Downward-Facing Cat: The Cat's Meow Café Hosts Feline-Centric Yoga

Katie Doyle leads a recent Take Paws session at the Cat's Meow Café.
Katie Doyle leads a recent Take Paws session at the Cat's Meow Café. Photo courtesy of Bloom Burst Life
Na-meow-ste, friends.

Cat yoga has arrived at the Cat’s Meow Café in Miami's Upper Eastside, with the latest session scheduled for Saturday, January 23.

According to Cat’s Meow Café founder Elizabeth Gallardo, Miami is home to more than 300,000 homeless cats. Gallardo has partnered with Miami-Dade Animal Services to showcase some of those cats at her café and via events in the hope of finding them permanent homes.

So, how does this cat yoga — dubbed Take Paws — work?

The experience lasts 90 minutes and costs $25. Amid the current environment, only six individuals are allowed per session. Guests are asked to wear a facemask and bring their own yoga mat and water. The café stocks ample disinfectant and wipes on-site if and when folks need ‘em.

Each session includes a 60-minute, cat-inspired yoga sequence. The experience is led by holistic health and wellness coach — and cat lover — Katie Doyle, who also regularly teaches at YogaSix in Hollywood.

“The yoga class is planned to honor, interact with, and enjoy the cats while also incorporating animal-named yoga poses to connect the students with an animal-centered yoga flow,” Doyle says.

Following the hour of yoga, guests can enjoy a 30-minute cool-down in the spot’s Cat Lounge, which is populated by adoptable furry friends.

Cat’s Meow Café hosted its first cat yoga class last March, shortly after the brick-and-mortar shop opened. The business had one yoga session before COVID-19 reared its ugly head. After a few months of being shut down, the café reopened in mid-May.

“Now we do two or three yoga sessions per month, always on Saturday mornings,” Gallardo reports. “Sometimes we’ll have them every weekend.”

For the latest slate of dates, Gallardo recommends staying tuned into the café's Instagram or website.

So far, the Cat’s Meow Café has helped many feline friends find forever homes. To date, Gallardo says, the business has coordinated more than 180 adoptions.

And, yes, some have stemmed from yoga sessions.

“We have certainly had a few post-yoga adoptions,” she says. “Among them, our instructor [Doyle] ended up adopting too.”

Outside of the periodic yoga events, the Cat’s Meow Café is open from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Ahead of a visit and online, folks can book a one-hour Cat Lounge visit for $17. Additionally, last month the business launched a comedy night and has painting events and cat-care workshops in the works for the near future.

Through all of its activities, the business is strengthening that bond between cats and their human friends.

“Giving certain cats a chance at a new home and being able to see people with their new best friends — it’s all rewarding,” Gallardo says. “During these times, having that connection is important for us all.”

Take Paws Cat Yoga. 10 a.m. Saturday, January 23, and select Saturdays at the Cat's Meow Café, 7541 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; Registration costs $25.
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.