By David Highfield

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Cat cafés have become popular in other cities, and now, Pittsburgh has its first one.

Colony Café in the Strip District opens Thursday.

The setup is this: Downstairs is a regular café with coffee, wine, cocktails and food. Upstairs is the cat loft where they have 10 cats available for adoption or just some playtime.

The cat loft is an entirely separate space except for glass walls that let you peek inside.

It’s the idea of Sue and Erik Hendrickson.

“My husband and I came from New York City, and there are cat cafés there,” said Sue.

Erik said, “We went to one and just said to each other this is really interesting and unique. People are going to like this.”

The cats at Colony Café are from Animal Friends, which has partnered with the café and also given the cats wine or coffee-themed names, like Merlot, Bean, Asti and Java.

The idea is to get to know the cats in a relaxed atmosphere, similar to your living room.

A one-hour visit with the cats is $8, and the café owners encourage you to reserve a time online. For more information, visit:

They say some people seem to get the idea of a cat café right away, but for others, it takes a bit.

“You might know some cat people, and they get pretty excited,” said Sue Hendrickson.

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But Erik says it takes others longer to digest. Some have asked if they’re supposed to bring their own cat, to which he says: “You cannot bring your cat from home.”

Adoption is not required. You can just go and hang out with the cats if you like.

By the way, another group plans on opening another cat café in Bloomfield.

David Highfield