Ryan Shea was working as a registered nurse at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital in 2017 when her cat Brody was struck and killed by a car.
“When that happened, I ended up doing a lot of volunteer work in cat shelters and realized there were so many that needed homes,” said Shea, who owns The Shabby Tabby Cat Cafe in Sayville.
The inspiration for Shabby Tabby — a vibrant 1,600-square-foot immaculate space with coffee tables, retro video and board games, cat toys and trees, plush beds and Instagram worthy backdrops — came from Shea’s travels to Colorado and California, during which she visited multiple cat cafes.
And then there’s the main attraction: the cats. Nearly two dozen of them. And each one of them is a rescue.
The cats roam about, nap, and mingle and cuddle with the customers, who sip tea or coffee in the meantime. The feline sanctuary gives people who enjoy cats a chance to spend time with them; it also affords folks interested in adopting a cat the opportunity to get to know potential adoptees.
There’s a ton of photos below the story from YellowHouseImages.com.
Fifteen bucks at the Shabby Tabby gets you one hour of cat cuddling and a beverage of your choice.
“We try to create a calming environment,” Shea said. “You can just come, sit, lay and hang out with them.”
The cats are all rescues from Almost Home in Patchogue. Any cat you see can be adopted.
Since opening in 2018, the cat cafe has facilitated over 630 adoptions. Due to high demand, the cafe opened its tranquil and bigger new location at 197 West Main St. earlier this month.
Fittingly, the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce christened the moment with a grand re-opening ribbon cutting ceremony.
If kitty swag is your thing, the Shabby Tabby sells cat-themed jewelry, hairbrushes, candy and even Fat Cat Hot Sauce. Plus, the cafe has an exciting calendar full of events, including “Mewvie” Night, “Friends” Trivia, Glow Yoga and Paint Your Pet.
“I have always loved cats, they are very independent, they are awesome friends with different personalities,” Shea said.
Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce President Eileen Tyznar said cat cafe is destination because it is a one-of-a-kind establishment, attracting visitors to Sayville.
“It brings people in from so many other towns, and once they’re here, they discover Main Street,” she said. “And now that the cafe is closer to downtown Main Street, their customers can walk to downtown.”
Scroll down for some great photos taken inside the Shabby Tabby Cat Cafe by YellowHouseImages.com. Be sure to click on all of the numbered boxes to see them all.