The purr-fect way to spend your day

Joshua Wagner, a third grader, waits to go inside the cat café. He finds interest in a cat near the window.

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The bustling streets of Washington D.C. are long forgotten as you step into the warm and cozy room of D.C.’s first cat café, Crumbs & Whiskers. This opened a little over two years ago and has already saved 1,338 cats from shelters and 13 from euthanasia. Crumbs & Whiskers, located in historic Georgetown, is a fun and relaxing place to decompress and foster your love for cats.
Kanchan Singh, the founder of this blooming business, found her love for animals in Asia while she was visiting for her birthday. Her friends surprised her with a party at a cat café in Chiang Mai. Singh immediately fell in love with the idea of rescuing cats. Upon returning to D.C., she quit her job and opened Crumbs and Whiskers. Since then, she has also opened Crumbs & Whiskers in Los Angeles, which has also become popular. Singh’s goal was to make sure the cats they receive from shelters never had to be caged again, other than for medical purposes. She also wanted to make sure the cats had the greatest chance to find a forever home by matching cats’ personalities with those wanting to adopt or foster.

Jack McDaniel, the store leader, radiated with happiness as he said, “Our business is not about profit, it is about purpose.” They use admission cost to cover vaccinations, check-ups, and cat food. Admissions prices vary, depending on the day and age of those coming to this cat retreat. For 70 minutes of bliss, it is $18 per person on a weekday, $22 per person on the weekend; to be there for 7.5 hours, it is $54 per person with a student rate of $36. On most Sundays, there is also cat yoga. Doing yoga with cats releases stress and makes it more enjoyable.

Donations from customers pay for the transportation needed to move the cats from shelters to the café. McDaniel emphasized how all customers relate with their love for cats. Crumbs & Whiskers unifies cat lovers to form lifelong friendships; he said, “Working here has given me a strong connection with everyone I work with. I don’t have a family, but the people who come here and help here have become my family.” The café’s positive and accepting environment overpowers any anxiety or stress you may feel for meeting new people.

Crumbs & Whiskers is not only a place to find companionship with cats and other customers, but also a place to take a coffee break and treat yourself to a macaron. They offer teas (also herbal tea), coffee, hot chocolate and macarons from a nearby bakery, Olivia Macaron. Their iced teas, along with red velvet, salted caramel, and pistachio macarons are their best sellers, though they have a wide variety of flavorful macarons. Hot chocolate, rich and creamy, is also popular. The chocolate macaron is rich but not too sweet and their blood orange macaron is very refreshing. They take your order at the café when you arrive, so it will be there for you to enjoy. They make the food and beverages off-site so you don’t have to worry about cat hair in your food and coffee. When the food arrives the cats curiosity makes them come to investigate your goodies. The cats that do this crawl over you if you let them, if you don’t they go back to lounging. Their minimalist menu allows you to focus on the cats and helps build a relaxing environment. If you do not buy any snacks, the experience is still worth the money with all the lovable cats.

The number of rescue cats in the café vary, but currently, there are twenty cats with the newcomers staying in the basement at the kitty spa. The litter box is also in the basement, which helps with the smell. There are fans and good smelling beads spread throughout the café to help mask the scent. The workers clean twice a day, and make sure nothing that could be harmful is left out at night. Cats are marked with color coded collars — females have pink collars, males have grey, and sassy cats who don’t like being touched have checkered collars. This makes it easy to differentiate cats and is useful when adopting or fostering. Most of the cats, ranging in age, size, fur, and color, love interaction and are very playful. When adopting, it is easy to come and see which cat you prefer. The workers know every cat well and are helpful with letting people know how to get the cats’ attention. The only thing negative about Crumbs & Whiskers is that it is hard to leave the cats behind.

Crumbs & Whiskers is a well-developed business that has impacted many people. They bring humans and cats together and are extremely inviting. The café has fun and delicious food. The workers and volunteers are extremely kind and well-educated about their job. Their passion is reflected in how they act around stressful and large groups by remaining patient and accepting. Crumbs & Whiskers is a highly recommended place when you are seeking relief and comfort, and also when you have the desire for some feline company!