Meow Lounge owner Anne Beal wants to promote cat adoption and also provide a comfortable community gathering space. Mikayla Patel / American Journal

At the newly opened Meow Lounge in Westbrook, customers can play with cats, do their homework with cats, read to cats, watch videos with cats and adopt cats.

Customers can also shop, play board games, enjoy snacks and just otherwise revel in being surrounded by felines at the state’s first cat cafe, says owner Anne Beal.

One-year-old Stormy likes a perch near a window at Meow Lounge. Mikayla Patel / American Journal

Beal started taking bookings for cat time at the lounge at 630 Main St. as of July 1, and will celebrate her grand opening Saturday, July 8, and have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 11.

Visitors can book their time through the Meow Lounge website for $15 per adult and $10 per child for a 50-minute session. Longer visits and monthly passes are available, too.

Beal, who has been rescuing and fostering cats and other animals for 30 years, wanted to open a cat cafe as “a nice way to offer space to the shelters here that are always over-full.”

My main goal is helping the kitties as much as I can and bringing awareness,” she said. 


Meow Lounge has two separate areas – a reception area/gift shop that sells locally made items and snacks, and the actual cat lounge. Customers must sign a waiver to enter the cat room, which has lots of toys, beds, climbing poles, cubbies and play space for cats. For people, there’s a small library, comfy seating, board games and tables and chairs.

Anne Beal sells items made by local artists, as well as packaged pastries and snacks, in the gift shop. Mikayla Patel / American Journal

The cat lounge helps both human guests and the cats “feel more comfortable,” Beal said. “A lot of times shelters do have community cat rooms, but because you’re going to a shelter you might feel pressure to adopt.”

At Meow Lounge, visitors are not expected to adopt, but are merely encouraged to spend time with the cats and enjoy their company, she said. If a natural bond between a pet and a potential owner develops, so much the better. 

The cats at the lounge will come from the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston, HART in Cumberland and other rescue organizations. Each shelter will supply information on their lounge cats, and anyone wishing to adopt will apply through the individual shelter.

The Meow Lounge cats have ample space to play and socialize along with more secluded spots for napping. Mikayla Patel / American Journal

“The minute we heard about it we jumped right on it,” said Katie Lisnik, executive director of the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society. “We’re excited that she’s open, and it’s exceeded our expectations.”

The Lewiston shelter appreciates the opportunity Meow Lounge provides “to showcase” their cats in a broader geographical area, Lisnik said.


Right now we’re incredibly full,” she said. “We’re seeing a big increase in owner surrenders and strays,” she said. “With the economy the way it is, we’re seeing a slowdown in adoptions.”

Beal’s setup allows prospective adopters to see the cats in a quiet and calm environment, Lisnik said.

“You can see their real personality and how they’re going to act in their home,” she said.

Androscoggin Humane Society staff members will meet with anyone interested in adopting one of its cats at the lounge. Lisnik said she hopes to eventually send staff to the cafe on select days so that adoptions can be completed on the spot.

Owner Anne Beal shows bird videos to entertain the cats. Mikayla Patel / The Forecaster

Meow Lounge will also host community activities, Beal said, such as trivia contests, movie nights and tarot readings, as well as cat reading hours where kids can read to the kitties in the lounge’s library area.

“I’m hoping to make it as much of a community space as possible,” she said.

She has been a Big Sister through Big Brothers, Big Sisters for many years and has been involved with the Center for Grieving Children and wants to hold free visiting time for members of those organizations, too.

For more information on Meow Lounge, go to

Comments are not available on this story.