the adoption game isn’t an easy one for senior cats. time and again, aspiring cat parents arrive at shelters with their hearts set on a kitten, often overlooking anything that isn’t small and adorable. sadly, this leaves older cats at rescue facilities for lengthy periods of time, potentially in danger of never finding their forever homes. fortunately, there are a few organizations trying to buck the trend.
coffee and a cat.
a popular phenomenon since the late ’90s throughout Asia, where small apartment sizes and landlord policies restricted pets in residences, cat cafés allow feline fanatics a chance to interact with cats in a home-like setting without the long-term responsibilities. North America landed its first cat café in August 2014, with a slew of others quickly following. but one New York cat café is committed to moving more than just lattes.
Meow Parlour is working to shine a brighter light on older, wiser cats. since Meow Parlour isn’t technically a rescue organization, it has partnered with KittyKind, a New York City cat adoption group, to provide a unique way to help older cats find their forever homes. and the pairing has been successful: More than 50 cats have been adopted, with many more adoptions in the works.
on average, Meow Parlour fosters eight to 14 cats, which benefit from the type of social environment the café provides. foster cat personalities range from social to shy, and the café specifically tries to take in cats that have become depressed in cages at the adoption center. allowing cats to be in this type of atmosphere enables them to gain trust in people in a relaxed setting.
“we decided to have these kinds of cats at our space due to our relationships with our own rescue cats,” Christina Ha, cofounder of Meow Parlour, says. “both Meow Parlour and KittyKind have had cats that would be considered ‘imperfect’ for various reasons, but we’ve fallen in love with them by looking beyond just what they are on paper.”
cat cafés are run differently than a typical shelter. since Meow Parlour also sells food, it’s separated into two distinct spaces: Meow Parlour Patisserie, where coffee and treats are sold, and Meow Parlour, where visitors can interact with the cats. because this is not the ordinary cat adoption venue, the cat café is particularly interested in keeping a clean environment for the cats and their visitors.
“it’s really important to us to use a litter that is both chemical-free and very efficient, so that we can keep a clean and odor-free environment for our cats and customers,” explains Ha. “the sWheat Shares donation will help us allocate more resources to the enrichment of our cats’ environment, and will be a huge help with the transition to their new homes.”
to learn more about Meow Parlour, visit: meowparlour.com.
to learn more about adopting or fostering a pet from KittyKind, visit kittykind.org.
sWheat Shares™ is sWheat Scoop’s philanthropic litter donation program. each sWheat Shares partner receives 2,000 pounds of sWheat Scoop® litter for use in conjunction with its foster and shelter programs. through the rescue organization, sWheat Scoop also provides sWheat Adoption Kits to new cat owners. these kits include a 7-pound bag of sWheat Scoop litter, a temporary and disposable litter box, a certificate of adoption and other items with helpful information to help get their cat/owner relationship off to a good start.