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Where to find Los Angeles' 1st cat café and what to expect




Los Angeles' first cat café, the Catfé, is a pop-up that's open in Chinatown from October 2-5
Los Angeles' first cat café, the Catfé, is a pop-up that's open in Chinatown from October 2-5
Leo Duran/KPCC
Los Angeles' first cat café, the Catfé, is a pop-up that's open in Chinatown from October 2-5
Cat Cleo bounds up some shelves in LA's first cat cafe.
Leo Duran/KPCC
Los Angeles' first cat café, the Catfé, is a pop-up that's open in Chinatown from October 2-5
Interviewees at the Catfé were sometimes reluctant to open up.
Leo Duran/KPCC
Los Angeles' first cat café, the Catfé, is a pop-up that's open in Chinatown from October 2-5
Onlookers peer inside LA's first cat cafe, hoping to get an early preview of the felines ready to play.
Leo Duran/KPCC
Los Angeles' first cat café, the Catfé, is a pop-up that's open in Chinatown from October 2-5
Crowds of people wait outside LA's first cat cafe, the Catfé
Leo Duran/KPCC
Los Angeles' first cat café, the Catfé, is a pop-up that's open in Chinatown from October 2-5
KPCC's Leo Duran makes new friends with Cleo at the Catfé. But he has another cat at home to already call his own.
Leo Duran/KPCC
Los Angeles' first cat café, the Catfé, is a pop-up that's open in Chinatown from October 2-5
One cat wakes up to explore his kennel. All cats are adoptable through the Best Friends Animal Society.
Leo Duran/KPCC
Los Angeles' first cat café, the Catfé, is a pop-up that's open in Chinatown from October 2-5
Founder Carlos Wong plays a song off his phone for one cat, Tom, as a toy dangles from overhead.
Leo Duran/KPCC
Los Angeles' first cat café, the Catfé, is a pop-up that's open in Chinatown from October 2-5
One of the doormen, "Shinya," ushers people in and out of LA's first cat cafe, the Catfé
Leo Duran/KPCC
Los Angeles' first cat café, the Catfé, is a pop-up that's open in Chinatown from October 2-5
Admission to the Catfé varies according to how much time you'd like to spend inside, and some people have made reservations ahead of time.
Leo Duran/KPCC
Los Angeles' first cat café, the Catfé, is a pop-up that's open in Chinatown from October 2-5
A kitten slumbers in the window of the Catfé. All cats come from the Best Friends Animal Society.
Leo Duran/KPCC
Los Angeles' first cat café, the Catfé, is a pop-up that's open in Chinatown from October 2-5
LA's first cat cafe was an Instagram/selfie heaven for people waiting to attend.
Leo Duran/KPCC


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We know that cats rule the Internet, but for just this weekend they're sinking their claws into LA's Chinatown for a pop-up cat café, too.

Yes — a cat café. We're not kidding.

Catfé is the brainchild of Carlos Wong who originally made a Kickstarter earlier this year to open one up, modeling it after ones in Japan.

This pop-up in Chinatown's Far East Plaza is a proof-of-concept and might evolve into a permanent location in Little Tokyo.

It's a pretty simple idea: Sign up for a free time slot (or pay $30 to reserve one), get some food or drinks nearby from places like Starry Kitchen and Chego, and then head over to the Catfé to hang out with cats.

Wong says what's different about this one from catfés in Japan — which are designed for relaxation — is that he puts more focus on adoption.

"At shelters, cats can be very scared, very skittish," he says. "But when I was in Japan — I lived there for a year — and the cats there kind of thrive in that environment."

All the cats come from the Best Friends Animal Society, and all are available to be taken to a new home.

There are about 3o cats who will be a part of Catfé, with about eight in the common area at any given time.

But on opening day, there were far more humans outside clamoring to get in.

"My family is allergic, otherwise I would have like seven of them," says Sarah Johnson, who was anxiously awaiting for her chance to cuddle one.

Wong says it's a great chance for other people who can't have cats for various reasons to socialize with these felines, or perhaps take one home.

For cat owners, you can get your fix for more kitty stuff next door at a pop-up of the pet boutique Pussy & Pooch.

Cat bowtie, anyone?