Cat’s At Play Café


Inspired by her visit to a Charleston cat cafe, Lisa Fox determined the next phase of her life would be to bring a cat café to Asheville. Seven months after Cats at Play Café opened, they have now adopted out nearly 90 cats and established a comfortable,“catty” place to hang out downtown.

The café, at 12 Eagle Street, Asheville, NC is home to a constantly-changing group of twelve cats of varying colors, personalities and ages. Kitties are drawn from working partners Brother Wolf Animal Rescue and Heart of the Foothills Animal Rescue. They have a lovely place to spend their lives while waiting to meet their future forever family.

Soft music plays in the warmly-decorated room filled with cat art, soft places to curl up and baskets of cat toys available to entertain the residents. “We wanted to make it a fun spot,” Lisa said. She and partner Clare Owensby have created a delightful spot to take a few peaceful minutes with a hot or cold beverage surrounded by feline friends.

Unlike many pet adoption events, encounters at the café are low pressure. While all the cats are available for adoption, they still have their home there, and can stay until the right match comes along. So everyone can chill.

Kitties who are currently staying at the café are pictured on their website, In order to meet them, it’s recommended that you make a reservation. Only twelve visitors at a time are allowed to be in the cat lounge. Weekends fill first, Lisa said, and sometimes can be booked a couple of weeks out.

The café serves coffee, tea and a variety of fancy mocktails, wine, beer and cider, and also hosts a boutique with a variety of cat themed items for pets and humans alike. Visiting the cat lounge is $10 for half an hour, $15 for 55 minutes; there are special guidelines for children under 13, so check the website for details. The owners and staff, all cat lovers, are ready to welcome anyone who needs a little cat time to be “feline” fine.

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