ITHACA, N.Y. — Local cat lovers can start their Friday morning with some meow-y good news as the Alley Cat Cafe opens its doors for the first time in Downtown Ithaca.

The cafe will open at 7:30 a.m. at 312 E. Seneca St. and the cat room will open at 11 a.m. with playful cats and kittens that need loving.

According to the fundraiser page for the cafe, patrons can expect sandwiches, soups, pastries, coffee, tea and “other assorted sundries.” Most importantly is the cat room which will have a look-through window so people can admire feline friends.

A fundraiser for the cafe launched in April to raise $30,000 for the venture, which the owner said will go toward opening the cafe and two cat rooms — one with playful, energetic cats and another more “mellow” room for cuddling cats. The cat rooms will be completely separate from where the food and beverages are prepared.

Cat cafes have become a worldwide phenomenon after the first one opened in Taiwan about 16 years ago. Japanese culture embraced the trend and now has more cat cafes than anywhere else in the world with more than 150, according to CNN.

Related: Cat-ching! Cat cafes take over world

Keep up to date about the cafe and see some behind the scenes photos at the cafe’s Facebook page Alley Cat Cafe.


Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.