with assistance from Sienna Hostetter
Love them or not, you must admit, there is just something about cats that people can’t get enough of. Maybe it’s because they were once worshipped as gods in Egyptian times (and they never let us forget it!) or maybe it’s the love affair with internet cat videos and their wild comedic antics. Whatever strikes your cat fancy, everyone knows a cat nestled in your lap, happily purring away can melt away all the troubles of the world.
Did you also know that studies show that spending time with a cat can lower stress levels, reduce anxiety, and even alleviate symptoms of depression? Maybe you love cats, but your husband is allergic (like me). Or perhaps you enjoy furry friends, just not cat fur all over your own sofa. The good news is, thanks to the rise of cat cafes in North Georgia, you can relax with coffee and snacks, while enjoying the company of a few friendly felines.
Join us as we enjoy the “purr-fect” day at North Georgia’s cat cafes.
FurKids Cat Café, Cumming
Opening in late November, this brand-new cat café is more than just a chance to cozy up with cats, but to adopt them too! FurKids has transformed the former grounds of the Wakoola Water Gardens in Cumming to much more than its former glory. The lush landscape, fountains and koi gardens have come back to life and create a picture-perfect setting with its newly constructed state-of-the-art animal sanctuary, vet services and pet adoption facility. The beautiful new event space Shiloh Gardens even hosts weddings and other special events for animal lovers everywhere.
And now Georgia’s largest no-kill animal shelter is opening a fresh new cat café, so guests can grab a cup of coffee or drink of their choice and sit and relax with adoptable cats looking for a snuggle and a forever home. Watch out though, you may just fall in love. The rustic chic ambiance of their all-new cat shelter and adoption center is attached to the screened-in café, comes complete with a hot cup of joe and a cat-warmed lap ideal for chasing away the chills of winter. There will be approximately 4 – 5 rotating, adoptable cats roaming the café at any given time, and more furry friends can be met at the nearby shelter, which boasts cage-free cat rooms and animal support areas. Adoptions are $85 for one adult cat, 6 months of age or older, and always come with an adopt one cat, get a buddy (another cat) for free! For kittens, its $125 for one kitten or $200 for two. There is no adoption fee for senior cats (8 years and older), FeLV and FIV+ cats. Plus, seniors, teachers, active military, veterans, first responders and nurses get a 15 percent discount. Applications can be filled out online. And as a special treat, all guests will certainly enjoy a beautiful walk around the FurKids’ expansive gardens, fountains and ponds for a truly rejuvenating winter afternoon.
Reservations: Open by appointment, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day
Food and Drinks Available: No food, but does include a self-serve coffee/drink station and a relaxing café, too
Special Events available: Yes, at adjacent Shiloh Gardens event space
Cats Available for Adoption: Yes
Admission Fee: No but must make appointment in advance.
Planning a visit: 5235 Union Hill Road, Cumming, 770-613-0880; furkids.org
The Catfe in the heart of Lawrenceville boasts several long-term feline friends as well as handmade drinks, sandwiches and some amazing homemade pies! Its earthy tones provide a natural warmth and invite you in like an old friend by creating a relaxing atmosphere to unwind and rejuvenate.
The owners are the cat-loving local couple Roger and Brittany, who created this place with the hope of bringing a sense of community and leaving “the world better than they found it.” Housed in a refurbished home, the cafe contains fanciful art, a variety of seating areas, expansive cat trees and playthings galore, as well as a library full of books to peruse and ponder. Here you will meet theirHome four loveable cats, each with a unique personality—Sugar, Cinnamon, Basticat, and Biscuit—who are quite sociable and adore petting. They have “the run” of the house, which includes a front porch for privacy in case they get overwhelmed by their human guests from time to time. But never fear, on our visit, three of the four were happily socializing with guests. You may not pick up the cats, but you are free to pet and play with these sweet kitties during your stay. And take special note that all cats belong to the Catfe and cannot be adopted, so if adoption is on your mind, choose our other cat café options.
Guests can enjoy a diverse drink menu of frappes, smoothies, teas, coffees, espressos and more while also offering a hearty lunch of handmade sandwiches, meat and cheese boards, and homemade pies (by the slice or whole pie). Speaking of those pies, all are made in house with the owners’ own recipes, offering up treats like Key Lime, Peanut Butter, Pina Colada and Walnut Crème.
The Catfe has a comforting, friendly vibe and is a great place to sit down for a cup of coffee, a slice (or whole pie—we won’t tell) and chill for a spell with a cat on your lap. Sounds like heaven to us.
Visiting Hours: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday. Closed Sunday – Tuesday
Reservations: Not required
Food and Drinks Available: Yes, and its delicious
Special Events available: Yes
Cats Available for Adoption: No
Admission Fee: No
Planning a visit: 426 Bethesda School Road, Lawrenceville; 770-206-0971; thecatfeco.com
Habicat—A Cat Café, Clayton
Teaming up with the local shelter, Rabun Paws 4 Life, Habicat—A Cat Café in Clayton houses and fosters up to 15 cats at a time that are available to meet and greet as well as adopt. As you walk into the main entrance of Habicat, you are greeted by the café portion with comfortable seating and large windows that offer a wide-eyed view of the Habicat Lounge, where cats are free to frolic and play. The café offers a variety of drinks, such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate, soft drinks as well as a selection of individually packaged sweets and snacks. You will also be able to indulge the cat fancier in you at the gift shop that includes cat themed toys, gifts and “feline-approved” apparel.
Now that you’ve relaxed and snacked, it’s off to the Habicat Lounge, where you can hang with the real stars of the show, the adoptable kitties that love to cuddle and play with all the guests. The lounge is designed for comfort, for both the cats and their human guests. Are you a self-ascribed neat freak or suffering from allergies? Loose hair is kept to a minimum because the room is vacuumed several times each day and HEPA air purifiers keep the air fresh and nearly odor-free. Should you fall madly in love with one of the host cats and wish to adopt, the fee is just $65. And the fact that each kitty is well socialized, plays well with others, and is microchipped, vaccinated, on preventative medicine and has been spayed and neutered, they are ready for their new “furever” family. Now, all they need is you!
Visiting Hours: Noon to 6 p.m. on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Reservations Needed: No, only for groups of eight or more
Special Events available: Yes
Cats Available for Adoption: Yes
Admission Fee: Yes, $8 per person for 30 minutes; $15 per person for 1 hour. Groups of eight or more, email [email protected] at least 2 days before.
Planning a visit: 613 Hwy. 441 Suite 1, Clayton, 706-782-2666; habicatcafe.com