Le Café des Chats (Cat Café) opened its first location in the Marais district of Paris in 2013 with the goal of bringing humans closer to our furry friends. A second location, near Bastille, opened a year later. Here, visitors have the unique opportunity to enjoy a drink or a savory meal alongside a dozen cats that reside in the café. All were adopted from animal protection societies and have made the café a second home. The selected cats were chosen based on their sociability, both with other cats and with humans, so diners can feel at ease in their presence. If you love cats, need a bit of comfort or are simply looking for an experience out of the ordinary, this is certainly the café for you!
Meet the cats
The twelve cats were chosen not based on looks, but rather because they are friendly, enjoy the company of other cats and are friendly with humans. Each cat has profile sheet that gives its name, breed, adoption date and personality details so visitors can get better acquainted with their furry friends.
Be aware that these cats are not shy about hopping onto tables, chairs or benches, even if visitors haven’t finished their meal or drink! Most of the cats like sitting next to visitors, but none seem to cuddle with café-goers. They are free to roam around the café (except for the kitchen!) all day and all night in the spirit of liberty. In the same vein, the café features shelving and loft areas so the cats can relax and sleep away from the clientele if they wish.
The café is very committed to making sure their cats are healthy. Each cat has veterinary insurance, is sterilized and receives regular vaccinations. Cats are fed a daily balanced diet of dry food and fresh water.
Make sure to follow the house rules!
In order to ensure the cats’ wellbeing, visitors are asked to follow some basic rules at the café. First and foremost, clients are asked to remember that the café is the cats’ home and to treat it as such. Therefore, the staff requests that sleeping cats not be woken. In addition, cats should not be picked up, carried or forced to cuddle. It is especially important that children under 12 be reminded of these rules and they should be closely watched by their parents.
It is very important that visitors not feed the cats, even if it’s “just” a small morsel. The café is incredibly busy and if every visitor fed the cats, this would turn into a health issue.
The cats are very friendly and photogenic, so luckily photographs are encouraged, but flash is not permitted as it frightens the cats. The cats are very active and energetic, so it was difficult to photograph them.
Visitors are given a quick reminder (and a squirt of hand sanitizer!) by the staff before settling in.
You liked this café? Why not visit another!
There are actually two Café des Chats in Paris. The first is located in the historic Marais district in the 3rd arrondissement. The second, and more modern, is centrally located near Bastille in the 11th arrondissement.
Both cafes offer lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and brunch on the weekends. Local, organic and seasonal products are preferentially selected.
French classics such as quiche Lorraine (bacon and Gruyère cheese), and the Croque Monsieur sandwich (ham, cheese, cream sauce) headline the menu, but several vegetarian options such as an eggplant burger and an assorted cheese board are available. Main dishes cost between 12 EUR and 15 EUR (13.5 to 17 USD). Desserts include cookies, tartes and cheesecakes and are priced between 4 EUR and 7 EUR (4.5 to 8 USD). There is also an extensive tea list for 5 EUR (6 USD).
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For a truly cozy and unique experience, don’t hesitate to stop by one of the two locations in Paris. Café des Chats Marais is located at 16 rue Michel Le Compte and is best reached from line 11, stop Rambuteau. The address for the Bastille location is 9 rue Sedaine and is best reached from line 5 stop Bréguet- Sabin or lines 1, 5 and 8 stop Bastille. Both locations are open from 12.00 PM to 10.30 PM Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations are recommended for the Marais location, especially during the weekend and during school holidays. No reservations are taken for the Bastille location.
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