Like many people, when I heard about the Purrfect Day Cat Café opening in the Highlands last year I was curious. But I have two cats of my own, my partner has a cat I see regularly, my sister has a cat, and many of my friends are cat people. So, part of me also wondered what the appeal of going somewhere to grab a drink or snack and have cats crawling all over you was since that basically just seemed like a regular day for me. Not to mention, with adoptable kitties as far as the eye can see I wasn’t sure I could resist the temptation of taking another fur baby home with me. This was, after all, how I ended up with a second cat to begin with. I was at the pet store to get food for my first cat when I made the mistake of looking at the adoptable cats in the store. A week later I was bringing home a second cat.
A good friend of mine was celebrating her birthday with a cat themed evening and had booked an event at Purrfect Day and dinner after. So I decided to go see what this hype was about and attend the event in the “cat room” at Purrfect Day. And I brought my partner along to keep me in line and be sure I didn’t try to take another kitty home with me.
Located on Bardstown Road, Purrfect Day Cat Café was Louisville’s first cat café having opened in August of 2018. They are a foster facility with the Kentucky Humane Society, meaning all the cats at the café are adoptable through them. And 100% of the adoption fee for any of the cats go to that organization. Since they’ve opened, the café has helped 1500 cats and kittens find their forever homes. The café’s mission centers on facilitating a better matchmaking experience for cats and people alike. Their idea of “cuddles not cages” allow cats and humans to interact in a more natural setting to get to know each other before adoptions take place.
Upon arrival we found a large glass room called the “cat room”, and a bit further in found the café bar where we could order “Paw-stries” baked by Najla’s of Louisville and Q&A Sweet Treats, “Paw-pcorn” made by Louisville’s Popcorn Station, and an assortment of coffee (including custom blends from Quills), tea, alcoholic beverages, and soft drinks, all with cat-a-fied names. We were asked if we would be going into the cat room and when we said we were, we were asked to sign a waiver and expectations basically stating that cats are animals and do what animals do, you may be bitten or scratched and the café isn’t liable. Also stating that you will not mistreat the animals and abide by the rules or you will be asked to leave. There was a $10 cat lounge visitation fee (the fee is $12 on the weekends), which goes towards helping maintain the space the cats live in. Even though the cats are from the Kentucky Humane Society there are still costs the café has for fostering the cats. Things such as food, litter, medications if a cat becomes ill, treats and toys, and even rent to keep a safe place for the cats to live. Since our friend had booked an event, once everyone got there, we would have free rein of the cat room for 50 minutes with all the cats. If you are coming on your own rather than in a group, they recommend booking a time online since only so many people can be in the cat room at a time. Although you can walk-in you may not be able to go in the cat room if it is full, so booking a time online is your best bet.
Purrfect Day is, in many ways, like any other coffee shop. The building is two stories with tables scattered about so that you can visit and work while watching the kitties in their live and play space through large windows on both floors. There were also fliers advertising events such as story time for kids and kittens, kitten yoga, and even trivia nights happening in the future. I’ll be going back for those experiences. When all our friends got there, we were allowed in the cat room to play, snuggle, and enjoy. No food was allowed in the cat room, but you could bring your drinks in with you, you just had to finish it in the room since you can’t take it back out again due to Kentucky health codes. Since cats are fickle creatures you never know how they will be when you’re there. Some cats were active, wanting to play with you. Some came up and snuggled with you, curling up and enjoying your attention. Others napped and had no interest in interacting with you at all. Any cat owner can tell you this is natural cat behavior and you never know what you’ll get.
As expected, I fell in love with every cat there. It was good that I had my partner with me to reign me in or I would be writing this with a house full of cats rather than just the two. For me, although this was a cool experience with owning two cats already it really felt no different than just being at home. But as far as an experience if I had been looking for a new fur baby, I highly preferred it to adopting a cat from a cage. All the pets I’ve ever had are rescues, and I’ve always had very little interaction with them without cages between us before I took them home. The Purrfect Day Cat Café provides a unique experience with adoptable cats, and I think that is probably why their adoption rate is so high. You have a lot of time to interact with the cats and kittens and learn their personalities and how they mesh with yours. I observed people who came into the cat room and immediately got a toy out to play with the cats, or went to a corner and sat waiting for cats to come and lie down with them, or even found a sleeping cat that they could pet as the cat still rested. People have different personalities, and cats do as well. Not all personalities mesh, and this is a great way to learn if you mesh with the cat before you’ve brought them home.
For cat owners not looking to adopt, or those that cannot have pets for various reasons, this provides an experience to relax and enjoy interacting with cats of all different ages, personalities, and types. It’s definitely more fun than just going to a regular coffee shop, and you’re helping to support cats finding forever homes.