North America's first two cat cafés, Le Café des Chats and Café Chat L'Heureux, sit blocks from each other in Plateau-Mont-Royal.
As such, the cat café curious can walk a mere kilometre to rate and compare the feline concepts. And they have.
Shirley D. writes on Yelp of Café des Chats:
One word. Disappointing. I traveled quite far from one end of the Montreal island to the plateau to check out this brand new first ever Cat Cafe. I really felt like there was no design or effort put into the environment and atmosphere. Honestly, it was just a room with some cats in the corner, with a couple of cheap tables and chairs. I seriously just sat down with my coffee for 10 minutes then left.
The same Shirley D., on Café Chat L'Heureux:
Not bad! Not bad at all. Pretty expensive coffees/smoothies and other drinks but overall a pleasant experience for me. My bf and I waited 10-15 min before we got a table, and that was good for an extremely busy Saturday morning. I really enjoyed my hot chocolate, it was rich and tasty. My bf's smoothie tasted non diluted, not overly sweet and fresh. And of course, there were the cats! We sat near Gustave, a cat that was lounging around near our table at the corner. I really liked the fact that this cat cafe had nooks and crannies/crevices for for the cats to hide and sleep in.
Boston resident Adam H. thinks Café Chat L'Heureux is a "pretty funny concept.":
Was obliged to visit stop here for coffee with a friend. To be honest i am kind of glad i did. I ended up ordering a cappuccino which was not bad at all. I cannot comment on the food as we did not eat, but i get the feeling it wouldn't have mattered as ppl come here for one reason. To eat/drink while watching cats lounge around and walk by you like they own the place.
Claudia D. counsels prospective Café des Chats customers to forget about the food:
I came to this place not because I wanted a delicious coffee or a tasty sandwich, I came for the cats. I think anyone who comes to the Cat Cafe comes for the cats and not the food. Their food selection is limited and a little pricey.
One aspect of Café Chat L'Heureux weirds out customer F. G.:
I find one thing very weird. Their rules, which are advertised both beside the door before entering, and on each table. Aside from the rule about not touching/waking up sleeping cats, the weirdest one is 'clean your hands before touching the cats', and they even have sanitizer around for you. Perhaps I am missing something there, which is why I don't understand this rule, but in all my cat-loving [y]ears this thought never even crossed my mind. First of all, they lick their own bits and then wash themselves with that same tongue. Do we really want to talk about who's cleaner now? Second, I don't think my hands could ever be as nasty as to make a cat dirty, are you kidding me?
The reviews of Café Chat L'Heureux on TripAdvisor are overwhelmingly positive. Almost suspiciously so.
One notable entry clocks in at 1,750 words. And little of it makes any sense:
I have a Danish friend,associated with Noma(google that,if you don't know!),and I will take him here when he visit in 2015, Think even he will appreciate the immense innovativeness of an outwardly modest place. WE certainly did,and recommend warmly all friends to visit to,or if you want a wondrously inexpensive lunch,in a place with genuine warmth & happy cats,then you should take the stroll from either the Main(St.Lawrence Bouleward)or St.Denis.Definitely worth it!
And finally, Aquanaut54 proclaims on TripAdvisor that Café Chat L'Heureux is "EXCEPTIONAL":
I have been AWOL,writing on TA,but THIS Café is so special,that it deserves mentioning! WHY?
1) The Francophone name says all(for Cat Friends):The Happy Cat(s). And they certainly are!
2) The innovative beverages and the sublime French country-style buns.
3) The incredible contraptions for the very lucky cats living there.
4) The very reasonable cost,in comparison to what one get.
No reason to word too much more;the first review'er gave a splendid insight(but clearly forgot to spell-check before posting.Apart from that it says all there is to say!);the second added photos which say more than words. So the only I humbly can add is DON'T MISS THIS CAFÉ-GEM!