Chicago City Council Passes Ordinance Paving the Way for Chicago’s First Cat Café


CHICAGO, IL: Sponsored by Alderman Debra Silverstein (50), the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance today, March 16th, which approves the creation of Tree House Humane Society’s Cat Café – Chicago’s first cat café.

A growing trend in the United States, cat cafés have been introduced in several cities including New York, Oakland, and San Diego. What will set Tree House’s Cat Café apart is its location. Unlike other cat cafés which are stand-alone, Tree House’s Cat Café will be situated inside what will be one of the most innovative, cat-centric shelters in the country.

“Tree House Humane Society has been a great partner to the 50th Ward before it even officially moved to the neighborhood. Now that their revolutionary new facility and Cat Café is getting ready to open, I look forward to working with them to find new and exciting ways to benefit the community and provide compassionate care to all animals. I will be first in line for a latte and some quality time with the kittens,” said Alderman Debra Silverstein.

Tree House Cat Cafe Rendering 2016

Located in Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood at 7225 N. Western Avenue, the Cat Café will be open to visitors in the first-floor lobby and waiting area of Tree House’s new, environmentally friendly adoption and education center and will serve as both a café and humane adoption space. This unique coffeehouse will feature full-length glass windows in the serving area with an adjacent sitting room where visitors can have direct interaction with adoptable, rescued cats in a cageless environment while enjoying coffee, tea, espresso drinks, and cold beverages. The Café will also serve beverages to go.

Additionally, the Cat Café will provide another form of fundraising for the organization with proceeds directly supporting their work to rescue and rehabilitate sick, injured, abused, and abandoned cats.

“We are extremely grateful to Alderman Silverstein and the City Council for making this dream a reality and for paving the way for cat cafés to operate in Chicago. The Tree House Cat Café will provide a unique opportunity for individuals to interact with our rescued, adoptable cats, ultimately helping more animals find their forever homes and enabling us to rescue even more. As an organization, our focus is to create a compassionate community and transform animal welfare in Chicago and across the country, and the Cat Café is one more way we can accomplish this,” said Tree House Executive Director Dave de Funiak.

Construction for the new facility, including the Cat Café, began June 2015, with completion targeted for midyear 2016. Added features of the new facility include cageless colony rooms, many with “catios”, and a humane education center.

For more information on the new facility, visit

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Founded in 1971 as one of the nation’s first, no-kill shelters, Tree House specializes in the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured, abused, and neglected stray cats with the ultimate goal of creating a no-kill Chicago and leading the way to a no-kill nation! Tree House has adopted out more than 25,000 animals since its founding and has provided more than 37,000 free and low-cost spay/neuter packages. The organization also helps countless cats and dogs through community programs and services including its Community Cats TNR Program, Animal Assisted Therapy, Education Outreach, and Pet Food Pantry. Click to see author's profile.

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