At New Montclair Café, People Come for the Cats, Not the Coffee

At Catfé Montclair, patrons can enjoy yoga, meditation or simple relaxation sessions with rescue cats—and maybe even take one home.

A cat at Catfé Montclair
Catfé Montclair Photo: Courtesy of Catfé Montclair

There’s a new café in Montclair, but the draw isn’t the food or beverages; people come for the cats.

The feline-friendly gathering place, called Catfé Montclair, joins a trend begun in Tokyo in 1998 that has since spread internationally; there are three other cat cafés in New Jersey. While self-serve coffee is available, and there are occasional yoga, guided-meditation and sound-bath sessions, the café’s simple aim is to be a place where people and cats can relax together.

“It’s a great way for people to interact with cats and learn about them,” says owner Tara Ford. “We believe in the therapeutic power of the bond between humans and their feline companions, and the joy that cats bring to our lives.”

Ford also hopes that the cats wandering around the café, which are all rescues from local animal shelters, will find a home through Catfé patrons. When rescue cats have a chance to get used to being around people, it increases their chances of being adopted, she says.

Reservations for visits, available Friday through Sunday, are recommended; time slots are half-hour ($12) or hour ($24). Kids aged 7 and up can join sessions, and there are “Mommy or Daddy & Me and the Cats” events for kids 5 and up.

“Some people come in and just watch, others get down on the floor,” Ford said. And if they fall in love, visitors can sign up to adopt or foster a furry friend right on

No one knows New Jersey like we do. Sign up for one of our free newsletters here. Want a print magazine mailed to you? Purchase an issue from our online store.

Read more News, Things to Do articles.