From the Orlando Cat Cafe

Since September 2016, the Orlando Cat Café was the first Cat Café to open in Florida and it is now the first Cat Café to include cats with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) for adoption in their unique café environment. FIV acts by suppressing the cat’s immune system, making them unable to fight off illnesses and infections and occurs in approximately 2% of the feline population in the United States. Many cats are found to be positive (+) before any signs of illness occur, and most remain symptom free for many years, or even the entire life span of the cat. 

“The old way of thinking is that FIV+ cats needed to be kept segregated to ensure that the virus was not transmitted to other cats, but the current research indicates that friendly cats, living together, rarely if ever transmit the virus and so the Cat Café is a great environment for these cats to live while they await their forever home,” says Sandra Cagan, owner and founder of the Orlando Cat Café. Cats most at risk of contracting the virus include outdoor, intact, and free-roaming cats, none of which are housed at the Orlando Cat Café. “The virus is most commonly transmitted via salivary contact with other cats via deep bite puncture wounds, and that type of behavior doesn’t occur with the cats at the Orlando Cat Café,” says Cagan.

Shelley Thayer, Executive Director of SPCA Florida and Dr. Robyn Barton, Shelter Veterinarian at SPCA Florida, provide the Orlando Cat Café with their felines and approached Cagan earlier this month about the possibility of including FIV+ cats at the unique environment. “Maddie’s Fund, University of Florida, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, and Best Friends Animal Society have been promoting the co-mingling of FIV+ cats with non-FIV+ cats for several years now and there are many long-accredited studies (10 – 20 years) that have proven it is extremely difficult to transfer FIV from one cat to another,” says Thayer. “The consensus among the veterinary world is that FIV+ cats live as long as non-FIV+ cats. We ask that FIV+ cats be kept inside, although access to a screened-in porch or lanai is acceptable, the same as for non-FIV+ cats,” adds Dr. Barton.

Moo Cow arrived at the Orlando Cat Café earlier this month and has been an incredible ambassador to educate people about FIV+ cats. “He is super friendly and outgoing and loves to be the center of attention,” says Cagan. “When Moo Cow is in the Cat Play Area, we use the opportunity to educate our guests about FIV.”

If you are interested in adopting Moo Cow, or any FIV+ cat, there are some veterinary recommended protocols to be followed. Because bites are the major route of virus transmission, any FIV+ cat should be an indoor-only cat, and only share his home with friendly and/or other FIV+ cats. This not only prevents exposure of your pet to outside illnesses and parasites but also prevents the possible spread of FIV to other, non-infected cats. And, since cats with active FIV infections have disadvantaged immune systems, SPCA Florida recommends regular veterinary health checks and good parasite control. “With proper care, cats with FIV are often able to live relatively normal lives and often pass away due to causes unrelated to FIV,” says Barton.

With nearly 2,100 adoptions since opening, the Orlando Cat Café has welcomed more than 150,000 guests from all over the world. Guests can enjoy pastries and beverages in Minch Coffee or for a small entrance fee, interact with 12 to 30 adoptable cats in the Cat Play Area. All cats and kittens are spayed/neutered, microchipped, current on their vaccinations, and are available for adoption. Open seven days “purr” week, the Orlando Cat Café is located at 532 Cagan Park Avenue in the Cagan Crossings Town Center, about 4 miles west of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made at or by calling (352) 989-4820.



The Orlando Cat Café opened in September 2016. Working together with SPCA Florida, Cagan Management Group, Inc., and Minch Coffee Company, our joint mission is to save the lives of homeless cats in Central Florida while drinking good coffee. Visit for more information.


Founded in 1979, SPCA Florida exists to eliminate animal suffering and engage the entire community in the welfare and well-being of animals. SPCA Florida will help and heal 20,000 dogs and cats through its SPCA Florida Animal Medical Center and provide direct care for 6,500 animals through its Adoption Center this year. Ani-Meals and Food Assistance Programs, provide food and medical care for animals of homebound families and families who need supplemental food for thousands of dogs and cats each year.


Husband and wife team, Mathias and Suzanne Bernal, have been in the coffee business for 15 years. Mathias is a native of France and was inspired to form Minch Coffee Co. in part to honor his great grandfather who owned a coffee shop in the region of Dordogne. Suzanne is from Sioux City, Iowa and became interested in the coffee industry while a college student, studying abroad. She received intensive coffee training in Portland in 2005 and has been hooked ever since. Minch is named after Arba Minch Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee.

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