The worldwide popularity of cat cafes is mostly attributed to the Japanese, with Japan home to around 60 cafes dedicated to cat guests. Cat cafes have been popular in Europe for some time and have spread across North America, with the United States getting in on the action. Oakland, California was the site of the opening of the first coffee shop in 2014 and the buzz it generated was palpable.
You may find many cute cat cafes in the United States that also help find homes for strays. However, NEKO cat cafe takes that concept and adds a deeply sentimental twist by offering particularly hard-to-adopt cats a place to meet their forever family.
Everything there is to know about the mission of NEKO Cat Cafe
NEKO takes its name from the Japanese word for cat and is one of the trendiest cat cafes in the country. Located in Seattle’s hip Capitol Hill neighborhood, NEKO fits the area perfectly with its tongue-in-cheek decor and bohemian vibe. That Cats in NEKO are all FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) positive.
Many people believe misinformation about feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and the longevity of FeLV positive cats. Corresponding Best Friends Animal Society“The reality is that cats that test positive for the virus can remain healthy for months or years after diagnosis, until the virus becomes active.” In cases where the cat is diagnosed as an adult, she has one Chance to live another 10-15 years.
Most people cannot tell the difference between an FeLV positive and negative cat, but a positive result indicates the cat has a compromised immune system. Although it increases their risk of developing diseases like cancer, it’s not necessarily deadly.
Cats infected with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) cannot stay in the same room as healthy cats because they get the virus through their mothers or through the saliva of infected cats. Because of this, they used to be euthanized in shelters, but that is no longer the case.
NEKO Cafe and its adorable furry residents
Neko’s interior is just as appealing as its exterior thanks to the warm lighting and modern decor. Coffee, “Appetizers”, wine and beer are available in the restaurant area of the cafe. BeanFish offers the takara (Japanese candy) and a bakery in the neighborhood supplies the cookies.
The cat room sets this eatery apart from the standard Hill Cafe. Especially adorable is the cat play area, which features cat-shaped tables, cat-shaped toys, cat-shaped pillows, wheatgrass, and cat-sized climbing structures. The cats have access to some alone time through a side entrance with males identifiable by their dapper bow ties.
Several cats at NEKO Cafe stay there, but the rest of the cat crew are looking for new homes. NEKO is a nice halfway house for these cats, allow them to meet and interact with other cats, People who take care of them and staff until they find their final home.
NEKO has welcomed over 340 cats between its Seattle and Bellingham facilities, including over a hundred cats with special needs.
Adoption numbers fluctuate monthly based on demand from their shelter partner and the availability of adoptable cats at the cafe. When the shelter is busy, NEKO will always find a way to accommodate as many cats as possible. There are now 11-15 cats at the Seattle facility and 20-25 cuddly residents at the Bellingham location.
Every cat has different needs and personalities. A new cat can enter the cat room and immediately accept adoration. In contrast, another NEKO may need quickly find an adopter with a quiet home to open up to, and still others may require a great deal of personal affection from the staff before they feel safe around human visitors or other cats. The café welcomes all cats and looks forward to working with the most demanding.
Insights into the mind of the owner of the NEKO Café
After three years in Japan and Vietnam Caitlin Unsell fell in love with the cat cafe Culture. She taught a kindergarten in Japan, and in her free time, she and her partner Cory frequented as many cat cafes as possible, hoping to open their own when they returned to the United States.
She has been in the restaurant business for ten years and her passion for cats inspired her to open NEKO Seattle and later NEKO Bellingham. Guests can bring their friends for happy hour or their niece on Saturday mornings to the place that they and their partner made. NEKO’s main goal is to help the most disadvantaged cats and they work hard to provide a sanctuary for cats and a relaxing sanctuary for their human visitors.
- Popular menu items at NEKO: Black Raven Kitty Kat, a catnip and blueberry-infused pale ale, filtered or unfiltered ozeki sake, and Cat Cookie Sandwich—two chocolate chip cookies filled with dulce de leche and covered in your choice of white or dark chocolate—are among the cafe’s offerings. demand food.
- Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00am-9:45pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 9:45 p.m.
- Location: 519 E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA.