For as long as we can remember cafes, they have been a gathering place to drink coffee, relax, hash out those last minute writing assignments and engage in our unhealthy modern day caffeine addiction, but cafes are now becoming...pet hangouts? The cat cafe idea started in Taiwan in 1998, and was popularized in Japan in the 2000's, due to the fact that many people in Japan live in small apartments that do not allow house pets.
The Dog Cafe LA was the first dog cafe in America, and they are primarily interested in teaching people about adopting a pet. What’s so strange about these cafes, you ask? Cats do not serve you while wearing little waiter outfits as they wheel out a cart with an assortment of different drinks and treats being run by some Gordon Ramsey dog look-a-like. Both of these cafes have been open just about a year and are making good headway towards becoming the trendy spots for pet lovers.
CRUMBS & WHISKERS
Crumbs & Whiskers is like an Ikea with cats wandering around. As you relax drinking tea, a cat randomly stops sleeping and tears up the wall, like Wolverine in an X-Men movie.
PRICE As for price, the place does ask for reservations that last about an hour and charges a missed reservation fee of $22. The locale offers cookies, lattes, iced drinks, and hot chocolate for no more than what you would spend at a Starbucks. Overall, the place is pretty affordable, has a nice selection of treats, provides complimentary polaroids and all the proceeds help house the cats. This chic, modern hipster locale is trying in its efforts to give stray cats home and that’s pretty sweet.
"As you relax drinking tea, a cat randomly stops sleeping and tears up the wall, like Wolverine in an X-Men movie. ..."
Cat's Name: Schrodinger
Ah, yes, the furry little things napping in peace, running up walls like Peter Parker, and playing with the variety of toys that the Crumbs & Whiskers staff provides. When you come in, the staff goes through the proper etiquette for playing with the cats: Be nice and don’t wake them (I would be a little angry too if I was woken up) and enjoy yourself. The cafe offers toys such as a mouse on a piece of rope, a feather with some beads and some laser pointers, a few combs in case you want to pet the cats, and board games in case the cats are busy...well...being cats. Overall, the experience was great and there’s plenty of different ways to enjoy the place. If one of the cats catches your eye and you want to get a cat maybe adopt a cat and name him Peter Parker? You can.
DECOR The decor is a very simple but it’s the simplicity that makes it have such a visually resounding impact. They have a neon sign that speaks to the tired college student’s soul inside me and makes me have a slight laugh at the thought of spending time with "Cats Before Bros". The place has a very comfy, cozy, and pink feeling. In my opinion, neon pink the new black.
The Dog Cafe LA
Unlike Ikea with cats, The Dog Cafe felt like a state penitentiary with tired looking dogs and the smell of ammonia. Every time the door opened, the dogs rushed to the door, trying to pull a Shawshank Redemption. You can drink a rose flavored lemonade and make friends with an adorable black-eyed dalmatian puppy with a blue and green tennis ball.
PRICE The price for the cafe was $15 and included a free drink. The place does also ask for a reservation and has a variety of drinks that are slightly less expensive than the Cat Cafe. In essence, the same rules apply with a slightly cheaper price.
EXPERIENCE The experience was rather good, the dogs were somewhat tired because it was somewhat late in the afternoon but they still managed to make a lasting impression with their playfulness. Overall, the dogs were really relaxed and spent a good deal of time cuddling with a couple of the people there.
You gotta love Tucker's face.
DECOR The Dog Cafe had its own unique style and a very similar design to Crumbs and Whiskers with their “Pups + Cups.” The place had a very cozy living room appeal to it. The place offers its own toys to play with the dogs. The dogs were very cute especially the one little guy called Tucker who was teething and treating my finger like a sausage that got stuck in his teeth.
Look at this babe.
Both of these cafes have their respective pros and cons. I think that you should check them both out, be it a dog-based reenactment of Shawshank Redemption or a useless but adorable IKEA store manager that meows instead of answering your questions concerning that sweet dining set. The staff are nice, their missions are wholeheartedly in support of providing strays with homes and reducing the amount of strays on the streets. Essentially, these cafes provide a very interesting take on the modern day cafe, providing a one-of-a-kind experience that promotes the idea of adopting pets.