Cats, coffee, Crumbs and Whiskers, a match made in heaven
Standing unassumingly in an assortment of small businesses by the side of a busy street is a small, black building: Los Angeles’ first cat cafe, Crumbs and Whiskers. 27 cats. 70 minute sessions. There’s no time to waste.
The first thing you notice is the storefront, where both cats and humans alike in the session room can be seen through the large, glass windows. A small lobby decorated with charming Christmas lights greeted me as I walked in the door. Fluffy cushions and rugs littered the floor while lofty wood rafters made the seemingly tight space seem spacious. Rustic wooden shelves lining the walls and chic designs painted on the wall adorn the words “Cats before bros,” adding to the modern atmosphere of the interior.
Crumbs and Whiskers is home to friendly cats and even friendlier staff. Cat toys and brushes are provided by the front desk to make the experience more interactive. A checkers board game and the card game “Exploding Kittens” are also left to the customers’ discretion. Employees constantly interact with cats and visitors and are always ready to introduce their feline coworkers or answer any questions. Employees constantly interact with cats and visitors and are always ready to introduce their feline coworkers or answer any questions. One employee showed me how to hold one particularly chubby, orange cat named Max. To my disappointment, he immediately moved away to climb the wooden shelves overlooking the room.
Because cats love their naps, mornings or evenings are the best times to visit. Afternoon sessions are often dominated by a larger number of people but fewer cats that are awake. Unfortunately, I went during the 12:15 session so most of the cats were already settling down for their afternoon siestas. Still, I met an energetic black and white colored kitten who claimed the center stage as he played with the colorful cat toys held by the customers.
The cats are vaccinated by a local rescue shelter and given to the cafe in hopes of getting them adopted. By sending the cats to the cafe, the shelter places the cats in an open environment that exposes them to more people, which increases their chances of being adopted. The L.A. section of the cat cafe and its counterpart in Washington, D.C. rescued a total of 1,012 cats from euthanasia, with an average of one and a half adoptions per day in the L.A. section alone.
Attendance is strictly monitored to prevent the room from getting too crowded and overwhelming; online reservations must be booked to attend a session, which costs $25 on weekends and $22 on weekdays. Only debit and credit cards are accepted, which is inconvenient if you want to buy food. Drinks and snacks are around $3 – $5., and all food is prepared and delivered in a different area.
After walking into the cafe, I ordered the mocha, but it tasted a bit grainy and bland. The mocha did not taste much like coffee and was not really worth the long wait. Personally, the cafe was more about the experience with the cats than the food. The choices on the menu are somewhat limited, and it took more than half an hour for the food to be delivered. Plus, you have to watch your drink to make sure no curious cats sneak a sip.
Overall, Crumbs and Whiskers is a must-visit destination for all cat lovers. Its comforting and warm environment makes it an ideal spot for relaxation. If you are looking to adopt a cat or just looking for a place to spend time with a bunch of cute cats to destress, Crumbs and Whiskers is your spot.
Written by Haixin Guo, Copy lead
Photos by Haixin Guo and Anna Yu