Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Lola on the Road: Tiny Lions Lounge and Adoption Center (Ann Arbor, MI)

Welcome to the sixth post in our series, "Lola on the Road". Throughout the summer I visited several cat cafes, and I've been sharing my experiences with my readers. Coffee and cats - two of my favorite things! If you missed the last installment in the series, you can read about The Cat Parlour here. And if you'd like to catch up on the entire series, you can do that here

My travels have taken me to cafes in Brooklyn, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Texas. I ended the summer in MI, where I not only got to visit two fabulous cafes but I also got to catch up with old friends and meet a blogging friend and another long-time Facebook friend for the first time (all of whom I met through my cats or through blogging. Cat people rule!) It was a great end to the summer. 

Today I'm happy to share a wonderful cafe that I'm sure you'll love reading about - Tiny Lions Lounge and Adoption Center in Ann Arbor, MI. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes


My "Cat Lady" group was welcomed with open arms, and I had the pleasure of sitting down with Allison Manz (Cat Cafe Manager) and Wendy Welch (Director of Marketing for Humane Society of Huron Valley) to chat about the lounge and the cats. There are lots of great things going on at Tiny Lions! Read on to find out more. 

From the outside, you may get the idea that the lounge is on the smaller side...


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes
I wasn't able to get a photo from outside. It was a sunny day, 
and I couldn't get one without my reflection on the glass door! 

...but it's just the opposite! I was surprised at how big the space actually is. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

When you walk in, there is a large room to the left with a few tables.


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes


 This is the first cat I saw. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes
Now that's a comfortable cat!

Two people were there working on their laptops, and they were probably "telecommeowting", (more about that later) with this cutie keeping them company. (I don't know about you, but I'd probably be rubbing that belly instead of concentrating on spreadsheets.) 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

Looks like someone wanted to divert their attention.  


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes


The larger space is divided into three areas. A large area with several tables and chairs...


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

...a small living room type area complete with a fireplace..


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes
This must be very cozy on a cold MI winter day. 

...and what I refer to as a "play area". 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

Of course, the best part of any cat cafe is the cats. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

The maximum number of cats in the cafe at one time is 15-20. The lounge wants the environment to feel as much like a home as possible until their feline residents find their own forever homes. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

There were 13 cats in house on the day I visited (two were out for dental appointments.) With 13 cats, it was pretty impressive that the entire lounge was so clean and smelled fresh. The staff and volunteers do a wonderful job making sure the cats look great and the environment is welcoming to people. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes
These cats tried their hardest to get in the bathroom any time the door opened. 

All the cats were very comfortable in their surroundings and enjoyed the company of all the two-legged visitors. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

I was glad to see such happy cats who are obviously loved and well cared for while they wait for their forever families to walk through the door. It made my day. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

Tiny Lions opened their doors in May of 2016, and to date 711 cats have been adopted. That's a successful adoption rate! The lounge is affiliated with the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV), and it was opened as a non-profit satellite of the shelter. Currently, there are three employees and 200 volunteers. HSHV was running out of room (a dilemma shelters face all too often) and they wanted a way to save animals in other areas from euthanasia.Tiny Lions and HSHV believe that animal shelters can be some of the deadliest places for cats, and they aspire to create a new reality. They do this by helping out other shelters in an effort to work together towards being a no-kill nation. (A topic near and dear to my heart.) 

HSHV is classified as a no-kill shelter as defined by Maddie's Fund (a leader in the no-kill movement)  and has the highest save rate among similar shelters in the state of Michigan. That's impressive! 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

Before being transferred to the lounge, all cats are assessed by a feline behaviorist at the shelter to determine if they will be okay in the cafe setting. Some cats are ready to transfer immediately, and some are never ready. HSHV and Tiny Lions want what's best for the cats, and if the lounge isn't the best option for them they are not transferred in. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

The atmosphere is very calm and serene. Even though there were children visiting the cats, you could practically hear a pin drop. Allison and Wendy told me that one of the biggest concerns when they first opened was how to give young children exposure to animals while making the experience good for the cats as well. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

To accommodate this, Tiny Lions changed the way they handle young visitors. The visitor capacity is smaller (toddlers 3 and under are admitted in 30 minute increments only; there is a maximum of two children under 10 per adult) and visits are more structured. For example, cat body language is discussed to make it a learning experience for the children and help make it less stressful for the cats. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

Let's talk about the decor. In a nutshell, it's great! They have a fabulous wall that is catified to give the cats some vertical space and additional enrichment. (In additon to the many toys available for them to play with.) 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

The wall was created by a retired employee who is now a volunteer. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

You never know where you might find a sleeping cat! 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

Our presence didn't bother them at all. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes


Tiny Lions has a great relationship with the community. They get the community involved in saving more animals by running the "Love Train"– a transportation system that brings animals from other shelters to Ann Arbor for adoption.


