Hartsfield opens Tallahassee’s first cat café

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Inspired by the cat cafés in Japan, secondary visual arts teacher Michelle Hartsfield opened the Fat Cat Cafe to turn her love of cats into something everyone can enjoy. One side of the café is a coffee shop selling drinks, snacks and Fat Cat Cafe merchandise. On the other side is a play area where customers can play and interact with felines. The café also offers events for kids such as rock painting, coloring and birthday parties with kittens.

The Fat Cat Cafe gives people the unique ability to both dine and play with adoptable cats, functioning as an adoption center. Unlike other animal shelters, it provides a comfortable environment for both the cats and the customers. Customers can go inside the cat room for a fee of $7 per hour, where there are plenty of cat toys and places to sit.

The café, although small, offers a variety of food and drinks, including coffee from the local Lucky Goat Cafe. However, the main attraction is the cat room. There are typically 8-12 cats in the café at any given time, all of whom are available for adoption. There are a wide variety of cats available, from kittens to adults. All of the cats are very friendly, and the café allows people to decide which cat best suits their personality if they are considering adoption.

Though currently limited in the coffee shop, Hartsfield hopes to be able to soon expand the café to include more food and drinks. Other improvements could include more cats, decorations and more merchandise.

The Fat Cat Cafe has been a success since it’s opening in late August. With the goal of helping to clear animal shelters and provide a fun activity, the café continues to draw in crowds of students, kids and cat-lovers alike.