Owner Renee Reed announced plans to open El Gato Coffeehouse Cat Café by spring 2017. El Gato has partnered with Houston Humane Society to host several adoptable cats at the café full-time. The café will be a spot where Houstonians can drink coffee, eat delicious food, hang out with cats, and even take them home. The goal of the cat café is to place as many cats in loving homes as possible. Cat lovers who aren’t ready to take Fluffy home can just enjoy mood boosting benefits of lounging around with kittens.
Cat cafés have gained viral popularity all over the world in the last year or two, but the first café popped up almost two decades ago. In 1998, the first cat café opened in Taiwan. Seven years later, the first cat café opened in Tokyo, Japan and started a wildly popular trend. This lead to over a dozen more cat cafés in the city.
The United States’ first cat café was a temporary pop-up in New York in 2014 sponsored by Purina with the goal of finding adoptable cats homes. Several permanent cafes have opened across the country since. Texas’ first permanent cat café, Blue Cat Café, opened in Austin last year. Pop-up cat cafes have hosted events in Dallas and Houston. El Gato Coffeehouse Cat Café will be Houston’s first permanent cat café.