In Need of Cat Therapy

Earlier this week, I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed when I spotted three very important things: (1) my girlfriend, Jessica (2) petting a cat (3) in Santa Barbara. What?! I had heard of cat cafes popping up all over California, but I had no idea we had one in the Central Coast! I soon found out that it recently opened in Victoria Court on State Street, and I immediately made reservations to visit with Jessica.

For those who haven't heard about this paw-some trend (I had to, forgive me), Cat Therapy is a social space created for animal lovers looking to de-stress and for adoptable, friendly felines to take a temporary vacation from their local shelters and have the chance to find new homes. Once I arrived, I was greeted with an assorted menu of drinks and snacks from Brasil Arts Cafe, which just happens to be one of my favorite local spots.

If you look at the photo below of the entire space, you'll notice a seating area of assorted pillows under the wall arrangement spelling out "MEOW"; I was told to be careful not to accidentally sit on a fellow furry friend. So of course, I rushed over to find this hidden fella, and managed to take a photo of my new shy friend after moving around some pillows.

We were told that boys had blue collars and girls had pink collars, and to not pick up or intentionally wake any sleeping beauties. However, we had free reign to snuggle up and gently pet any kitty that we fancied. I didn't realize how many cats there were until Jessica began showing me hiding spots, and I'd find glowing eyes peering out from dark corners and baskets.

Of all the cats, Dan was perhaps the rowdiest and most territorial of all (psst... it's the orange tabby cat below). He reminded me a lot of my cat that's living back home in LA with my parents (*tears* I'm not allowed to have pets in my apartment!), who definitely is a lovable diva with a BIG personality. I was pleasantly surprised to find a black cat as sweet as his name snuggle up next to me on a bean bag chair. Honey stuck alongside me for the remainder of my visit, and would become a little jealous and flustered when I wasn't petting him continuously.

I really appreciate Cat Therapy owner, Esteves' decision to require visitors to make reservations. Unlike other cat cafes, Cat Therapy's reservation requirement prevents overcrowding, long lines, and ensures every cat's comfort and overall safety.

I do have mild allergies with cats and tend to deal with itchy eyes and sneezing, but I found that I didn't react at all when I was there. I really owe it to the staff's high standard of keeping the facilities as clean as possible by wiping the tables and vacuuming before and after each group's visit.

My birthday is coming up soon, and according to their website, you CAN have private events there! Are you thinking what I'm thinking...? 🤔 If you guys are ever in the Santa Barbara area, make sure to carve out some time during your visit to hang out with these adorable buddies and support this amazing cause! For more information, check out Cat Therapy online here.