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Cat Cafe and Lounge open for belly rubs in Las Vegas

Hello, kitty!

Cat Cafe and Lounge recently opened at 1750 S. Rainbow Blvd., near Bonanza High School. On the menu? Snacks, coffee, tea — plus cuddles, head scratches, belly rubs, bobbing play-pretties and a forever family.

The cafe houses up to 30 adoptable kittens and cats. People stop by for refreshments while meeting, playing with or just relaxing around the residents, who are all waiting for new homes. The cafe comes courtesy of Hearts Alive Village, a local nonprofit that also operates a low-cost veterinary clinic, a pet food bank, and a horse and goat sanctuary.

“Hearts Alive Village believes every adoptable cat deserves a forever family, and we are dedicated to making that happen,” said Christy Stevens, director of Hearts Alive.

The minimum donation for entry to the cafe (includes refreshments) is $15 per person per hour; the money helps defray the cost of vaccinating, microchipping, feeding and sheltering the cats.

Hearts Alive estimated there are more than 300,000 homeless kittens and cats in the Las Vegas Valley. In 2021, the organization said it took in more than 1,400 of them.

“It’s a tough time for people, so it’s a tough time for pets,” Stevens said.

Getting used to other cats and people

Cat Cafe encompasses about 2,600 square feet. The largest area, with seating and art and free-range cats, lies in front. There’s also a smaller room for cats, and a room with kennels for new arrivals who have been to the clinic but might not be ready for cafe society.

“It’s a transition before setting them loose. It’s our way of ensuring they’re ready to live in a big communal environment,” Stevens said, adding that employees and volunteers work on-site daily to ensure the cafe is clean and the cats are well cared for and healthy.

Cat Cafe also provides its residents with another important transition, Stevens said: “acclimating to living in a real home with people. The name of the game is saving lives and getting cats into homes.”

Many people in the cafe are eager to do just that. Some people can’t adopt but have stopped by anyway, Stevens said.

“They say, ‘This is my happy place. These cats calm me down, and I feel much more centered.’ It’s not just a happy place for cats; it’s a happy place for people, too.”

Cat Cafe is open from noon to 8 p.m. daily. Visit https://heartsalivevillage.org/cat-cafe to book an appointment or donate. The entry fee is deducted from the price of approved adoptions. For more information on Hearts Alive Village, visit https://heartsalivevillage.org.

Contact Johnathan L. Wright at jwright@reviewjournal.com or follow him @ItsJLW on Twitter.

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