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Chicago's first cat café is one step closer to opening

Written by
Sara Freund

Later this year you could be sipping coffee next to a furry friend who needs a forever home. According to the Tree House Humane Society's website, the city council approved an ordinance which allows for construction of the organization's cat café at 7225 North Western Avenue.

Cat cafés are popping up across the country but this one in West Rogers Park would be Chicago's first. The new ordinance also opens the door for the creation of cat cafés at other animal shelters in Chicago. Construction of Tree House's state-of-the-art $7 million facility began in June 2015—the facility is expected to open sometime this summer. Plans for the environmentally friendly adoption center include cage-less colony rooms, classrooms for an education center, two veterinary clinics, a pet food pantry and adoption rooms.

The cat-loving coffeehouse will have full-length glass windows and an attached sitting room where visitors can play with adoptable rescued cats. A portion of the proceeds from the cat café will directly support the rehabilitation of cats at the shelter. No food will be served at the cat café, just drinks like coffee and tea. If, for some reason, you want to order coffee to-go, you'll be able to do that, too.

According to DNAinfo Chicago, Grounds and Hounds, a small-batch coffee brewing company that donates part of its profits to animal shelters, could serve as the cafe's coffee vendor.

If you were hoping to bring your own kitty for a play date you might be disappointed. The only outside animals that will be allowed to pass through the café are service animals.

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