Review | New York City's Cat Café: The Meow Parlour

TIA HERE and oh my god, guess who just went to another cat café. Yep. Me.

In case you've forgotten somehow, I'm currently in New York City, where there is a wonderful little cat café called the Meow Parlour, among other things. My wonderful study abroad friend Alanna and I spent the day at the Natural History Museum and had brunch at Broadway Bites and had great fun. As night fell (around 7 p.m., although we were a bit late because subways never run when you want them to), we arrived at the Meow Parlour where we had made a reservation months prior with friends Thelonia, Lea, and Winnie. This is not the first cat café Alanna and I had visited together, and it certainly will not be the last!

Before we begin, a disclaimer: I will not be talking about the food because my excitement at seeing the cats filled my stomach with happy energy. But there will be lots of pictures. Enjoy!

In case you're interested in the details, here are all of them. Make a reservation online if you hope to visit the place, although absurdly it costs money to reserve (like $4 per person). You start with 30 minutes from your reservation, which you must pay no matter what, but then every 30 minutes you stay afterwards adds up in increments. Time yourself wisely. The clock begins ticking when you step into the room and the very nice workers will tell you the time you entered so you know when you should probably leave (in order to not spend all of your money on the place).

As we first walked in, the kitties all seemed mostly sleepy. Being late in the day, this wasn't all that surprising, but they definitely woke up within the hour that we spent there, and were very active and playful throughout our time. All of the cats were very friendly (except for the shy grey one, who was new and not quite used to the environment) and there were cat toys everywhere. Friendship with the cats was basically guaranteed.

A small, comfy space, it felt natural to sit on the ground, although the cats occasionally jumped up onto benches and tables, and were unafraid to wander. There was a back room for them where they could be alone and hide from people, but the cats rarely went in there. When they did, they never stayed away for long.

Amazingly, if I remember correctly, the people who worked there mentioned that all the cats were up for adoption?! So if you're inclined to adopt, definitely check the place out as a trial run to get to know the cats. Of course, I'd look at their website before you take my word for it, but I could've sworn someone mentioned adoption in passing.

The place also sells a lot of merch, which is a variety of things from store logos and promotion to general cat-obsessed-people clothes. Although I didn't get anything, there was a surprisingly cute collection, perfectly suited for any type of cat-lover, from the minimalist snob to the hopelessly dorky.

The way that the cats were so active and playful after about 15 minutes of us settling in quickly made the whole thing worth it. I was dubious at first, and still angry about the reservation fee from the online form, which (by the way) only allows a maximum of four people per party, but the cats and great service quickly changed my opinion. I only wish I had tried some of the food to have some feedback on that, but I completely forgot about that aspect when I saw the cats! For what it's worth, I think they sell coffee... and macarons... and... that's all I got.

Because the reservation process was kind of a hassle, especially considering how in-advance you have to reserve if you want to bring in a considerable group, I'm not sure I would go again any time soon. It's not really a place I can see myself going on the regular, but it is definitely a fun experience for any cat-lover (or even those fairly neutral to cats!) and I think everyone should consider giving it a go. The cats won't become your best friends immediately, but I felt like they were much friendlier at this place than at the Danish cat café, and it made me feel like my visit was well worth my time.

And, of course, the experience would have been nothing without my friends. It's weird but great to be able to bring friends from high school and college and study abroad all together without a hitch! I'm glad all our paths crossed at just the right time and I hope they continue to do so in the future. What a perfect group of people to go with to a cat café! (That said, Katya's presence was sorely missed.)

Finally... the conclusion. Or more importantly, the grade. I'd rate the Meow Parlour with a solid A. The only thing preventing it from reaching perfection was the reservation nonsense, as everything else was flawless. Maybe I'll go again in a year with the same crew and we'll all adopt cats. Actually that might put the Meow Parlour out of business for a bit, and I'm not sure that's what I want to be remembered for. But I do hope to visit again.

For more, check out Tia's new blog!

Much love,