MANY PEOPLE identify themselves as either a dog person or a cat person. It can be said that some even base a large portion of their identity around their love for a certain pet. It’s also said that the personalities of the owners mirror their choice of furry companion.
I too am guilty of this silly correlation, but regardless of your choice in domesticated pets, there is a new shop in town that appeals to any patron who happens to love animals (and a splendid cup o’ joe).
Pounce Cat Cafe opened the doors to its Broughton Street location at the end of 2018, and, though the idea of having feline accompaniments inside of the establishment is fun and whimsical, the brews and pastries inside are anything but a joke.
Owners Ashley Brooks and Annaliese Hughes opened the first location in Charleston, S.C., in 2016. As a quick success, they decided to expand to a second Lowcountry town, Savannah.
I ask Brooks why the pair decided to expand to Savannah, and she explains that they “wanted to open in Savannah because not only is it Charleston’s sister city, but we have visited for years and love the city. We had so much success finding cats homes in Charleston, and Savannah seemed like the purrfect place to expand!”
So what is a cat cafe exactly? Simple: It’s half cafe and half temporary home for adoptable adorable kitties. Don’t worry, the cats are kept separate from the food by a wall and several doors as to keep the health department happy, but the café itself is free-roam for the lovable lap ornaments.
Patrons can stop by to enjoy pastries, coffee, or an adult beverage then step into the other side of the store to hang out with some cool cats.
Pounce Cat Cafe paired up with the Humane Society for Greater Savannah to provide short-term housing for some of the Humane Society’s adoptable cats. Patrons are welcome to hang out with the cats and take one home, after an easy adoption process.
The overall goal of Pounce Cat Cafe is to provide a cat its forever home while also allowing patrons to add a precious and beloved member to their own families.
As you can imagine, the cats are being adopted pretty quickly.
“We typically have around 20 cats at the cafe and they are all up for adoption through the Humane Society for Greater Savannah,” says Brooks.
“So far we’ve been open since October and have already had 77 cats adopted! The employees definitely get attached -- and sometimes end up adopting -- but it’s so rewarding getting the chance to find all of the cats forever homes that it makes it all worth it to say goodbye,” Brooks tells me.
Of the twenty or so felines housed at the cafe, I am certain there is a cat that would suit every personality or desire. Some young, some old, some shy, and some curious.
In the first few seconds of me stepping into the designated play room to take some pictures of the cats, I was bombarded by several purr-ageous kittens. To be expected, several were a bit more hesitant to approach and some hid under a sofa, which, if you’ve ever been around cats, you know is to be expected.
I will warn you: Guests cannot stop in solely to hang out with cats. There is a very small fee, used only for good, to spend time with the kitties.
Brooks explains the process:
“When you come in to hang out with the cats, it’s $15 for an hour in the cat lounge and a complimentary beverage, including wine and beer We tried to pick wines that most people would enjoy.”
The wine lists includes two house reds, a cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir, two house whites, a pinot grigio and chardonnay, and two house bubbles, a champagne and sparkling rose.
As for beer, you will find everything from an oatmeal stout to an American India Pale Ale, which should keep your boyfriend or husband content during the hour visit.
Finally, the drink menu includes tea, coffee, and soda. Riptide Coffee Company provides the cold brew coffee available and Savannah Coffee Roasters is featured for a hot drip coffee.
The tea list includes a peppermint tea, chai tea, english breakfast tea, and green tea. Pounce Cat cafe even remembered us Southerners, and has sweet tea for those that do not drink their tea hot.
As for the food, it is all baked by local French bakers at La Gourmet Cafe. “The pastry selection does not rotate and we worked with Le Cafe Gourmet to pick the selection. They special bake cat ‘meowcarons’ for us to have at the cafe and they’re definitely our most popular pastry,” Brooks says.
The mewocarons come in two flavors, lemon and white chocolate elderflower. Le Gourmet adornes their textbook French macarons with cute little cat faces, making them meowcarons. Inside each tender macaron shell you will find a sweet gooey filling.
The rest of the menu includes chocolate croissants, plain croissants, cinnamon rolls, and blueberry muffins. All of which are delivered freshly baked by Le Gourment.
For now Pounce Cat Cafe is not hosting any events like their sister store in Charleston currently does. According to Brooks that may soon change:
“We plan to start having cat yoga and wine tastings in Savannah soon so be on the lookout!” she says.
I had so much fun playing with the cats in my short visit there, I can imagine cat yoga will be extremely entertaining.
With enough time, the brand is even considering to brand spreading it’s do-gooding to a third location.
If you truly consider yourself to be a dog person, and hanging out with cats is not really your thing, you can always donate to Pounce Cat Cafe to help care for their fostered felines.