Ann Arbor is home to a lot of animal lovers who are frequently asking the lounge for more activities. Currently, the lounge sponsors many activities such as yoga with cats, yoga with toddlers and cats, family mew-vie night, coloring with cats, trivia with cats, a teen camp, and more. (The lounge can also be rented out for private events.) I think the "telecommeowting" is a fantastic idea! For $15, people 18+ can purchase an all day pass to sit and work in a calm environment surrounded by cats. With free WiFi, it's a dream for a student studying for finals or someone who works remotely. For more detailed information on their activities, visit their webpage


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes
There is lots of space for visitors to sit comfortably and enjoy their time with the cats.

The fun doesn't stop there! Once your done with your "purr therapy", you can partake in some "retail therapy" with a quick stop at their store, "Paws to Shop." 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

Items range from t-shirts, mugs, and books to toys and the best catnip for your kitty. (There was a very cute carrier there that I wanted, but I wasn't able to fit it in my suitcase.) You can shop for some items online here


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

Allison shared with me that it's a challenge to stay on top of things day to day, which includes making sure the cats are happy and healthy and the customers are having a good experience. But it's all worth it when she sees a bonded pair of 13-year-old cats, who were the lounge's longest residents (they were there for six months) get adopted. 

All of the cats at the lounge are ready to go to their forever homes. The adoption fee for adult cats (age 5 months to 12 years) is $90;  for senior cats (age 12+ years) it's $70, and $130 for kittens (when they have them.) The adoption fee includes their spay/neuter surgery, initial health check, up-to-date vaccinations, microchip ID, a 30-day trial of pet illness and accident insurance, a discounted vet exam at the HSHV Veterinary clinic, and access to HSHV's behavior helpline. The adoption application can be filled out here


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes
Pin Us!

Tiny Lions Lounge & Adoption Center is located at 5245 Jackson Rd, Suite A1; Ann Arbor, MI 48103. 

Business hours are: 

Monday:         CLOSED (for cat naps)
Tuesday:       10 am - 7 pm 
Wednesday:  10 am - 7 pm 
Thursday:      10 am - 7 pm 
Friday:           10 am - 7 pm 
Saturday:       10 am - 7 pm 
Sunday:         10 am - 5 pm


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes


The cost is $7/hr or $4/half hour, with a discount if you buy 5 hours at once (5 for $25). Groups of 5 or more are $5/hour. Babies who are not walking are free. Reservations are not required, but when the capacity limit is met visitors will be asked to return later. 

Food and beverages are not served on site, but visitors are welcome to bring in their own food. There is a Biggby's right next door where you can grab a quick cup of coffee and a snack to bring in with you. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes


I'd like to say a big thank you to Allison and Wendy for taking the time to sit with me and tell me about their beautiful lounge and the wonderful things HSHV does for cats and the community, and for strengthening the human-animal bond.

I also want to thank my friends Sherri, Amber (of Fred and Nymphadora) and Sue (of The Island Cats) for joining me and making it a true cat lady day. Add good friends to cats and coffee and you have the purrfect day. 


tiny lions lounge|cat cafes

tiny lions lounge|cat cafes
Photo courtesy of The Island Cats. 

If you'd like to help Tiny Lions in their mission, you can: 


  • Donate: You can make a one-time donation here, or you can turn that one-time donation into an automatic monthly gift. (Tax deductible, of course.)
  • Purchase honor and memorial gifts:  Making a memorial or honor gift to the Humane Society of Huron Valley is an excellent way to pay tribute to the special animals, people and events in your life. The added bonus is that your gift will help make the world a brighter place for animals.
  • Sponsor a cat: Give a gift to provide a safe place for our animals to call home.  Your sponsorship gift provides food, medicine and veterinary care for all animals awaiting their forever home.
  • Amazon Wish List: You can purchase much needed items from their Amazon Wish List here

I had a wonderful time at Tiny Lions! It's such a serene setting, and the decor and color palette make it so inviting. I can tell that a lot of work goes into the upkeep of the cafe. I'm looking forward to going back to MI to visit my friend so we can make another trip to Tiny Lions. 


tiny lions lounge & adoption center|cat cafes
Photo via Tiny Lions Lounge & Adoption Center



Don't forget to follow Tiny Lions Lounge & Adoption Center on social media: 

              Twitter       |       Facebook      |      Snap Chat       |   Instagram


Stay tuned for the next installment in our Cat Cafe series as Lola The Rescued Cat goes on the road. The next cafe to be featured will be Catfe Lounge in Ferndale, MI. 

