No less an impressive publication than the New York Times took note of the trend last month, writing about Cat Town Cafe, the nation's first cat cafe adoption center operated by the Oakland, CA, Cat Town Rescue.
The cafe gets around health laws about having pets in the same place food is sold by running the cafe out of one space, and then letting patrons have access to the cat lounging area in a space next-door.
In addition to media buzz, cat cafes have overcome perceptions that shelters are "depressing" -- a view so widespread among some potential adopters it deters them from finding out if it's even true. They also serve as an alternate revenue source for the adoption organization, and give friendly cats cageless and highly enriching environments in which to meet people.
The Oakland cafe adopted 52 cats in the first few weeks it was open, so it's a successful model, too.
Think this might be something your shelter or rescue group could get behind? Follow the links in the story to find out more, and read the New York Times article here!