Arts & Entertainment

Will feline fanatics flock to West Hollywood's new cat cafe?

January 1926:  A cat wearing headphones to listen to a radio.
January 1926: A cat wearing headphones to listen to a radio.
Monty Fresco/Getty Images

Would you pay for the privilege of cuddling cats while quaffing cappuccinos? Kanchan Singh is counting on it.

The young entrepreneur is about to launch full-time cat cafe Crumbs & Whiskers in West Hollywood. (There's already a Washington D.C. outpost.)

Imagine a regular coffee shop — tables, chairs, a menu board. Then imagine cats climbing fixtures on the walls. Cats running up and down the shelves. Cat trees. Warm and fuzzy floor seating. Cat toys everywhere.

"It's just a very cool mix of a normal cafe combined with your chic best friend who's a cool cat lady and has a bunch of cats in her place," Singh says.

She came up with the idea while traveling in Thailand and having a terrible day.

"Some people I met on the road took me to a cat cafe for my birthday," she says. "It was one of the most amazing experiences. I was like, why do we not have this back home?"

Combining two of her passions — business and animal welfare — Singh found a 1,400-square-foot space in West Hollywood at the corner of Melrose and Fairfax. She chose the quirky, animal-centric city because she thought, personality-wise, it'd be a good fit for a cat cafe.

L.A. was already graced with the temporary Catfe back in 2014, and more recently a dog cafe. But this will be the first full-time feline cafe.

Singh has partnered with Karma Rescue, which will provide the felines to Crumbs & Whiskers. The local nonprofit will make a point of choosing cats that enjoy socializing with humans and other cats.

If you fall for one of the whiskered faces you see while sipping your latte, you might be able to take it home. Part of the mission at Crumbs & Whiskers is to facilitate adoptions and reduce the high kill rate of shelter cats.

Up to 20 cats will live full time at the cafe until they get adopted. During the day, staffers will be on hand to take care of the animals. At night, the cats will have free reign of the space.

"Sometimes [the staff comes] back in the morning and it looks like a frat party happened there," Singh says. "All the treats are on the floor. There's pillows and cushions everywhere. But most of the time it's totally fine. We come back to a calm place with cats chilling."

Crumbs & Whiskers opens to the public on Sept. 30, although it's already hosting private events. If you want to visit, you'll need to reserve a 75-minute time slot online. The entry fee is $22 on weekdays and $25 on weekends. The cafe will be open everyday except Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.

"[Cats] probably do have a therapeutic effect," Singh says. "They're adorable, they cuddle with you. This gives people a place to get away from the stress and craziness of Los Angeles."