Published October 2nd, 2019 at 6:00 AM
When it comes to themed coffee houses, a midtown cafe that caters to cat lovers just might be perfect.
Whiskers Cat Cafe at 3705 Southwest Trafficway is a for-profit business with a mission to find a forever home for its resident feline friends. For just $10, customers get a cup of coffee and an hour of time in the cat lounge where they can luxuriate with almost 25 free-roaming kitties.
Owner Audrey Boese knew she wanted to introduce the concept of a cat cafe to Kansas City after visiting a Denver-based operation with a similar mission.
“After I saw the idea in action, I knew that this was something that Kansas City residents would just love,” Boese says.
Tour Whiskers Cat Cafe via the following slideshow. (Sandy Woodson | Flatland)
Whiskers Cat Cafe partners with the KC Pet Project, the largest no-kill shelter in the area, to guarantee that all their cats are fully vetted, vaccinated, spade and neutered. Membership options are available for frequent visitors and a weekly “yoga class with cats” has become a popular attraction for those wanting to truly disconnect from the outside world.
“It’s the cheapest therapy you will ever find,” says manager Jennifer Dreisewerd. “Cats are not that much different than people. They are socially selective, which means the social part of their brain is a lot like humans.”
To help control foot traffic, reservations are required, and only 12 patrons are allowed in at any one time. This ensures that the environment is always safe and stress free for the cats. With the exception of a few shy cats, who can escape to a special retreat room, most cats are eager to play and cuddle with visitors. The space is carefully designed to include plenty of places to climb, scratch and hide away, so there is no risk of boredom or exhaustion for the friendly felines.
Whiskers barista Brinlee Jones makes coffee in a welcome space right outside the cat lounge area, where customers have to check in and attend a very brief orientation before entry. The cat lounge itself is charmingly decorated with shelves that are fully equipped with books and board games. The spotless ambiance and soothing background music makes for a relaxing oasis for both cats and customers.
“A cat cafe is for everyone but I find that it’s especially good for people who have lost a pet recently and need to fill that space. Or those who live with someone who has a cat allergy; this often becomes their little escape,” Jones says.
Although the ultimate goal is to find the resident kitties a forever home, adoption is definitely not a requirement.
“Some people walk in here saying I am not adopting,” Boese says. “But sure enough, before you know it, they are filling out paperwork. Cats just have a way of sneaking into your hearts.”
At Whiskers Cat Cafe, it’s not difficult to see why.