These 5 Virginia cat cafes are the cat’s meow

Photo by Camden & Hailey George

By Amie Knowles

May 29, 2024

There are two general “likes” that people know about me: 1) I like cats and 2) I like coffee. Across the commonwealth, there exist a multitude of magnificent places that cater to both of those adorations—and they’re called cat cafes.

While I didn’t see a cat until I visited Hot Springs, Arkansas, last year, the concept actually started decades ago. The first cat cafe launched in Taiwan in 1998, and quickly became a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Since then, they’ve become a global phenomenon: The Cat Cafe reports locations in Korea, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, and more.

You don’t have to travel the world to enjoy a sweet treat with a kitten. There are nine cat cafes in our commonwealth, and we’re exploring five standouts today. At each of our featured locations, the kitties are up for adoption. Just be sure to check each site for guidelines and reservations, as many locations have age restrictions and select admission practices.

Catnip Cat Cafe

Location: 1611 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA 23517

Website: https://catnipcatcafe.com/

You know what they say—the Catnip Cat Cafe is the cat’s meow. Home to Hampton Roads’ first experience of its kind, the cafe offers kitty cuddles, a beverage, and even wifi during appointments.

“Catnip Cat Cafe has 2,000 square feet of space for our adoptable shelter cats to roam freely 24/7,” the website reads. “This setup provides the kitties with the opportunity to really get comfortable and show off their sparkling personalities to you.”

While kittens are super cute, Catnip specializes in featuring adult and senior cat companions. All of the adoptable cats are either spayed or neutered and are up to date on vaccinations.

Mount Purrnon Cat Café + Wine Bar

Location: 109 S Alfred St, Alexandria, VA 22314

Website: https://www.mtpurrnoncatcafe.com/

We’re pretty purrsitive you’ll enjoy this local hangout. The Mount Purrnon Cat Café + Wine Bar is exactly what it sounds like. Serving everything from salads and sandwiches to coffee and mead, there’s no lack of “creature comforts” at this Alexandria spot.

With hourly, daily, and monthly rates, the cafe has offerings to fit consumers’ budget and time needs. The money raised through reservations go toward “saving, housing, and caring for cats until they find their forever homes,” according to the website.

Aristocat Cafe

Location: 111 N Liberty St, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22802

Website: https://www.aristocat.cafe/

Offering “fine teas and felines,” this Harrisonburg cat cafe is nestled right in the heart of the downtown district. As of May 28, a total of 127 cats found their fur-ever homes through the program.

Guests have the option to book by the hour—or if they’re true cat enthusiasts, the space can accommodate up to 10 people for a private party.

Kitty City Cat Cafe

Location: 601 Salem Ave SW, Roanoke, VA 24016

Website: https://www.kittycitycatcafe.com/

There are plenty of spectacular finds in the Blue Ridge Indie Market, but one feature inside the space is especially perfect for cat lovers—that’s the Kitty City Cat Cafe, of course! All of the feline friends come from local shelters, and most are up for adoption.

“Only [eight to 12] feline friends reside in Kitty City at a time, so we strictly limit the number of visitors allowed in at a time to make sure that both humans and kitties have a pleasant experience,” according to the website.

Meows Corner

Location: 21435 Epicerie Plaza, Suite 115, Sterling, VA 20165

Website: https://www.meowscorner.com/

Whether you’ve got time on the weekdays or weekends, the kitties at Meows Corner in Sterling are ready for your visit. The cat cafe offers both one and two-hour visits, as well as opportunities for private events.

Want to be a part of the mission? There are currently volunteer positions open for a donation coordinator, cat transporter, and social media contributor. Contact [email protected] for more information on volunteering at the cat cafe.

  • Amie Knowles

    Amie is Dogwood's community editor. She has been in journalism for several years, winning multiple awards from the Virginia Press Association for news and features content. A lifelong Virginia resident, her work has appeared in the Martinsville Bulletin, Danville Register & Bee and NWNC Magazine.

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