The 814: Purrista Cat Cafe


Mackenzie Zent, Staff writer

A new café has opened up in Erie, and it’s “purr”-fect for cat lovers! Located at 30 West 8th Street, Purrista Cat Café opened its doors for the first time on Feb. 14. They have had a great turn out during their first week open and are expecting it to take off even more as time goes on.

There are two different sections to the store: the café and the cat play area. They have a great selection of coffees, lattes and other drinks to purchase, as well as muffins, croissants and slices of cake. They also sell fun mugs and t-shirts with their logo and pi-tures of cats on them.To pet the cats, appointments must be made beforehand.

Customers can come in and enjoy a drink or pastry while they wait for their appointment time to play with the cats. It is $15 for 50 minutes with the cats, and customers can make reservations on their website. To ensure the cats are safe and not overwhelmed, there are only 12 people allowed in at a time, so it is a good idea to plan ahead and make reservations a day or two in advance. Customers must take off their shoes before they go in so that no one tracks dirt or germs into the area where the cats live. They have hand sanitizer before and after you go in to minimize the spread of germs, which is an important touch especially during the pandemic.

All of their cats are adoptable, so the hope is that they will find forever homes when people come to play with them. Purrista works closely with a local shelter, and one of their main goals is to find homes for their furry employees. I think this is a great initiative, and it gives the cats a chance to show off before finding their forever homes. Once a cat is adopted, another cat will come in and fill its place until it finds a new home, too. Their adoptable cats can be seen on their website, along with their name, age and a little bit about them!

The cats are all very friendly, but some of them are shy and take a little longer to warm up to strangers. Don’t take it personally — they are cats, after all. Customers are able to give them treats to help them feel more comfortable around different people. There are also different toys that people can use to play with the cats, and this is a really fun way to bond with them.

One great thing about the cat café is that you don’t have to play with the cats to enjoy the café. Anyone can come in, order food or coffee and just sit and enjoy the good vibes. There are plenty of open seats and tables, so it makes a great hangout place! There is a table and a bench next to a window looking into the cat area. This is perfect for people who may have allergies or do not feel comfortable being close to cats, but still want to watch them play!

Overall, Purrista Cat Café is a really cool place for people of any age. With the last few years in an active pandemic, people have realized just how important physical touch and in-person interaction are. Many people have gotten pets because of this, but many have also been unable to. Places like Purrista are great because they allow people to have that interaction without the responsibility of owning a pet of their own.

Although there are many cat cafés throughout the country, it is the first of its kind here in Erie, so that makes it really special. We’re a small community, so to get something “trendy” like this is really exciting. Hopefully this trend continues and Purrista gains some neighbors soon. Erie is nonetheless a unique place but, this place takes that feeling of home to the next level. Three cats have been adopted in the first week through Purrista cat cafe.

If you are looking for something to do next time you have down time, consider checking out Purrista Cat Cafe in downtown Erie, and be on the lookout for possible student discounts in the future!