It seems everywhere we go recently people have been abuzz about the new cat cafe that opened in mid November. Although other cities around the world have opened similar establishments, this is the first of its kind in Toronto. So we knew we had to go check it out. And boy were we glad we did!
Located at 298 College St., TOT the Cat Cafe offers up tea, coffee and treats like any other cafe, but with a serious twist—there are cats involved! Starting at the storefront window and extending back into the cafe is a glass-enclosed room housing several cute and cuddly friends. The room is filled with ramps, scratching posts, comfy beds and hideaways for the cats to run, play, hide and sleep to their hearts' content. And mixed among the cats are very happy people playing with and patting those adorable kitties.
So, how does it work? Well, first you make your way to the back of the cafe to grab a tea, coffee or dessert. This acts as your price of admission into the cat room. There's tea, coffee, espresso drinks and slices of cake to enjoy. We had a roobios Marseille soy latte and it was delicious! When you pick up your drink you will also take that time to put your name down on the waiting list.
The very friendly and helpful cashier explained the waiting time for us on the Friday night we visited around 5:30pm would be about a half hour and then we would get 20 minutes in the room. If you're planning your trip, know that she mentioned on weekends the wait time can be up to an hour or an hour and a half while on weekdays during the day there may be no wait time and you could spend up to an hour in the cat room. It sounds like they really do their best to get everyone in and give them as much time as they can with the cats.
Because the place was rather busy we stood for a bit until a table became available. The cafe has one long communal table as well as another extended along the wall. So seating is available but be aware that if you're going on a busy day, you may be standing for a bit. The decor of the cafe itself is nothing special—just pale yellow walls and a rather industrial ceiling painted black. However, they've clearly put a lot of money and attention into the cat room which is what really matters.
When our names were called we took off our shoes and put on the slippers they offered—you can also go into the room in your socks if you prefer—and were shown into the cat room. There were five adorable kittens in there. Four of them were sleeping—no doubt from a day full of being patted and played with—while one darted playfully around everyone in the room. A couple of rules they rightfully enforce is to not pick up the cats and to never wake a sleeping cat. This is obviously so important as kittens need their rest! It did mean there wasn't much for us to do on this particular day as we made sure to let the cats sleep. But it was wonderful to see their adorable faces and to hear them purring away.
Certainly the best part of the experience was witnessing one of the kittens get adopted and taken home right before our very eyes. That's a big purpose of TOT the Cat Cafe and it was incredible to see it happen. All the cats in the cafe are up for adoption from the Toronto Humane Society, so if you make a connection with one you can fill out an application form and hopefully take him or her home with you soon!
Visiting TOT the Cat Cafe was such an enjoyable and unique experience, we hope you'll get a chance to visit too! The cafe is open from 10AM to 8PM Monday to Sunday and their phone number is 647-748-2287 if you have any questions. Happy kitten cuddling!