Help New York City Open Its First Permanent Cat Café

Remember when Purina ONE gave New York City a small glimpse inside the world of the cat café earlier this spring at 168 Bowery? There were free baked goods and coffee, and the weeklong pop-up, in collaboration with the North Shore Animal League, allowed cat lovers to interact directly with a number of adoptable cats, in hopes of doing a little matchmaking.

Now, it looks like New York City might finally be getting its first-ever permanent "cat sanctuary and teahouse," courtesy of a campaign from a company called Little Lions.

According to Gothamist, founder Erin McShane knew as a result of the earlier pop-up that New York was finally ready for a permanent cat café. Little Lions will likely offer "a coffee option but probably not a full barista menu," and small items that are cat-safe and made off-site.

So far, McShane has been in close contact with the city's Department of Health and told Gothamist that she feels "very confident they will provide both an approval and an A health grade."

According to their crowdsourcing campaign, Little Lions' mission is to "provide a haven where the needy felines of New York City can thrive. In this serene oasis, humans and cats will be able to bond and realize the mutual benefits of each other's' company, while friends and fellow cat lovers share a pot of tea and a truly special experience." 

Both kittens and adult cats will be part of the sanctuary; adult cats are most often in need of a home. Little Lions will partner with Anjellicle Cat Rescue, a no-kill shelter and not-for-profit organization that helps care for stray and neglected cats. All the cats will be adoptable, and prospective owners will undergo a screening process of sorts, including a home visit. 

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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.