affoGATO Cafe

As we inch closer and closer to the time of midterms, I think I speak for all Kent State students when I say it might be time for a break — especially one that includes some caffeine and furry friends. 

There’s truly no better way to de-stress and get your mind off school than to actually leave the school’s grounds. When you are surrounded by the quiet rooms of the library or the dread of upcoming assignments, it can be hard to turn your brain off from school work, even just for a few hours. So, one of the best ways to do some relaxing is to pack up and go explore!

Due to the busyness of the semester, I figured I would make our second stop on the Tour de Kent a quicker trip. Although, be warned: it does include a 40 to 45-minute car or bus trip to Cleveland.

Now, I’m sure you’re all wondering what the trip actually is, and I will give you a hint; it includes furry friends and hot and cold drink selections.

Have you guessed it yet? 

Well, now that you are in suspense, I am beyond thrilled to introduce our second stop as the affoGATO Cat Café located on Starkweather Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll support a good cause!

In order to go visit these adoptable, furry friends, you must reserve your visit and pay a fee of $11 per person, per half hour. Personally, I would recommend scheduling an hour long time slot to truly get to meet all of the cats and learn their personalities. According to affoGATO’s website, the funds you are spending to reserve a session are “used to care for rescue cats and the attendants who keep them safe and healthy.” So, even though you may have to spend more than you would at just your average coffee shop, it is going to support a good cause. 

Of course, you aren’t required to make a reservation if you just want to go get some coffee and bakery items. You can still view the cats through glass windows encasing the play area — you just can’t go in to play with them. But if you are going to make the trip, I would highly recommend reserving time with the cats. 

When I visited the café, I had the privilege of talking with some of the workers and they told me a little bit about affoGATO’s beginnings. 

It all started with three college friends and their love of cats, coffee and supporting the area’s rescue cats. According to their website, the café benefits three main groups: the cats, the people and the community. 

For one, the rescue cats are put into an environment where they don’t have to be caged; they have the ability to socialize with other cats and to play with whatever, whenever they want to. 

The visitors of the café especially benefit if they are looking to adopt. Many of the cats range from kitten to senior, and they each have their own unique personalities. Instead of going to adopt a cat based on a 10-minute, caged visit, you have the ability to actually play and get to know the cats to make sure you and the cat were made for each other.

In terms of the community, affoGATO really goes out of it’s way to include various small businesses in the Cleveland area. Specifically, they partner with Cleveland’s Animal Protection League, as well as many bakeries, coffee roasters and tea houses. Their bakery items are outsourced from these other bakeries to keep the cat hair on the cats and out of the food.

My favorite part of the café is not only the unique experience it provides, but the care and involvement the café gives to the cats. Since opening, affoGATO has placed 740 kitties with forever homes. 

If you’re still unsure about the café, I urge you to check out their website. They have a live cat cam, lists of adoptable cats with photos and personality descriptions and even a look at past cats that have been adopted.

So, please, if you are considering adopting a cat, check out affoGATO and their amazing kitty residents. Even if you aren’t looking to adopt, go get a coffee or tea and play with all of affoGATO’s furry friends.

And if you do go, make sure to give the cats an extra cuddle from me.