When Melissa Pruitt traveled to Japan, little did she know it would change her life. While in the Far East, she stumbled across a cat café and fell in love with the concept that started in Taiwan.
Upon returning to the Valley, she opened La Gattara Cat Café and Wine Bar in Tempe where, for $10 an hour, guests can get a dose of “real-life Prozac” by playing with free-roaming cats.
However, there’s more to it than just making clients feel relaxed. She wants the cats to be adopted. Eventually, she hopes the concept will eliminate shelters.
First, though, potential parents must see the animals’ true personality.
“My hope is to educate people about cats,” Pruitt says.
The café is decked out in all things cats—beanbags, carpets and cat-friendly furniture from places like Ikea and Target. La Gattara Cat Café serves bottled drinks and pre-packaged food.
The venue, which has a wall between the free-roaming cat areas and the food service area, can make fresh coffee, tea and pastries. Alcohol service is forthcoming.
La Gattara also offers regular events like painting, movies nights and yoga.
Address: 1301 E. University Drive, Suite 136, Tempe,
Wednesday-Friday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: $10 per hour
– Jordan Blitz, The Entertainer! Magazine / Edited for Phoenix.org