Feline Good Social Club: a ‘purrr’-fect place for cat lovers

Nestled in downtown Long Beach is Feline Good Social Club, a cat lounge that allows attendees the chance to sip some boba, indulge in a muffin and play with numerous foster cats.

Although food and beverages are not sold at the lounge, Feline Good Social Club owner Pam Leslie said that for $15, attendees can bring snacks and a laptop or books to work while in the company of cats.

Feline Good Social Club officially opened on Aug. 10, despite it being slated to open in April this year. Leslie said permits mandated by the City of Long Beach prolonged the lounge’s opening, but eventually they were able to get the ball rolling.

“It’s been really smooth, it’s peaceful and it isn’t overcrowded,” Leslie said of her time operating the lounge since it opened.

The smooth opening process has allowed the lounge staff to experiment with new ideas for attendees without the pressure of an overcrowded work environment.

Recently, the team at Feline Good Social Club has provided yoga classes for attendees. For $20 an hour, a certified yoga instructor guides attendees through the session. While the class is taking place, cats and kittens run and play around those participating.

The environment is cat friendly. It features various nooks and crannies for the furry felines to run in and out of. Toys are dispersed around the lounge, and attendees can use them to play with kittens as they lay on soft rugs bordered off by various pillows. Rooted in the center of the lounge is a carved wooden tree for the cats to climb and take naps on.

Leslie said the idea of cat lounges grew in popularity across parts of Asia before it became established in the states. Having spent a long time in the cat-rescue business, Leslie and her other partners–– Tamara Trujilo and Erica Johnson–– saw cat lounges as an opportunity to help foster cats find forever homes.

A challenge Leslie said the lounge alleviated was space. The downtown location provided a place to keep all the rescued cats. When she operated as a small nonprofit, Leslie said it was difficult to find a place to house the cats. She would have to take them from foster homes, drive them around in a carrier and bring them to different pet stores.

“They just were stressed, and it was hard to convince people that the cats they saw were sweet, friendly and social cats,” Leslie said.

The idea to open a cat lounge seemed far-fetched, at first, because health codes are different in the United States, and the trio thought they wouldn’t allow for such an establishment.

Things changed when a cat lounge opened in Oakland Leslie said, and it propelled the trio to brainstorm their own lounge and apply for the appropriate permits.

If someone falls in love with a cat while at the lounge, Leslie said they may adopt the feline after they fill out an adoption form and are accepted.

As of print time, there have been nine cats adopted from the Feline Good Social Club in the first month since it opened, Leslie said. Long Beach Feline helps facilitate the adoption process by conducting interviews and approving applicants for adoption.

“The cats you see here are living here,” Leslie said. “This is how the cat will be in their home. That’s so important because some people want cats who are lazy and sleepy and some people want cats that are playful and energetic and you get [to know that] from a cat who is living in a cage in a store. Here you get to see that.”

Another benefit people may experience at the cat lounge is the opportunity to simply be with cats if they live in an environment where cats aren’t allowed or a family member is allergic, Leslie said.

As the cat lounge reaches the end of the first month since opening, Leslie said some clients have inquired about renting the lounge for events such as a small wedding. Feline Good Social Club merchandise is available online at their website, and the proceeds go toward purchasing supplies for the cats as well as paying for the space the lounge occupies.

To visit the Feline Good Social Club, clients can visit felinegoodsocialclub.com for events as well as pricing and merchandise.