Indy’s first cat café focuses on finding homes for shelter cats

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A new Indianapolis café focused on finding cats forever homes is seeing tremendous success in just the first week.

Nine Lives Cat Café in Fountain Square is the purrfect new place to get your caffeine fix and cat fix at the same time.

Owners Selena Hubbard and her father Eric Hubbard decided to open the café after seeing other similar cafés pop up in some major cities. Their journey started in 2015, and it took them about two years to get enough funding and figure out everything with the health department. They finally opened their doors to the public on January 28, 2017.

“It seems like most people are pretty excited. They’re excited that the cats are finding new homes and they’re excited that there’s another place that serves coffee. It seems like the reception has been pretty good,” Selena said.

The cat playroom is separated from the coffee shop by a double-door vestibule.

If you want to enter the cat playroom, you should make a reservation ahead of time because there is limited space available in the room. It costs $5 for one hour in the cat room and $3 for a half hour. According to Selena, the best time of the day to come is in the early morning hours because that’s when the cats are the most active and also it’s less busy that time of day.

At any given time there are between 8 to 10 cats at the café. The cats are all from the Humane Society of Indianapolis, and they are all ready for adoption. Selena says the humane society was very excited about the idea when she first approached them.

“I think they were very grateful for the opportunity to have a type of adoption space available in an area they’re not currently located, and it’s pretty close to downtown. So I think it’s just a good location for them with a decent amount of foot traffic, so they’re getting a lot more visibility,” Selena said.

Abigail Anders is the Feline Program Manager for the shelter. According to Anders, doctors and shelter staff choose the cats that will go to the café. They look at their personality traits like how adaptable and social they are.

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There is always at least one employee in the room with the cats to ensure everyone stays safe and to watch for signs of sickness and stress amongst the cats. Anders says so far all of the cats have adapted well.

The mission of the café is “finding homes for cats one cup at a time,” and so far, they are doing an incredible job. Since the grand opening on January 28, eight cats have already been adopted. As the cats get adopted, the humane society finds more cats to take their place.

Nine Lives offers a wide variety of coffee drinks and baked goods from local producers. They’re grand opening menu includes several varieties of lattes and mocha along with brewed coffee and teas. There are also pasties from Whisk Bakery and Ezra’s Enlightened Café. And there’s no need to worry about cat hair in your drink or food—everything is served and prepared outside of the cat playroom.

Nine Lives Cat Café is located at 1315 Shelby Street, Indianapolis, IN. It’s open seven day a week, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

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