In 2015, Louisville-based entrepreneur Chuck Patton sold his business, Traffic Builders Inc., and began looking for his next venture with the goal of creating something fun and different. Three years later, he opened his cat café, Purrfect Day Café. “When I tell people what we do, most people have no idea what that is.” he says. “Basically it’s a coffee and wine shop meets an adoption center.”
Now the Northern Kentucky native is opening a second location of his café in Covington, targeting a launch in the coming weeks. The area’s first cat café will be located on West Eighth Street and will partner with the Kenton County Animal Services (KCAS) to help find homes for cats.
Attempting to be an “industry disrupter,” Purrfect Day changes the way felines are adopted. Patton strives to keep cats out of the traditional shelter environment, where animal euthanasia is prevalent. “You don’t have to turn [animals] back out into the woods or put them down,” he says. “There are lots of homes out there and people that want them.”
In the summer of 2019, Beckey Reiter, director of Kenton County Animal Services, approached Patton about opening a location in Northern Kentucky. Faced with an opportunity to grow the business, he was excited to open a second location. “When I was asked, I’m like, Well, it was fun the first time,” Patton says. “Why can’t I just expand our impact and expand the business as well?”
So what does the cat café look like, and how does it work? There are two sections of the building, the café and the cat room. The café offers cat-themed tea, coffee drinks, and pastries such as “Pawmpkin Spice Scones” or “Purr-ific” sugar cookies. Purrfect Day also has a liquor license and serves wine, local brews, bourbon, and specialty cocktails. Patrons can sit in the café and enjoy their drinks while anywhere from 15-25 feline friends frolic in the next room.
For $15, you can reserve 50 minutes in the cat room to cuddle, play, and sip in a fun and cozy atmosphere. To comply with health guidelines, once a drink is brought into the cat room, it cannot be taken back into the café. Food, however, is not allowed to enter the cat room. If guests find a kitty they have a bond with, they can make an adoption and welcome a new member to their family. Since opening in 2018, the Louisville location has seen more than 3,500 adoptions.
Excited to return to his hometown, Patton is looking forward to providing a warm and joyful experience in a time of so much uncertainty. To maintain safe operations during COVID-19, the café will operate under half capacity, allowing eight people wearing face coverings in the cat lounge at a time.
“During all this turmoil, everybody still comes to the cat café because it’s a happy place to be,” Patton says. “When I’m in the café, it’s so rewarding, watching faces of little kids and adults alike. It’s very accepting, a very happy place.”
Purrfect Day Café, 25 W. Eighth St., Covington