This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.
My hometown, Joplin, Missouri, has a newly opened coffee shop…with a twist! Located at 2201 East 7th Street, Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center brings a fresh concept to the city. Customers can enjoy locally roasted coffee, tea or smoothies in the company of cats…or humans. Yummy treats are offered for sale as well.
This afternoon I visited this intriguing shop, to experience my first cat lounge.
What is a Cat Lounge?
Cat lounges, also called cat cafes, originated in Taiwan in 1998. Japanese tourists took the idea back to Japan. The first cat lounge opened in Osaka in 2004. Since then, their popularity has increased. Japan has more than 150 such lounges currently.
Perhaps because of the “no pet” policies in many apartments, the Japanese people enjoy spending time with cats in the lounges. Pets, cats included, are known to reduce stress and offer other health benefits. Interacting with cats lowers stress and blood pressure and decreases cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Plus we just feel happy, watching them play, loving on them and talking to them.
Cat lounges sprang up in other countries around the world, including the US. While Japan allows cats to be in the food and drink area, the US has more strict regulations. The cats must reside in an area completely separate from where food and drinks are served. Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center meets that requirement.
Checking Out Nine Lives Cat Lounge
I arrived at the cat lounge mid afternoon, thinking it might be a lull time. I thought wrong! When you can’t find a place to park, you know you’ve come to a “happening” place.
After locating a spot behind the lounge, I entered into the coffee bar area and looked around while waiting to order a hot tea.
Large windows allow natural light to fill the interior. Concrete floors and walls covered with wooden slats create a clean, homey environment.
Groups of people, in twos, threes and fours, chatted at tables spaced apart to observe social distancing. Face masks are required for admittance and may be removed while enjoying a drink or snack.
Nine Lives offers coffees and teas, espresso drinks, sugar free smoothies and pastries, cookies and baked goods from local bakeries.
Two steps down from the main level is a cozy seating area. A large glass window allows a peek into the cat lounge. I chose to sip my tea in this inviting spot.
Visiting the Cats
The cat lounge is located in a separate, enclosed room. To enter there is a $5.00 fee for 30 minutes in the room. The fees help the cats live their best lives, while waiting for their forever homes. Lounge fees go toward vet care, food, kitty litter, cat toys and disinfectant for cleaning.
The living room style lounge provides the cats with a homey atmosphere, complete with climbing towers and a bridge, tunnels to play in, hammocks and a variety of toys. Furniture for humans includes a sofa, chairs and tables. A TV mounted on the wall features birds hopping about outdoors. And a sturdy bookcase at one end of the room holds books and games. Humans can play the games. Cats can climb the shelves!
At any time as many as 12 cats may lounge about the room, depending on recent adoptions and availability. Three cats call the lounge their permanent residence and are not up for adoption. Princess Pat owned the room this afternoon, reclining above us on the bridge.
To make sure the cats remain happy and unstressed, up to 16 people may enter the room at one time. Visitors receive a timer and when their 30 minutes are up, they leave so others can come into the room.
Because the lounge was very busy this afternoon, I only spent 10 minutes in the room. I had permission to take photos…no flash photography…and used my time wisely. However, I enjoyed watching the interactions between cats and visitors. We all had masks on, but I know there were smiles behind them.
Adoption is the Goal
At Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center, finding homes for kitties is the goal. Adopting a cat, versus purchasing one from a store or breeder, allows for an additional opening at an animal shelter so that another cat can be saved.
Nine Lives works with the Joplin Humane Society and local cat rescues to bring kitties to the lounge for adoption. Having the cats in a home-like setting allows people to see their unique, fun personalities better than if the fur babies were caged.
With the three full time residents, Sissy, Boots and Princess Pat, that means up to nine cats are available for adoption. One of the staff members shared with me that nine cats were adopted last week. That’s amazing! Click this LINK to see some of the recent adoptions.
Visit Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center
Whether you want to play with the kitties, adopt a cat or enjoy a drink and snack, stop by this unique new shop in Joplin. Hours are 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday and Tuesday. And 10:00 am to 8:00 pm Wednesday through Sunday.
If you have cat allergies but want to watch the cats, you can. That large glass window in the cozy sitting area provides the perfect vantage point. And if you just don’t like cats, stop by anyway. The fun atmosphere and yummy snacks and drinks make Nine Lives a great meetup or rest break spot.
There’s also a merchandise shop where you can purchase tee shirts and other fun items. Proceeds go toward caring for the cats and helping them find homes.
I enjoyed my time there and left with a light heart…and a half finished cup of hot peppermint tea. And although I’m a cat mom to three rescue kitties at home, I’ll return soon to sip a hot tea and peek into the lounge.
There is good going on in the world, if you look for it. You can find it here, daily, at Nine Lives Cat Lounge and Adoption Center.
Fun Cat Finds at Amazon:
Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.