assisted approximately 10 other owners of
cat cafés with planning for opening.
Many café owners, including Tony Wang,
owner of ;e Cat Café (
catcafesd.com) in San
Diego, work with local shelters or cat rescues
to ;nd cats that will live well in a cat colony.
;ey o;en facilitate ;nding homes for disabled cats, like three-legged cats or blind cats,
and they help bonded sets or siblings go to
the same home. Wang, a Costco member,
says the cats get comfortable interacting with
di;erent visitors, who come in to play with
them using the cat toys that are provided.
“People get to see them in a much more
homelike environment versus a shelter environment,” which aids socialization, he says.
Costco member Sana Hamelin, owner of
Denver Cat Company (
visitors come to enjoy the “chill environment”
By Christina Guerrero
WHEN COSTCO MEMBER Kristen Castillo
learned about cat cafés in Paris, she quit her
job and opened her own cat café seven
“It beats going to the corporate o;ce
every day,” says Castillo, who co-owns
Purringtons Cat Lounge (purringtonscat
lounge.com) in Portland, Oregon, with her
A cat café is where you can stop by to
pick up a cup of co;ee and make your way to
a lounge area full of cats, many of which are
available for adoption. Cat cafés originated in
Taiwan in the 1990s and strayed to Japan,
Korea, Europe and, more recently, the United
States, which is currently home to about a
dozen. ;ey provide an opportunity for animal lovers whose rental properties don’t allow
pets to spend quality time with some furry
friends, as well as let potential adopters interact with adoptable cats in a homelike setting.
Costco member Andrew Hsieh, co-owner
of Seattle Meowtropolitan (seattlemeow
tropolitan.com), says cat cafés in the U.S.
act more like foster homes than those found
in Asia. “I’m from Taiwan, where cat cafés
originated,” says Hsieh, who visited one
there. “It’s basically just like a cafe, and
there’s cats running around.”
Other Costco members across the
country are making a niche business of
cat cafés. Sergio Castillo, who also works
as an information systems consultant, has
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a note, photo or story to share about Costco or
Costco members, email it to
email@example.com with “The Member Connection” in the subject
line or send it to The Member Connection, The Costco Connection, P.O. Box 34088, Seattle, WA 98124-
1088. Submissions cannot be acknowledged or returned.
in her café, especially on weekdays during
quiet times, o;en reading books and doing
homework. Interacting with cats has even
been shown to help reduce stress—a;er all,
it’s hard to be tense when petting a purring
kitty. Wang says some of his customers with
demanding jobs come in and have a cup of
tea or co;ee and pet the cats to relax.
“Petting a cat releases endorphins and
lowers your blood pressure,” he says. “It’s a
good way to kind of destress a little bit. Just
interacting with the animals de;nitely helps
calm people down, and there is some therapeutic value to it.” C
Cats rule the roost at Seattle Meowtropolitan
(top) and Denver Cat Company (above, right)
with owner Sana Hamelin.
Doggie bags: Yerrington, Nevada, Costco
member Sue Matheus makes recycled
grocery bags with Kirkland Signature™
dog food bags. Says her sister, Jody
Hansen, “These are real creative and
cute bags, and they carry a lot of Costco
products when we shop,” adding that the
bags typically get many comments and
compliments from other Costco members and employees.—T. Foster Jones
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Click here for a video about
Denver Cat Company.
(See page 11 for details.)