RASKC commends NEKO: A Cat Café, which is a unique business that provides space where people can come relax and enjoy coffee, beer, wine, and light snacks in the company of adoptable cats. NEKO invites you to bring your friends to happy hour and to bring your niece on a weekend morning.
If you’d like to visit NEKO, the café highly recommends booking a reservation through their website: nekocatcafe.com.
You can find NEKO’s flagship café in Seattle’s Capitol Hill (“Cat Hill”) neighborhood usually with about 12 cats from RASKC; the other café is located in Bellingham, with about 25 cats from the Whatcom Humane Society.
Owner Caitlin Unsell and her partner Cory James were inspired to open NEKO after living in Japan and Vietnam, where cat cafes are as common as coffee shops are here.
How would you describe the mission of your business?
We are a sanctuary for rescue cats and humans to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Through our shelter partnerships, we give cats a place to find their purrrfect match. We are THE destination for cat lovers, known for our unique relaxing spaces, friendly animal-loving staff, and incredible cat paradise. We strive to make every human and every cat’s day better than it would have been without the other. We strive to make an inclusive safe space for all.
What are some of your cafe’s achievements that you’re most proud of?
For our first three years of operation, we exclusively housed FELV+ cats. While this was challenging, it was incredibly rewarding knowing that we were helping the kitties who needed it most.
How might you describe how NEKO and RASKC work together?
Of course, all of the cats in our Seattle café come from RASKC, who has been incredible. We work directly with Animal Services Coordinator Emily Ruppert and Foster Care Coordinator Lori Mason. I cannot say enough about how absolutely fabulous they are. They trust us, and we trust them. They are intelligent, kind, organized, and incredibly knowledgeable. We also very much appreciate the RASKC volunteers who provide cat transport between the shelter and our Seattle café.
Fun fact: Cory and I just welcomed twins to our family!