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When will Chicago get the cat café it deserves?

Written by
Grace Perry

Chicago has been jonesing for a cat café for quite some time now. Ever since the Tree House Humane Society announced its plans to open one back in 2015, it’s been an emotional roller coaster for feline-loving Chicagoans. After two years, Tree House is opening its new Rogers Park shelter, but the promised cat café portion of the deal appears to be slightly less thrilling than it was hyped up to be. 

The shelter itself is a state-of-the-art facility, complete with cat catios (enclosed outdoor cat patios) and an in-house vet clinic, which is truly fantastic. Unfortunately for the cat-obsessed internet, this is not a cat café, per se. DNAinfo reports that instead of a counter and a barista, the café will be "a small space off the front lobby with several self-serve coffee and tea machines." Not exactly the glorious, obscenely Instagrammable cat cafés that both New York and L.A. boast. So when will Chicago get the cat café it deserves? That answer might just be found in an Indiegogo campaign launched by Chicagoan Jennifer Tiner.

Tiner’s campaign is raising funds for the Windy Kitty, a forthcoming café/lounge with cats from their partner shelter, ALIVE Rescue. The location has not been determined, but they’re aiming for a location on Clark Street in Lincoln Park. So far they've reached 11 percent of their $35,000 goal.

So if you’ve been simply dying to drink a latte and pet a cat at the same damn time, you've got a few options on the horizon. Just don’t expect a full-blown cat café to pop up overnight.

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