Cat cafe is pouncing in downtown Charleston

Brandt Prince

On an average morning in downtown Charleston, right past George Street on Meeting Street you can always find people with their faces pressed against the glass at Pounce Cat Café. It doesn’t seem to bother the playful kittens one bit.

Inside the employees are busy cleaning up, scooping poop, and entertaining nosy, curious cats for when the doors open at 11 a.m. to the public. By the fresh smell inside you would never know the cafe is the home of 32 kittens.

When the doors open the kittens make sure to greet any visitors by surrounding them, climbing on them and making them feel welcome. And just like any child, sometimes they try to fight for attention.

Started in December 2016 by Ashley Brooks and Annalise Hughes, Pounce Cat Café has quickly turned in to one of the most visited and talked about places in town. In 7 months they have seen their fair share of regulars and strangers, walk-ins and reservations but one thing stays the same. Everyone who walks into Pounce Cat Café will have a smile on their face for the next hour they spend there.

When asked what she enjoys most about Pounce, co-founder Ashley Brooks said, “I’ve always been a crazy cat lady, so first and foremost the cats. It is awesome getting them out of cages and the shelter and giving them this safe, fun environment to get to know people and socialize them. But I love giving people this experience. It’s just so much fun to make people’s day just drowning in a pile of kittens and drinking wine.”

Pounce gets the animals from the Charleston Animal Society. The Charleston Animal Society and Pounce Cat Café coordinate the drop-off of new animals to ensure there is always a steady supply of fluffballs for you to pet, but more importantly a steady supply of animals that may otherwise be homeless or waiting at the animal society for a forever home.

If you fall in love with any of the kittens or cats, and I am sure you will, the adoption process is fairly simple.

“The adoption process is exactly what you would do at Charleston Animal Society. You fill out paperwork here, do an adoption contract, a little bit of an interview and background check. The adoption fee for kittens is $100 and for adult cats over one year of age is $50, but it is the exact same thing you would go through at The Charleston Animal Society," Ashley explains.

There is a $15 an hour fee to come and get your kitty fix. The money goes to helping supply the animals with what they need to thrive until they reach their forever home. It also goes towards their delicious (I am guessing) Fancy Feast kitten food. Along with that, you can donate to the cafe. Although, they prefer you donate to the Charleston Animal Society directly.

Pounce Cat Café has been so successful in Charleston that they plan to expand to a Savannah location in the next few months. Ashley and Annalise will both share the duties of making sure each site runs smoothly and in the same manner that has worked so far.

If you have never been to Pounce you are missing out. If you are wanting a fun, unique, and amazing experience then please go to to start your reservation process now. Make sure you also check out the upcoming special events such as Kitten Yoga, Feline and Design, and a special Eclipse viewing party. Be sure to follow them on Twitter @pouncecatcafe and Instagram @pouncecatcafe as well.


Brandt Prince has lived in South Carolina most of his life and started The Charlestonion in 2011 as a Twitter project that quickly turned into a comedic and satirical look at all things Charleston. His passion for all things Charleston has now expanded into trying to get a look at a side of Charleston from behind the scenes.

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