Dating can be rough but made easier when you know you already have a fundamental aspect in common: You’re both pet lovers. You’ve swiped right on each other on FetchaDate, had a chat and now are ready to meet in person. Are you not quite ready you should bring your pets? Well, here’s a new trend that’ll have you purring (or not) over your new date and a way to test your pet-friendly meter.

You’ve matched with dog lovers prior and tried out some of the best dog parks and know how your date reacts to dogs. But maybe this time you matched with a cat person. If you have cats, too, here is a good spot where you two can hang out: a cat café!

KuDa Photography, Purrington’s Cat Lounge, Portland, OR

What’s a cat café?

The downside to a cat cafe is you can’t bring your own feline WingPet with you. However, you can find yourself surrounded by cats—most likely adoptable—who are ready to play, cuddle, and maybe even snatch a bite of your pastry. Many cat cafés have seating inside the cafe where you purchase food and drink; sometimes with or separate from kittens.

Cat cafés originated in Taiwan and have been popping up in cities all over the U.S.

Are you more of a dog lover at heart? This is an opportunity to open your mind and see how some cats can be “dog-like.” If you give them a chance, you may be surprised to find out how well you can bond with cats. Who knows? By the end of the date, you may want to take a special someone home with you. (Hey, I mean an adoptable cat!)

So I can take one (or two) of the cats home?

Yes! Most cat cafés have teamed up with local shelters and rescue organizations to house and find forever homes for these café kitties. You may find more than one love interest on this date—and that’s ok! If you’re hitting it off with your date and the cats, what a memorable way to start or continue your relationship. It’s something you’ll both remember doing together.

Keep in mind that cats need stimulation and enrichment just like active dogs. They’d be climbing trees and chasing prey if they were outside. So thinking they’re content to hang in a windowsill all day could be tiresome for them after a while. Cat toys and playtime are needed as well to keep them occupied and happy.

Why your next date should be at a cat café

Animals are an amazing ice breaker for a first date. It’s why your pet (real or virtual) is what people see first in FetchaDate. Animals provide conversation starters and are proven catalysts for building relationships.

Did you know that petting a cat triggers the release of oxytocin (aka the love hormone) the same that happens when you pet a dog? The release of oxytocin increases relaxation and social bonding. Paired with cat-themed menu items, cat latte art, and cats, you can’t help but smile on this date.

Things to know before visiting a cat café

A visit to a cat café may take a little planning. Most cafés require a reservation with a set time for visiting the kittens. This is especially true during COVID-19 times. Some cat cafés serve wine and beer alongside food items. Just remember not to let a cat sneak off with a bite of your sandwich! If you want to feel the breeze in your whiskers, look for a cat café that features a catio (patio + cat = catio).

The catio at CatCafe Lounge, LA’s only nonprofit cat cafe

Some cat cafés also offer special events, including cat yoga and trivia, so check out their calendars before planning your date.

Tail Tale Signs
Some cats can be finicky. Before heading out for your date, let’s brush you up on what a cat’s body language means. These cat tail facts are great hints for when to pet a cat and when to let sleeping dogs, eh, cats lie.

Tail signs can mean:

  • Whipping tail on alert cat—nervousness, potential aggression, and/or do not touch
  • Straight-up tail with hooked tip—friendly greeting
  • Straight-up tail—aggressive sign
  • Tail up, puffed and arched back—fearful
  • Tail moving while sleeping—dreaming

Most of all, be kind and patient with the cats (and your date, in case one of you is more into this than the other). While many cats love the interaction, safety comes first. Never grab a cat simply to impress your date without the cat looking like (s)he is into it, too. Your date seeing how well you bond with a feline score you date points anyway. Use them wisely.