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Zagat: NYC’s First Ever Cat Cafe

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Some people are clawing their way to get a reservation at NYC’s first cat café. Zagat editor James Mulcahy filed this report.

Lower East Side’s Meow Parlour is the city's first ever cat cafe.

Cat cafes have become popular in Japan and Europe, and now New Yorkers have the chance to make some feline friends. The concept is simple: grab a snack, take off your shoes and hang out with cats.

"It's very popular in big cities where people are very stressed and everything's going so fast and being in the company of cats is very relaxing. I've noticed that in cat cafes, people tend to speak more softly. I think it's a good retreat from the bustling streets of a big city," says Emilie Legrand, co-founder of Meow Parlour.

Because of the city's strict restaurant health codes, diners get their coffee and cat-shaped treats at a second venue around the block and carry it over to this cozy room.

"You cannot serve the food in the same place, but if you buy a drink in a different place and then you decide to bring it to the cat area, this is different,” says Legrand.

Visitors choose a 30-minute reservation time, and they can hang out for up to five hours. There seems to be a pent up demand for this concept. Reservations are booked up for weeks.

"When we opened the reservation system last Friday, it crashed in two minutes, so apparently there were a lot of people trying to book a slot," Legrand says.

And when you find that cat that is just so cute that you have to take it home, you can. All of the kitties are up for adoption. Meow Parlour's real mission is to find homes for these rescued animals.

"You wouldn't take the cat on the same day because there is an adoption process, but yes, you can apply to adopt the cat," says Legrand.

Apparently, this is the hottest reservation in New York right now. They are booked like over 60 days out. These cats are going to be adopted in maybe five minutes, I think, based on their personalities.

For more food and restaurant videos visit youtube.com/zagat.

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