After much anticipation, St Pete’s first cat lounge opened up in June of 2020. Opening during a pandemic isn’t easy, but Sunshine Kitty Catfe offered what so many people needed, a place to safely hang out with warm furballs of purring comfort!
When you walk through the door of Sunshine Kitty Catfe, you are greeted by Amanda Jones (pictured), known as AJ—visionary, owner, and St. Pete resident. One thing she is not is a crazy cat lady! Her dream to combine her years spent in both veterinary and human nursing—to help both animals and people—was realized when she opened her cat cafe. Partnering with Friends of Strays to help cats find homes, she’s able to make a difference in their lives while helping people too, by giving the local community a place to come together.
We were there to drop off a Litter Robot by Whisker, the highest-rated, automatic, self-cleaning litter box for cats. We have no affiliation with the company, but several of our veterinarians and staff have one and absolutely love it. So we decided to donate one to Sunshine Kitty Catfe to help make AJ’s life easier and to thank her for her rescue work.
After kicking off our shoes, we walked into pure kitty bliss; we just weren’t sure who was happier to be there, us, or the cats! Relaxing music played as we explored the two kitty areas on the first floor. The main room is a treat for the senses with its tropical, eclectic style. The spaces are bright, open, and airy. The kitties have so much to do in here—from cat perches in the windows, to two walls of shelves to climb, to lots of tunnels and posts to play with. Big comfy couches invite you to sit and hang out for a while.
Purr-fur something more cozy and intimate? There’s a smaller room with tranquil lighting and an even more peaceful vibe. We mentioned to AJ how great the Catfe would be for a couple’s first date, and she said they have had some of those, as well as bridal showers, birthday parties, and other functions. There is also a co-workspace upstairs, but while it’s closed for the time-being due to the pandemic, it’s perfect for those who need an office away from home or a quiet place to study.
We walked around and visited with the kitties available for adoption. AJ said they try to limit the number of cats there at any given time to about 18, and aged 4 months and up. The Catfe is averaging 2-4 adoptions per month at this time. There certainly seemed to be a kitty there for everyone: outgoing ones that took us on a tour and showed off their digs, quiet ones that were happily enjoying the sunshine, and playful ones that bounced from one toy to another. Even if you aren’t currently looking for a new kitty to call your own, this is an amazing place to hang out for a spell!
Another reason we love Sunshine Kitty Catfe is their commitment not only to the local community, but to other local businesses as well. Enjoy locally sourced beverages while you’re there. They offer kombucha from Mother Kombucha, craft beers from 3 Daughters Brewing and other nearby breweries, and also wine and coffee.
Sunshine Kitty Catfe isn’t accepting walk-in visits at this time, but you can visit their website and make a reservation to check out this really awesome St. Pete gem!