Cat Cafe Unites People, Felines in Bradford County

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EAST SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- A pop-up cafe in Bradford County got a lot of attention recently because it did not cater to people, but rather to cats.

The event was an open house for the Animal Care Sanctuary near Towanda.

Cats get plenty of toys and treats at the Animal Care Sanctuary. The animal shelter recently held its first "cat cafe" where the felines are able to frolic around the shelter and people can come mingle with them.

"It's a nice break from their everyday lives," said director of feline care Emily Blade. "They get to do something fun and exciting and be more social with new people and maybe make a connection that's going to send them home."

Shelter employees say cat cafes started in Japan and are popular in New York and California. They are pop-up events, which means they last a few days.

"Just for a couple of days people can come and socialize with the cats, hopefully, want to take one home, but also have a cup of coffee, cup of tea," said director Joan Smith-Reese.

The Animal Care Sanctuary used the cat cafe as a way to introduce the public to its cat population. Shelter employees say the event resulted in three adoptions so far.

"The humans get to play with the cats and read books and drink coffee. It's just kind of like a fun outing for them, plus they get to help these cats prepare better for a life in a home with a family," said Blade.

"It's not an enterprise, a restaurant, or anything like that. It's just a lot of fun," added Smith-Reese.

The cat cafe will reopen later this month when kids from the Bradford County Library will come for story hour.

"We want to get some school groups in here and just really encourage reading and socialization with the animals," Blade said.

The Animal Care Sanctuary plans to open the cat cafe every few months. Get more information here.

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