Have you ever been to a cat cafe? Tell us about your experiences! What do you think of this series? 

Dawn    



26 comments:

  1. What an awesome and charming cat cafe! And how fun to be able to visit with friends!

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  2. You have made my month again with this fabulous great time you had in another Cat Cafe! How I would LOVE to go to one. This one has a charming name as well as residents I would love to meet and pet. ❤️ I really REALLY like your travels to these wonderful places and thank you for the blogs and the pictures!

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  3. So wish we had something like that by us. What a great place to chillax.

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  4. I live too far away from Ann Arbor to visit Tiny Cats often, however I really enjoyed my time there last year, plus I spent $$ at the Shop! And compared to The Ferndale Catfe Lounge, Tiny Cats is HUGE!!!

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  5. We must say that this post made us feel so good about these cat cafes. We have never been to one, but when we do in the near future. They will have to drag us out of there. Your photos are all so wonderful. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Have a great day.
    World of Animals

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  6. Tiny Lions is such a fun cat cafe! If I was a cat waiting to find my forever home, I would love to be there. And it was great to spend time with you, Dawn. ~Sue

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  7. That looks like such a beautiful place! I seriously wish I could *live* in a cat cafe myself. That Maneki Neko holding a coffee cup just kills me! And that Dickens quote is stenciled on the wall at the shelter I adopted Mudpie from :) Thank you for taking us to all these amazing places "virtually"!

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  8. That place is really big. I would love to visit that one.

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  9. The cats are so incredible! The catification is pretty awesome as well!

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  10. That is a wonderful, wonderful place! Everything is so impressive and the kitties look wonderfully happy. I'm really glad to see you with your pals too.

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  11. What a nice cat cafe! It looks so spacious, and that's such a nice place for cats to be able to hang out while they wait to meet their perfect forever human.

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  12. Fabulous article Lola! What an amazing place Tiny Lions Lounge & Adoption Center is! Wishing you safe travels on your tour. xoxo

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  13. What a great space. Mom says she could spend a day there easy. We love hearing how successful these places are in getting cats adopted.

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  14. What a fabulous place! Our mommy telecommeowts with us but we bet she'd go there too if she could! It's nice you got to see friends too!

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  15. This place is amazing! I am so impressed with everything! Each kitty looks wonderful, the decor looks great, and their mission is very impressive, especially how they teach kids. Dawn, you did a really great job at writing this post.

    A cat cafe just recently opened somewhat near me. They charge $22 an hour, which seems a bit steep, but I'm sure it goes to a good cause (plus they're at the beach so their rent must be very high).

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  16. Now THIS looks like an amazing cat cafe! What a wonderful tour you provided for those who live to far away to visit. That white cat snoozing on the bridge reminds me of Sophie - with her belly hanging down. MOL!

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  17. L & L

    de food servizz gurlz place oh employ haz been veree
    veree bad late lee N we canna sneekz round like we
    SHULD bee abe bull two; stopin bye with a message frum
    copee N paste N uz just ta say Hi hope all iz well !!!! ♥♥♥

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  18. The place looks amazing, and I absolutely love that wall! I wish there was a cat cafe near me, I would hang out there every day. It's nice to see how popular they're becoming, and it certainly is a great way to get more cats into forever homes.

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  19. You've done such a great job with your cat cafe road trip! I love seeing all the wonderful cat cafes out there - I had no idea there were so many! Tiny Lions looks like such a beautiful and serene place, I bet these are some of the happiest cats on the planet. Thanks for sharing.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv THem

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  20. What a fantastic place and I only wish others would do the same, it would help so much those cats that are needing homes. It looks so serene and clean there, you can see they do the most amazing work and the cats are proof of it. Thanks for sharing

    LaylasWoof

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  21. What a great cat cafe. I would love to visit there. I wish there was one near me.

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  22. I love pet-friendly places. This one looks like so much fun.

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  23. I really want to go to a cat cafe someday! This one is so bright and cheerful looking!

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  24. What a wonderful place! We really enjoyed the tour you gave us, Dawn. And how awesome that you got to see Sue and your other friends, too!

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  25. What a phenomenal place! I love it! And they already found homes for 711, how wonderful! Love all the cutie pies in the pics...we need more places like this! Great post!

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  26. You need to make a trip to South Carolina and go to our new cat café that is near the university. They have specials during exam time where students can come study with the cats.

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Thank you for your comment! We love meowing with you!

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