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Fort Wayne's first 'cat café' opens its doors

Cat cafe
An orange tabby cat named Riener naps under a chair and mushroom table inside of Black Forest Cat Café on Friday, June 10, 2022.

Black Forest Cat Café, located on Coldwater Road, held its ribbon cutting ceremony today (Friday) and began serving coffee at noon. The café is the first of its kind in the city and works with Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control to give adoptable cats a chance at finding a home.

Julie and Emily Pressler are the mother-daughter owners of the German-themed café. Julie says Fort Wayne has a high rate of stray cats, creating a greater need for the café.

“Just knowing how much joy cats bring us and the fact we can put them into homes and make other people happy.”

Black Forest Cat Cafe
Owners Julie and Emily Pressler (center) cut the ribbon in front of Black Forest Cat Café, on Friday June 10, 2022, surrounded by city leaders, representatives from Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control and employees from the café.

Julie says her mother has been volunteering with the shelter for 25 years and they’ve owned cats their whole lives. One of the cats at the café during the ribbon cutting will even be going home with her.

While the café is open Tuesday through Sunday for anyone to come in and grab a coffee or German pastry, visiting with the cats needs to be booked ahead of time in one hour increments for 10 dollars.

The Presslers say they’re booked through this weekend already, but take appointments for the cat room on their website. The café currently has six cats, but has the capacity for 10.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.