As of February 2019, the only Austin cat cafe is closed. After over three years in business, the Blue Cat Cafe quietly closed. At this writing, it is not clear what the future holds for the Blue Cat. Their website remains active with no mention of closing, and owner Rebecca Gray has indicated publicly that the closing is temporary.
Cat Cafe Controversy: More Than a Cat Spat
Since opening, the Blue Cat Cafe has been mired in controversy. What could possibly be controversial about a cat cafe? Disgruntled dog owners? Neighborhood going to the cats? Actually it’s far more complicated than a simple cat spat.
The dust-up over the Austin cat cafe has less to do with cats and more to do with the larger winds of change in the booming Texas Capitol. The Blue Cat became a unfortunate symbol of gentrification in a rapidly changing neighborhood when they chose their east Austin location. The location was formerly home to a mom and pop pinata shop, Jumpolin. In a highly-charged incident, the store owners were evicted and the building demolished, along with inventory and other property. Eight months later, the Blue Cat Cafe leased an adjacent building on the property, and thereby becoming the target of all the neighborhood vitriol and gentrification angst.