Cat cafes seem to be more than a passing trend in New York City. Little Lions, a cat cafe and teahouse, opened in SoHo last week, making it the third permanent cat cafe to open in the city.
Owner Erin McShane said she opened Little Lions, at 40 Grand St., to bring together her two loves, “cats and tea.”
“When I moved here, I couldn’t have pets, so I starting volunteering to fill the hole in my heart,” she said.
Volunteering at shelters encouraged her to open the cat cafe, she said, because she saw that cats were miserable as they moved from shelter to foster home to shelter and back again. They didn’t have a chance to be comfortable and show their true selves to people, she said.
McShane partnered with Best Friends, an animal adoption agency that has just begun working in New York City. The cats are adopted through Best Friends, and all the cats that live at Little Lions were previously in foster homes.
Little Lions, just like Meow Parlour and Koneko, is set up with two separate spaces in order to comply with health regulations. One room is the cafe, where guests can order tea or baked goods from Balthazar, and the other is the cat room. Guests can move their beverages and snacks between the two spaces, but separate employees handle the food and felines.
The response has been positive. Three cats were adopted, and two more were in the process of being adopted as of Monday morning.
McShane says reservations are suggested ($11 for 60 minutes) on weekends and weeknights, but daytime hours are less busy.