BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama’s first “cat cafe” is doing well since opening for weekends only.
Gatos and Beans is a place where you can order coffee and play with cats in the cafe. Owner Kelli Steward says someone else opened a second one near Huntsville, and several have opened in other states.
The cats come from Kittycat Havens and Rescue, which means you can adopt the cats you see.
“I think that the important part about what we do is, the adoptions of the kitties, trying to educate the community about community cats, feral cats, T&R, you know, spaying and neutering, and finding these guys homes,” Steward said.
Gatos and Beans opened more than a year ago, five days per week. Due to COVID-19, they closed briefly, but are now open Friday though Sunday.
“The ones that we decide would do well here, they have to be social with people, fairly social with other kitties, playful. We never keep any kittens here. All the cats are anywhere between six months of age and ten years,” says Steward.
The cafe opened in a former tire store built some 70 years ago as a Pure Oil service station.
The owner says business is usually strong on Saturday, but describes business on Fridays and Mondays as hit or miss. She hopes word of mouth and the end of college football season will bring in more customers and potential adopters.
She says, however, they adopted about 12 cats in April and May, while they were closed.