You may have heard of Purringtons Cat Lounge when it opened. After all, a cat cafe where visitors hang out and play with cats—complete with wine, beer, and even yoga classes—sounds like something straight out of Portlandia.
Recently Purringtons expanded their family visiting time (every day 12 pm – 5 pm) to include kids as young as 6. Wwith my daughter Maggie asking to get a pet cat, we made reservations to visit. I was hoping it would be a fun way to spend time with cats without our family getting one. But I also worried it would ramp up the pleas for one of our own. The trip wasn’t without its risk: cats at Purringtons are waiting for adoption through the Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood.
We checked in at the entrance, where there is a seating area with views into the cat lounge, and reviewed the rules for bringing kids in (all to make sure the environment is low-stress for cats and people). The separate cat lounge combines tables and chairs for humans with cat houses, beds, climbing structures, toys, and, of course, cats. I was a little skeptical of eating in an area with so many cats, but the space is clean with a modern, somewhat industrial feel and high ceilings.
When we walked into the cat lounge area, Maggie’s face lit up right away. Although I had told her we were going to a cat coffee shop, she was obviously delighted to find almost a dozen cats sleeping, playing, exploring, and coming up to say hello.
There are a maximum of fifteen people seated each hour, and the room doesn’t feel crowded. Some people were petting cats, others playing with them. Others were sharing a cheese plate (with their fellow humans) and chatting, only looking around occasionally to soak in the ambience. Maggie and I split a chocolate chip cookie, but we were mostly on the move, trying out different toys and introducing ourselves to the cats.
The cats were all attractive and full-grown, and some of the friendliest cats I have ever met. Maggie loved being around so many of them. I also had fun, enjoying both playing with the cats myself—and watching Maggie gleefully play. At $10 per person for an hour, the visit was a bit spendy, but the money supports the cafe and cat adoption (which I’m all for, in the abstract).
As we left, Maggie asked if we could come again. I said yes, and she said, “Tomorrow?” And I said maybe not tomorrow. But I was relieved she was asking to go back to Purringtons and not to adopt a cat, so I’ll count it as a win.
3529 NE MLK Jr Blvd, Portland OR 97211
Reservations Recommended: http://purringtonscatlounge.com/home/visit/reservations/