A new way to adopt cats is coming to Fort Wayne in 2022.
Mother-daughter duo Julie and Emily Pressler are the co-owners of Black Forest Cat Café, opening in 2022 in the JoAnn Plaza at 4716 Coldwater Road in Fort Wayne. They wanted to combine their love of cats and coffee in the new business.
“We’ve visited many (cat cafés) and love cats and love coffee, and the last one we visited was during COVID-19 when there was tons of stress,” Julie said. “When we were there, it was just awesome to sit there with cats and have no stress and watch others have no stress. We thought we should do this, and it grew from that.”
Julie and Emily have five cats combined.
“We also know there’s a huge issue with an overabundance of cats right now,” Julie said. “In the past couple of years it’s just been growing and growing and we’re not sure why. This is a huge platform for kitties to get forever homes because they’re free-roaming and not in cages at shelters.”
The setup have the café portion in the front and a separate room for the cats. Patrons can pay $10 an hour to sit and play with the cats and decide which cat they would like to take home with them. The money raised from the cat room will go toward taking care of the cats while they are in the café.
“While (customers) are in the cat lounge, they can play with them,” Emily said. “There will probably be a volunteer in the cat lounge watching them to make sure everyone is respectful of the cats.”
The name Black Forest Cat Café came from Julie’s father who moved to the United States from Unadingen, Germany, in the Black Forest.
“I feel like there’s not much German heritage around here,” Julie said. “No stores or restaurants or anything here, and we just love our German family and we’re still very close to them.”
Emily said her grandmother lives in Fort Wayne and she is hoping she will teach the two how to make cakes and other treats to serve at the café.
Black Forest Cat Café will be partnering with Humane Fort Wayne and Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control. The café will house cats from both shelters, and the adoption process will go through whichever shelter the cat is from. Julie said they are hoping to work with one shelter per month. The adoption fees will be based on the shelter that owns the cat.
Julie and Emily are hoping to open by February 2022.