My son Noah and I love cats, so it made purr-fect sense to visit Montreal’s Café Chat L’Heureux when we were in town. The café’s name translates from French to mean Happy Cat Café and it more than lives up to this title with its firm belief in promoting kindness to animals.
The cheerful rescue cats arrive from shelters across the Greater Montreal area and many of them are up for adoption. I believe it is always better to adopt a shelter animal rather than shop for a pet at a store as you are saving a life and not contributing to pet store or breeder profits, not to mention you are providing a loving fur-ever home to an animal in need. The café is also the ideal place to simply enjoy the company of cats while sipping coffee or tea, and reading the adoption success stories of previous felines. No worries if you don’t speak French, the only language you need here is “meow.”
Here are some highlights from our visit to Café Chat L’Heureux.
1. You will experience serious cuteness overload
We just so happened to visit during dinner—I highly recommend this. While we happily devoured our fresh salad and vegan sandwich (delicious toast, veggies and green hummus), the hungry and super-adorable fluffy kittens eagerly dined, perched on a levelled cat tree gobbling up their dinner in unison, while the older cats ate at their leisure. Despite the approximately dozen felines, the vegetarian café is clean and tidy. The 13 litter boxes are not only out of sight—but also out of smell—tucked away in a separate room that the cats can access à la James Bond jumping techniques via a secret tunnel high above the restaurant.
2. You will accept that cats really are the boss
It’s very obvious the cats call the shots. They sleep wherever they want including in bowls on the counter, under tables, chairs and, of course, on the numerous cat beds scattered throughout the café. Don’t pick up a cat, but if they come to you on their own, you may end up with a snuggly cat asleep on your lap.
3. A cat might even sit on your head (refer to main image for proof)
This was demonstrated by a happy staff member. If you can handle the fur in your face and the purring in your ear, you are good to go. It’s been rumoured that this activity helps relieve stress and promotes instant smiling. One thing is for certain though, you definitely don’t have to eat alone at this café.
4. The friendly felines will do tricks for treats—if they feel like it
Staff members sometimes give the cats treats so they will shake a paw, roll over or stand on two legs, but it’s entirely on their terms. In fact, there are rules for us mere humans while visiting, such as no feeding or waking them up. But you are definitely encouraged to give them lots of love.
5. The whole cafe is decorated in endearing cat stuff
While this may seem uncanny at first, you will quickly get used to the fancy cat pillows, mugs, artwork, photos and original paintings hanging from the walls. Every cat decoration you can imagine lives in this glorious feline café. Needless to say, don’t bring your dog.
The Cat Café is located at 172 Avenue Duluth Est in the Plateau Mont-Royal area of Montréal. For help planning your trip to Montreal to explore beyond the café, visit Tourism Montreal and Quebec Original.