While Pounce’s “cat room” may be quiet on weekday afternoons, Saturdays and Sundays book quickly, notes co-owner Ashley Brooks (right), so make reservations at pouncecatcafe.com. Walk-ins are welcome anytime in the fully enclosed back bar. Photographs by (1) Margret Wood & courtesy of (cat trio) Pounce Cat Café
October 25, 2017
Pawsitive Results Pounce Cat Café + Wine Bar’s success shows in the stats: it’s found homes for 500-plus felines in just 11 months
Written by Anna Evans Miller
Sundays can get feisty at Pounce Cat Café. “People brunch a little too hard,” explains co-owner Ashley Brooks, and then they head to the Meeting Street establishment to sip $3 rosé while enjoying kitty cuddles. One of the felines—there are usually 15 to 20 in residence, all adoptable through Charleston Animal Society (CAS)—wins them over, and adoption efforts ensue.
“We simply won’t send a cat home with someone who’s had too much to drink,” stresses Brooks, who opened Pounce last December with pal Annaliese Hughes. Suffice it to say, that news isn’t always accepted gracefully.
The occasional hissy fit comes with the territory for a cat café that doubles as a bar. However, most of the time, peace and joy, purrs and playtime, reign. Patrons (who must be at least 12 years old) pay $15 to spend an hour sipping a complimentary drink in the cats’ spacious sitting room. Special events, such as Friday “Mewvie” Nights and Sunday-morning Cat Yoga pack in even more furry fun.
This time of year, folks are likely to encounter all adult cats, though at the request of CAS, Pounce was devoted to little guys during “kitten season,” finding homes for an average of two per day. “We follow the same adoption process as Charleston Animal Society,” notes Brooks. “Our staff conducts the interviews, and we do all the paperwork right here.”
In this relaxed setting, “the cats are acting like they would at your home, so you get to really see their personalities,” she continues. “I think our return rate is low—only about three percent—because we’re able to match-make so well.”
And match-make they do. By early October, Pounce had logged a whopping 500 adoptions. And in the New Year, the team will double its winning formula, opening a second location in Savannah.