LA’s First Cat Cafe is Now Cuddling (Er, Serving)

Kitty-loving kiddos will be in cat-cuddling heaven at Los Angeles’ first cat cafe, now open on Melrose Avenue in Mid-City. It’s aptly called Crumbs and Whiskers, and it’s a place where available shelter cats can freely mingle with coffee (and hot chocolate)-drinkers. Sound like a purr-fect outing? Read on to find out more:

cat cafe
photo: Crumbs and Whiskers

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Are You On The List?
Like any good Hollywood hotspot, your name has to be on the list before you’re allowed in. So be sure you’ve booked your 75 minute spot before you get there; you can do this online. You’ll also be asked to fill out a waiver (basically agreeing that you might get scratched, bitten or otherwise injured by cats while visiting the cafe). Then, you’re free to fraternize with the felines.

cat cafe kid
photo: Crumbs and Whiskers

Cat House Rules
Go ahead and cuddle a kitty; you’re allowed. You’re also allowed to lay down on the floor with them, dangle stuffed mice in the air above them, give them cat treats or catnip (available for $2.75 at the front desk) — or just sit back with your drink of choice and marvel at their cat-ness. Just make sure you or your kids don’t try to pick them up; that can stress out the cats, and you don’t want anyone to get scratched or bitten. Cats are screened for good temperament, but they’re cats, after all; they’ve got moods.

Parental Note: Kids must be 6 and over to be allowed admission into the cafe. 


photo: Melissa Heckscher

Cats, Cats, Everywhere
Think those shelves zigzagging across the walls are just hip modern design? Think again. Everything you see is fair game for the cats. With a rolling roster of about 15 cats at any given time, you’ll find kitties happily lounging in any appealing spot, whether it’s curled up in a basked on a bench, snoozing on the shelves high up on the wall, or plopped on the table in front of you. (Psst: We recommend hitting up the padded nook on the floor by the window. It’s super-soft and there are always a slew of kitties sound asleep there)

photo: Crumbs and Whiskers via Facebook

Would You Like a Cat With Your Coffee?
What if you or your child finds her soul-kitty? Take him home! All the cats you see at the cafe are available for adoption from Los Angeles rescue group, Karma Rescue. So if you just can’t bear to part with the furry little guy who’s been sitting on your lap for the last hour, you can fill out an adoption application on the spot and be reunited with your cat-mate when you’re approved to adopt.

Crumbs and Whiskers founder, Kanchan Signh, says the cat cafe adoption concept is the best format for the cats and the humans to find each other:

“You are going to an environment where the cat is comfortable, so you really see the cat’s personality,” Singh said. “You know, ‘This is a sassy cat,’ or, ‘This is a cat that never runs out of energy.’ What happens as a result is that people aren’t surprised by the personalities of their cats, so they’re not returning the cat.”

Not ready to be a cat-owner? No problem. There’s no pressure to adopt, since Crumbs and Whiskers isn’t, technically, an adoption event. In fact, most visitors just come for a 75-minute cat fix.

“Really, you can just have a fling with a cat,” Singh said. “It’s guilt-free and you walk out and you’re smiling and feeling relaxed.”

cat cafe yoga
photo: Crumbs and Whiskers via Facebook

Want. More. Cats. 
If just hangin’ with kitties and coffee isn’t enough cat for you, Crumbs and Whiskers also hosts Kitten Parties (You + kittens!) and Cat Yoga classes (Yoga in a room full of cats!). Find out more on their website or on their Facebook page.

photo: Crumbs and Whiskers via Facebook

The Menu
Since public health laws prohibit restaurants to prepare food in the presence of adoptable, adorable kitty cats, Crumbs and Whiskers avoids any legal questions by making your food and drinks elsewhere. You’ll put in your order when you arrive, and a Crumbs and Whiskers staff member will retrieve and deliver your items from Open Space LA, a cafe just down the street. (Note: There’s only one chance to  order, so be sure to do it when you get there if you want to nosh).

As for the selection, the menu includes hot and cold coffee and tea drinks (there’s also hot chocolate for non-caffeinated folks) as well as a small selection of “Nibbles.” It’s a scant menu, but who are we kidding? You’re not here for the food.

photo: Kanchan Singh/ Crumbs and Whiskers

From One Cat-Lover to Another
Wondering about the woman behind this cl-awesome concept (sorry, we had to)? Singh is a self-proclaimed animal-lover who came up with the idea for Crumbs and Whiskers after visiting a similar cat cafe in Thailand (cat cafes have been popular in Asia since the late 90s). She was 24 at the time and searching for something that would give her life meaning: As it turned out, cat cafes were it. By the end of 2015 she had opened Crumbs and Whiskers in Washington D.C., with Los Angeles next on her list. TO which we say, thank you meow-y much!

cat cafe
photo: Crumbs and Whiskers via Facebook

How & When to Get Your Kitty & Caffeine Fix
The cafe is open from 11 a.m.-7:45 p.m. daily, except Wednesdays. Admission is $22 on weekdays and $25 on weekends; reservations are required, and right now while it’s new, they’re filling up fast!  Please note that kids must be 6 & over to be allowed admission, for the sanity and safety of the cats.

Crumbs and Whiskers
7924 Melrose Ave.

Let’s talk animals!  Are you a cat person or a dog lover?  Got a favorite up-close with the animals spot?  We’d love to hear about it in the comment section.

—Melissa Heckscher

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