near Petco Park (home of the Padres) and the San Diego Convention Center, they are in the epicenter of tourist traffic which explains why they are very busy even on a weekday morning. Generally, we try to time our visits during slow hours, allowing for better cat photos and interviews with staff, but it was a full house when we arrived for our 10 am appointment.
Despite the crowds, the staff were cheerful and welcoming. After placing my coffee order, included with admission we sat outside and waited with the rest of our group on the sunny patio, enjoying the perfect San Diego weather.
Things are well organized in that they allow bookings in advance, but also hold a certain number of slots for walk-ins, a nice compromise for those that want to ensure their spot and those who prefer a bit more spontaneity.
As the 9 am group departed, our assembly was escorted in and greeted by kind cat carer, Jolene. I’m not a fan of this ‘everyone out, now everyone in’ structure as I have found this oftentimes does not facilitate a relaxing experience. It can be rushed and some patrons feel compelled to ‘get their money’s worth’. It’s a difficult situation not wanting to turn people away (it makes them sad and sometimes angry!) and The Cat Cafe does a great job in giving everyone a chance to visit with the kitties. I get it!
Speaking of felines, there were 12 the day we visited, sourced via a partnership with The Rescue House. Jolene pointed out the kitties in residence, including my favorites Figgy, a cross-eyed cutie, gorgeous tortie Tallulah and mischievous Charlie, who was bestowed the nickname ‘Sharp Kitty’ after watching him swipe at the hands coming close to pet him.
As of March 2018, there have been 279 adoptions since they opened in 2015, a remarkable achievement considering they have a great deal of tourist traffic, but clearly there is also a supportive local contingent. Congratulations all!
With several children in the room, I held back a bit so the little ones could have better access to the cats, but was able to thoroughly enjoy my hour observing the kitties, sipping coffee and chatting up Jolene.
Overall, The Cat Cafe offers a quality experience with the friendly staff and great coffee service balancing out the rushed feeling.
Date Visited: 3/27/18