Santa Barbara Gets its First Cat Cafe

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Yesterday in Santa Barbara, California the city opened its first cat cafe, Cat Therapy, a laid back atmosphere where customers can relax with cats from local shelters.

Owner Catalina Esteves tells the San Luis Obispo Tribune, “At Cat Therapy, visitors are able to observe the cats’ different personalities in a more relaxed environment than at a shelter, and they have the opportunity to build a connection with any of the animals.”  The cafe’s goal is to raise adoption rates by fostering cats where they can meet potential owners.

Esteves, who is also a musician and photographer, moved from Argentina about three and a half years ago and volunteered at the ResQCats shelter for two years.  She then decided to pursue her dream of opening her own business and spent about six months talking with animal shelters and planning for the opening.


Cat Therapy is partnering with the Animal Shelter Assistance Program, or ASAP, the Ventura County Animal Services Shelter and ResQCats, which focuses more on kittens, says Esteves.

There are currently 11 cats in the cafe, about half from ASAP and the rest from Ventura, Esteves says.  The number of cats in the cafe will fluctuate between 10 and 15.

For more information contact the cafe at [email protected].


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