Pointy ears. Expressive tails. Round, furry backs. Soft purrs. Jelly bean toes. If this description makes you smile, you’re probably a cat person. Well, you are not alone. There are lots of cat–related activities nearby for all of the people in this city who want to hang out with kitties. Here’s everything you need to know to be a true cat lover in Philly.

Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

Old City Adoption Center: 100 N 2nd St.

Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic: 2900 Grays Ferry Ave.

Northeast Philly Adoption Center: 1810 Grant Ave.

PAWS is Philadelphia’s largest rescue partner and provider of low–cost, basic veterinary care for pet owners and rescue organizations. It has three no–kill shelters, one in Old City, one in Grays Ferry, and one in Northeast Philadelphia. There are several things you could do to get involved with PAWS—you can adopt or foster an animal, donate money, or volunteer at one of their shelter locations.

As a college student, volunteering is probably your best bet. PAWS does have staff, but they always need more volunteers to help. And while the Grays Ferry location is closer to Penn, the Old City location is easier to reach by SEPTA. You need to receive separate training for each location you’re volunteering for, so pick one and stick with it! 

I volunteered at the Old City location last semester, and the cats are just adorable. If you volunteer at Old City like me, you’ll probably spend about an hour changing their litter and cleaning their cage (and feeding them if you go at mealtime). The remaining hour of your shift is for playing with the cats! Pro tip: the Grays Ferry location has a program for socializing kittens.

Pennsylvania SPCA

Fishtown Center: 1546 Frankford Ave.

Philadelphia Headquarters: 350 E Erie Ave.

The PSPCA aims to protect animals, prevent cruelty, and to improve the health and quality of life throughout Pennsylvania. They both rescue animals and provide veterinary care. The PSPCA has locations in North Philadelphia, Danville, Lancaster, and Fishtown—Fishtown is the closest to Penn. The PSPCA center at Fishtown is smaller and quieter than a traditional animal center, with the cats roaming free in an open cat room. You can apply to volunteer starting May 1, and as a current undergraduate or graduate student, you can also apply as either a Development Intern or a Humane Education Intern for Summer 2018 (Ed. note: much more fun than OCR).

Project MEOW

801 S 48th St.

You might have seen flyers for this one around Penn. That’s because this animal welfare group focuses on stray and feral cats right here in West Philadelphia. Their main project is Trap–Neuter–Return (TNR), which helps control the community cat population by sterilizing healthy cats and returning them to their habitat. You can volunteer to do legwork and administrative tasks such as community outreach, trapping, social media/graphic design, administrative support, event planning, and fundraising/crowdfunding. And it’s only eight blocks off campus!

Le Cat Café

2713 W Girard Ave.

Price: $12 for 1 hour, $10 with student discount

Le Cat Café is the adoption platform for Green Street Rescue, which is a network of volunteers that also focuses on TNR. This is a more relaxed environment where you can visit just to have fun with some furry felines. You can book a visit online for cats & coffee (with a $2 student discount), yoga with cats, and special events like Craft a Cat–Cocktail. If you want to do more to help, you can always apply to volunteer too.

Kawaii Kitty Cafe

759 S 4th St.

Price: $11 for 1 hour

This cat cafe has more of a focus on the “cafe” than Le Cat Café does. Kawaii Kitty Cafe serves as an adoption center, but it also offers local coffee, teas, pastries, unicorn hot chocolate, vegan bites, and milkshakes. You can make a reservation online to go into their cat lounge or to attend a wine party with cats if you’re over 21. There are craft and wine nights, too. Also, please follow their Instagram. You will not regret it. 


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