Cat cafes — where you get to enjoy a cup of your favorite beverage and spend an hour or more with adoptable cats — have been popular for many years. There’ve been numerous takes on the idea, including a number of bunny cafes* (you can find one in Chicago and one in Vancouver). The purpose behind most of these ideas is that you get to spend time with adoptable animals, give them some much-needed attention they might not always get in a traditional shelter, and potentially fall in love with one of them so you’ll adopt and take home your new best friend. More, these are cage-free facilities which allow the animals to roam like they would in a home, lowering their fears and anxieties while waiting for their forever home. The entire concept is excellent and beneficial for both the humans and the pets.
There’s just one thing missing: books.
Imagine a place like a cat cafe, but where you can also pick up your next favorite book. You can linger while perusing the shelves, pile up your tote with new-to-you finds, then settle in with a tabby or a tortie for a good petting and cuddle session. Perhaps you’ll even fall in love and adopt on of those kitties to take with you and your books.
Imagine no more. The cat bookstore is a real thing, and there are several of them throughout the US and Canada to put on your bookish travel list.
Tomes and Tuxies: Bookstores With Adoptable Cats
The Book Man: British Columbia, Canada
The Book Man is a used bookstore with two locations in British Columbia. The Chilliwack location, 45939 Wellington Avenue, is where you’ll find their latest chapter: a window featuring an adoptable kitty. The program, which just launched, is a partnership between the store, ABC Cat Rescue, and FCM Community Cat Trappers. The adoptable cats get to live in the spacious area and be the center of attention both inside and outside the shop.
Never fear, though, if you’re looking at venturing to the Abbotsford location. Though there are no adoptable cats there, you can meet the bookstore’s purr-manent cat resident Gatsby. He’s apparently chattier than Beatrix, the cat manager at Chilliwack.
Cat Tales: Portland, Indiana
If you’re looking for a used book, look no further than the newly expanded Cat Tales, located at 601 N. Charles Street. This donation-based book store is part of the Midwest Pet Refuge and purchases at the store help keep the rescue operating. You can meet some kitties in the shop or visit the larger facility at the same location to meet more of their adoptable felines.
Cupboardmaker Books: Enola, Pennsylvania
Located at 157 N. Enola Road, you will find not only used paperback and hardcover books in this store, but you’ll also be able to discover a number of new releases as well. There are several book clubs offered if you’re in the area and want to spend more time in the location. And why wouldn’t you?
There are four permanent cat residents of the shop, all of whom have not only a loyal social media following but who also have a series of books written about them. In addition, Cupboard Maker books partners with Castaway Critters to highlight adoptable cats. Here’s a look at Mercedes, who is looking for her purr-fect home:
Fat Cat Books: Tallahassee, Florida
Operated by Feline Advocates of Leon County, what makes this nonprofit bookstore and adoption center special is that the cats who live in the shop are all seniors. Senior cats are the most challenging to adopt from shelters, despite the fact they’re the most loyal companions imaginable. Fat Cat Books, located at 615-5 Railroad Square, offers donated books for sale and money is used to keep the rescue afloat.
Morti’s Used Book Nook and Cat Adoption Lounge: Petaluma, California
It’s impossible not to love the stories behind the shop names when they’re inspired by much-loved animals. In the case of this one, located at 2200 Petaluma Boulevard North, Morti was a deeply beloved special needs cat who continues to inspire the Petaluma PETpals in their mission of rescuing animals. The shop sells used books and is a cage free environment for their cats.
My Cat Jeoffry: Phoenix, Arizona (Tentatively)
This bookstore-cum-cat adoption center has not yet opened its physical doors, but it hopes to do so in the near future. The bookstore specializes in books for animals lovers, and plans to use their space as a calm and inviting place for kitties in need to enjoy their time before they go to their permanent home.
The nonprofit shop operates online only for now, and all of the money they earn through book sales are going toward their physical space. They also maintain a nice listing of local adoption agencies for potential pet owners, too.
Otis and Clementine’s: Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia
Perhaps the most well-known bookstore and cat adoption center, Otis and Clementine’s is also a cafe and specializes in adopting out kittens at 5209 St. Margaret’s Bay Road. Opened in 2011 by Ellen Helmke, her goal is and remains to make others happy — and how could a place like this not do just that? Bonus: if you want to learn Spanish, you can take classes there to learn, too.
A couple of notes about Otis and Clementine’s: it’s a used bookshop, and they do not permanently have cats. They often do, but it’s not guaranteed.
Still, if you go and they are without their feline fosters, know you’ll be supporting the good work of rescuing and caring for future kitties there.
The Radical Cat: Reno, Nevada
Just opened at 1717 S. Wells Avenue is this feminist bookstore featuring adoptable cats. After a series of wildly popular popups, the shop’s permanent location is next to a coffee shop and book and cat lovers are invited to bring their coffee in for art, literature, and, of course, cats. The Radical Cat works with the SPCA of Northern Nevada to find homes for adoptable felines.
*Don’t ever expect to see a bunny bookstore setup. Much as it would be cute, you would not find a single undamaged book in the lot. Buns make better cafe or yoga pals than they do bookstore friends.