Chicago Has Officially Approved Its First Cat Café

By Emma G. Gallegos in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 17, 2016 4:32PM

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Here's a little guy from the Tree House Humane Society

It's official: the city has approved the creation of a new cat cafe. The city approved the ordinance Wednesday, and if all goes well, this summer you should be able to visit the Tree House Humane Society's new West Rogers Park facility for your fix of caffeine and cats.

"I will be first in line for a latte and some quality time with the kittens," said Alderman of the 50th Ward Debra Silverstein, in a statement.

The Tree House Humane Society, Chicago's first no-kill cat shelter, outgrew its current facility so it broke ground at the new facility at 7225 N. Western Ave. last June. Cat cafés have popped up all over the world, but this one will be somewhat unusual because it is connected to a shelter.

The Cat Café will be on the first floor of the building. There will be a coffee bar with full-length glass windows that will serve coffee, tea and espresso drinks. In an adjacent sitting room, you can sip your coffee and pet cats. Tree House hopes that this will be a good way for people to get to know adoptable cats at the shelter before taking them home, but it will also help to raise money for their work rescuing and rehabbing kitties. (You can also donate to support their work here.)

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Artist rendering of new facility courtesy Tree House

The rest of the facility has "cageless colony rooms" including "catios" and a humane education center. Tree House Executive Director Dave de Funiak released a statement:

"We are extremely grateful to Alderman Silverstein and the City Council for making this dream a reality and for paving the way for cat cafés to operate in Chicago. The Tree House Cat Café will provide a unique opportunity for individuals to interact with our rescued, adoptable cats, ultimately helping more animals find their forever homes and enabling us to rescue even more. As an organization, our focus is to create a compassionate community and transform animal welfare in Chicago and across the country, and the Cat Café is one more way we can accomplish this."

The facility is expected to open mid-year 2016.