LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Cat lovers, rejoice! Indiana’s third cat café is coming to Lafayette this fall.
Lazy Cat Lounge will be opening on 856 Main Street in November of this year, according to co-owner Kennedy Van Meter. A registered veterinarian’s assistant and a lifetime lover of cats, Van Meter and her husband, Zach Van Meter, are working to open Lafayette’s first-ever cat café.
Cat cafés began in Asia but quickly spread, with the first American cat café opening in New York in 2014. Van Meter said she was inspired by Asian culture, specifically by the Japanese cat cafés after she and her husband visited.
Before, the only other places in the state where you could get a fill of cats and cafes were at Nine Lives Cat Café in Indianapolis and River Kitty Cat Café in Evansville. But it was time for one in Lafayette, Van Meter said, and signed a two-year lease on the building.
Renovations have already begun on the building, which will feature a space divided between a café for the humans and a lounge for the cats. For people with allergies who may not be able to come in direct contact with the cats, Lazy Cat Lounge has a glass wall separating the two parts of the building for viewing.
In the café area, customers will be able to purchase drinks including coffee, tea, juices and the Ramune, a type of Japanese soda. Inside the lounge, customers will pay an hourly fee of $9, which gives them access to freely interact with anywhere from 8-12 cats that could be roaming the lounge at any time.
The cats at Lazy Cat Lounge will be provided by My New Cat Rescue, a Lafayette-based charity dedicated to finding homes for homeless cats.
My New Cat Rescue is a foster-based animal shelter, so the cats will go back to foster homes in the evening after the café is closed.
Robyn Poole, president of My New Cat Rescue said she was “so thrilled” to be working with Van Meter. The rescue is a foster-based network and a 501(c)3 nonprofit that Poole has been running since 2012. All of the cats My New Cat Rescue will be providing to Lazy Cat Lounge will be spayed, neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and come with a complimentary wellness exam.
Any person interested in adopting one of the cats from the café will fill out an application, which will be looked over by My New Cat Rescue and either approved or denied.
Adoption fees are $70 for kittens and $40 for adult cats.
Mostly, Poole is excited to give some of the cats a new space to shine to their potential new owners.
“We’re so excited to have a place to show off the cats that we know have great personalities, but aren’t always noticed by people.”
“I noticed that due to space and budgets, cats in shelters are often kept in very small cages, not getting a chance to shine with the public,” Van Meter said. “People visiting cat cafés can experience what it’s like to have a cat—their personality, how they interact with humans—and happy, relaxed cats find homes much faster.”
The cats in the café aren’t just there for entertainment: all will be available for adoption. Van Meter said Lazy Cat Lounge will work closely with My New Cat Rescue, and any money from the adoption goes directly back to the rescue.
“We want to give the cats a nice, interactive space, hopefully so they’ll find a forever home,” Van Meter said.
Emily DeLetter is a news reporter for Journal & Courier. Contact her at (765)420-5205 or via email at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @EmilyDeLetter.