For many animal lovers (myself included) the prospect of a warm drink, squishy armchair, and fuzzy companion sounds like perfection. So when Japanese coffeehouses started offering cats to accompany their coffee, Americans were eager to join in.

Denver Cat Company opened in December amid the cat cafe craze. By serving only unregulated food and drink, the shop skirted Colorado’s health codes regarding animals in restaurants. “The restrictions don’t apply,” says owner Sana Hamelin. “And any separation of the cafe and the cats’ space wouldn’t have worked.”

That means no lattes while you pet these lap cats. Instead, DCC offers a simple selection of Solar Roast Coffee, a Pueblo-based company that uses low-temperature solar power to roast their beans. Denver Cat Company carries medium and dark roasts, along with a selection of teas and cold drinks.

Sip on one of the smooth blends and focus your attention on the shop’s rotating cast of kitties (all available for adoption). Because of Solar Roast’s technique, even the darkest roasts have a smoky flavor with low acidity. While some strong brews can have a bitter aftertaste, these are pleasantly mild—and so are the cats. Only the friendliest felines are sent over from partner organization Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue. In just under two months, 19 cats have been adopted through DCC. For February, Hamelin has brought in FIV-positive (feline immunodeficiency virus) cats in the hopes of finding homes for those that might need an extra hand.

Hamelin says that while the cats are what bring most people in the door, the coffee is a draw for many customers. Folks are stopping in regularly for their java and even taking it to go, foregoing any cat contact. At just over $2 for a small cup of coffee, prices are competitive. Plan a weekday trip, or expect to pay a $5 cover charge to help fund the upkeep of the cats.

3929 Tennyson St., 303-433-3422