1st 'Cat Cafe' Approved to Open in Chicago - NBC Chicago
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1st 'Cat Cafe' Approved to Open in Chicago

The location features a sitting room where visitors can have direct interaction with adoptable, rescued cats while enjoying coffee, tea and other beverages

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    1st 'Cat Cafe' Approved to Open in Chicago
    Tree House Humane Society
    A rendering of Tree House Humane Society’s Cate Cafe shows full-length glass windows and an adjacent sitting room where visitors can interact with adoptable, rescued cats.

    Why drink coffee alone when you can enjoy it in the company of a cat?

    Chicago’s first "cat cafe" is coming to West Rogers Park as part of Tree House Humane Society’s new shelter set to open this year. The Chicago City Council on Wednesday approved an ordinance allowing the opening of animal shelter cafes.

    "Cat Cafes are wildly popular throughout Asia, Europe and the United States," Alderman Debra Silverstein, who introduced the ordinance, said in a statement. "The 50th Ward will soon be home to the City of Chicago’s first Cat Cafe and, thanks to this new ordinance, will set a trend that will spread throughout the city and the rest of the Midwest."

    Tree House Humane Society’s Cat Cafe plans to open at 7225 N. Western Ave. as part of its new adoption center and veterinary clinic. The location features full-length glass windows in the serving areas and an adjacent sitting room where visitors can have direct interaction with adoptable, rescued cats while enjoying coffee, tea and other beverages.

    "We are extremely grateful to Alderman Silverstein and the City Council for making this dream a reality," said David de Funiak, executive director of Tree House Humane Society, in a statement. "The Tree House Cat Cafe will provide a unique opportunity for individuals to interact with our rescued, adoptable cats, ultimately helping more animals find their forever home and enabling us to rescue even more."

    The new facility started construction last June as an adoption center and will now include a cafe. Tree House’s goal is to open sometime mid-year. Funds from the cafe will benefit the shelter, with proceeds directly supporting the rescue and rehabilitation of the cats.

    The Animal Shelter Café Permit is available for licensed humane societies only, and the ordinance aims to facilitate as a tool to boost adoptions. The cafes can only sell non-alcoholic beverages and must maintain sanitation requirements.