It has only been a few months since Washington, D.C.’s first cat cafe, Crumbs and Whiskers, opened. Yet the establishment has already garnered tremendous success. Even in its earliest days, the kitty haven had to turn customers away due to overcrowding, so reservations are highly recommended. The cafe’s quick success is due to the furry guests it puts up for adoption from the Washington Humane Society.
It’s obvious upon entrance into Crumbs and Whiskers, a cozy, two-story establishment nestled along O Street, that this place is a feline sanctuary. This kitty-chic spot is completely decked out in various cat decor, from neon-lit signs reading “meow” to the numerous cat-themed books such as “How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You.” The ceilings are lit with yards of pretty string lights, and upstairs you’ll find a wall of Polaroid pictures of past patrons snuggled up with furry friends. There are also a number of comfy couches and chairs lined with pillows and sometimes, depending on the time of day, a snoozing ball of fluff.
For $15, visitors can enjoy 55 minutes of cat bliss along with “complementary” tea and coffee. On the day of my visit, patrons who contributed to the donation jar were also treated to an assortment of macaroons as well as large, gooey chocolate walnut cookies, both of which were delicious. For customers who are willing to pay extra, the cafe has a small menu of both hot and cold drinks ranging from cappuccinos to smoothies to shakes.
Also available to customers are numerous board games, card games and books, perfect for a quick study break or just an afternoon gathering with friends. Crumbs and Whiskers is also ideal for families who want a unique alternative to the traditional children’s play date. It could also be a fantastic location for a child’s birthday party, as the establishment does allow booking for private events. It should be noted, however, that children under the age of seven are not permitted inside.
Before being allowed to interact with the cats, patrons are asked to acknowledge a short and sweet set of rules. There is no flash photography. Patrons are asked to be gentle and to not wake sleeping cats. The cafe also admits to the fact that sometimes cats will be cats and may behave in an unfriendly way. As a result of this risk, customers are asked to sign a waiver, and the cafe will not assume responsibility in the case of altercations or injuries.
While Crumbs and Whiskers is definitely a very cool hangout spot, it more importantly provides these animals with a wonderful housing alternative to metal cages found in a traditional shelter. The cats are
allowed to stay at the establishment until they are adopted and are never locked up, even after closing.
Crumbs and Whiskers currently houses around 20 felines selected from the Washington Humane Society. The cats chosen to live at Crumbs and Whiskers are usually the most social shelter cats, so most are comfortable being around humans and other cats. However, there are a few that may be slightly more sensitive at times. These cats don a special purple collar. The cats also range in age, from ten months old to eight years old.
Each animal at the cafe is available for adoption, and since the restaurant’s establishment on June 20, 22 of its previous residents have been adopted.
Although a $15 entrance fee might be a bit of stretch for the average broke college student, Crumbs and Whiskers is a must-see for any cat-lover in D.C.
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