CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Community members will soon have the purrfect place to relax and socialize with cats.
Cheyenne’s first cat café, Catz N Coffee Connections, will have its grand opening this Saturday, April 1 at 10 a.m. at 615 W. 20th St.
Cat cafés are enclosed storefronts that shelter domesticated cats. People are able to play with the cats and purchase food or drinks inside the café. Unlike animal shelters or clinics, the cafés don’t accept or provide services to strays or surrendered cats.
The origins of these animal-friendly places can be traced back to Taiwan in the 1990s. The concept has became popular worldwide, and there are roughly 144 cat cafés in the U.S.
Wyoming’s first cat café opened in Casper in January.
Inspired by her love for animals and desire to share the cat café experience with locals, Cheyenne resident Jami Eastman-Raffa decided to open Catz N Coffee Connections.
The nine cats currently living at the café come from the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, the St. Francis Animal Shelter in Buffalo and the Laramie Peak Humane Society in Douglas.
“They get to live here cage-free,” Eastman-Raffa said. “They can walk around, sleep where they want, and get lots of pets.”
All the animals are available for adoption. The café will house more cats from the shelters in the upcoming months, she said.
To ensure that both cats and visitors have a relaxing experience, feline fans should make an appointment online before visiting the café.
“The main goal is to have a quiet, comfortable place for people to come … hang out with cats and have a cup of coffee,” Eastman-Raffa said. “That’s why we have a limited number of people who can come per hour.”
There is also a $14 entry fee per person, which helps cover cat-related expenses including heat, food and vet costs.
As a cat lover, Eastman-Raffa said she finds the animals comforting and hopes residents will enjoy the new café.
“Cats just give me comfort,” she said. “They are always so friendly and make you feel good. They just want to be loved.”
Cats N Coffee Connections is located at 615 W. 20th St. and will open Wednesday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The café is closed every Tuesday.