When I started this blog almost 3 years ago, one thing I wanted to do was highlight some of my favorite Pittsburgh adventures. Going forward, I plan to highlight one Pittsburgh Adventure every month. This could be something fun to do in the city, a festival, a new restaurant or who knows what else. I truly want to share some of the amazing things that the Pittsburgh area has to offer! For my first Pittsburgh Adventures post, I wanted to share about my recent visit to the Colony Cafe, Pittsburgh’s first Cat Cafe.
This past February, Pittsburgh’s very first cat cafe opened it’s doors in the Strip District. It’s in a great location as those who wander through the Strip on a Saturday can meander down or those who want a lunch break from their work day can walk over from downtown. It also has some street parking out front, but right across the street, there is a parking garage, so access sos pretty easy if you are driving in. Evening and weekend rate for the parking garage if only $5 as well.
The Colony Cafe has 2 unique attributes to it. On the bottom floor you’ll find a thorough coffee shop as well as a wine bar with a nice food selection. It might not be a sit down dinner, but they have a nice variety of dips and spreads as well as some different melts and cheese and charcuterie boards. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the pleasure to enjoy their wine selection or food menu yet, but a few times I’ve popped in for a Chai Tea Latte, I enjoyed my drink. They also have WiFi if you need a relaxing place to work. Prices are basic coffee house prices and did not seem to be too much in my opinion. My only wish on the food/drink area is that they sourced locally. Their coffee is sourced from Ruby Roasters, which is from Wisconsin. While I am sure it’s good coffee (I am not a coffee person, so I won’t be trying it), it would be nice to see locally sourced products.
The second part of the cafe is the cat loft. What is nice about their set up is that if you don’t wish to interact with the cats or if you’re even allergic, you can still enjoy your eats downstairs. The cat loft is upstairs and it houses about 10 cats. There is a window wall from the loft to the downstairs of the cafe, so you can see the cats run around and play or lounge and sleep. The one thing about the cat loft is that you can’t just walk in and go hang out with the cats. The loft is by reservation only.
It’s easy to book your cat hour reservation through their website. The cat loft hour will run you $8. Children over 8 years old are allowed but must be accompanied by adult if they are under 12. You have to sign a waiver as you sign up as well. Of course there are some cat colony rules you must abide by during your visit. They are set up to keep you safe and the cats calm. For example, don’t grab at the cats and while you are allowed to take pictures, no flash photography as you don’t want them to get startled.
During your loft visit, you can play with the provided toys if the cats are in a playful mood. While I was there with my friends Jaci and Kira, there were a few up for playing, but most of the cats wanted to lounge around. The cats are pretty set in terms of lounging spots. They have a typical cat tree, but then in one of the front windows they have a “real” looking tree and some bean bags for lounging. Otherwise, the cats seemed to enjoy the chairs, a few baskets under the bench and even your lap if you were lucky.
Even though there are 10 cats up in the loft, you won’t see their litter boxes. The Colony Cafe built an area specifically for the litter boxes and the cats must go in and out through their bathroom door.
The best part about the cat loft is if you fall in love with one of the cats, you can potentially adopt him or her! All cats are brought over by Animal Friends and the idea is to help them all find their fur-ever home. In fact, since opening, the Colony Cafe has helped 29 cats become adopted. Without the exposure at the cafe, it might have taken much longer to be adopted for these at-risk fur babies.
If you’re a cat person, I highly recommending making a reservation for their cat loft immediately! It’s a fun way to spend an hour and know that you’re helping bring awareness to adoptable cats. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your next fur kid. And even if you aren’t a cat person, don’t be shy. Plan a quick stop to the cafe to grab a coffee or tea. Or maybe even meet some friends to enjoy their wine selection. Either way, make sure you add the Colony Cafe to your list of places to stop by for your summer adventures.