6 Ways to Support a Cat Cafe When You Can't Adopt a Cat

Monday, December 16, 2019

Say you're a cat lover who already has two sweet cats at home & can't adopt more, but then a cat cafe opens, like, 20 steps from your front door. Hypothetically, of course. What's a gal to do?!

Such was the case, for me, when affoGATO Cat Cafe opened in my neighborhood earlier this year. It's so close to my house that I'm there almost every day for coffee, staring longingly through the glass at all the adoptable kitties I cannot adopt.

The one near me, at least, is a for-profit & does not accept donations, but they do accept help in plenty of other ways. So if you, like me, love cats but, uh, don't need any more of them in your own home, here are a few ways you can support your local cat cafe.

1. Support the cafe side of things.
Why not pop into your local cat cafe for coffee instead of spending money at a corporate giant like Starbucks? I work from home & look forward to the time each day when I step out into the world to grab coffee from a neighborhood cafe.

affoGATO is a cat cafe, yes, but it's also just a regular old coffee shop on one half - where you can step in, grab a latte or a pastry, & be on your way. Bonus? They sell Rising Star coffee!

2. Buy the other stuff.
Not adopting a cat? Don't want coffee? Or want coffee plus cat-related items? You're in luck: The cafe side also sells retail items, like T-shirts, cat-shaped pillows, catnip toys, treats, cat-ear headbands, & more. Most of them are local & handmade, so you're doubly shopping small.

When I visited earlier this year with my friend Sammi (pictured at the top of this post), she bought my cats a stuffed, hand-sewn catnip pillow that they loooove.

3. Schedule a visit.
The whole idea behind cat cafes is socializing cats in an environment that simulates a home. Even if you can't adopt one yourself, you can support the cause by cuddling the cats. What could be better than that?

Your local cat cafe's structure may, of course, but at affoGATO, an hour reservation during the weekday is $10, & an hour on the weekends is $12. I've seen kids' birthday parties there, & I know folks bring out-of-town guests with them for visits, so it's great for special occasions, too.

4. Sponsor an adoption.
At affoGATO, you can pay a cat's $50 adoption fee so that when the time comes & someone is interested in taking them home, there's less of a barrier to adoption. I got my kitty, Helo, for free off Reddit, so when the cafe opened, I paid for another cat's adoption to literally pay it forward.

affoGATo's site says, "We highly encourage sponsoring 'less adoptable' cats such as seniors, special needs, or FIV+ cats." Indeed, the little lady I sponsored was one who'd been at the cafe for awhile - & she went home soon afterward!

5. Encourage others to adopt.
I sent my friend Lindsey a photo of a cute, fluffy little guy who stared at me through the window every day... & they adopted him! Below is a photo of sweet Vigo, who is very, very happy & loved in his new furever home.

Even if you're unable to adopt, you might know someone who's on the lookout. Spread the word & keep an eye out for cats that might be a good match with people you know - or share photos on social media during your visit. You never know who might fall in love with your IG share!

6. Spread the word.
As you can probably tell, I've become a bit of an evangelist for affoGATO, to the point where perhaps I should be a little embarrassed? I mean, look, it's just that it's a cool concept, & it's a great thing to have here in Cleveland, & these cats deserve homes, & I want people to knowww.

I find that although it has the word "cafe" in the name, most people don't realize that the cat cafe is, in fact, just part regular old cafe - for a good cause, of course, & so I like to do my part to spread the word.

So what are you waiting for? Check out affoGATO Cat Cafe here in Cleveland, or find a cat cafe near you - & let me know how it goes!

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