The Ultimate Cat Lover's Guide To NYC

Calling all cat lovers, your time has come! A couple of us at Refinery HQ have been feeling slighted by all of the dog adoration here (and yes, well-deserved). Sure, we like a good cat fashion show as much as anyone, but when it comes to the day-to-day, certain editors may be guilty of favoring those of the canine variety. While it might be more romantic to stroll through Washington Square Park with a pooch than scoot out of your house armed with a lint roller because Chairman Meow has napped on your favorite jacket—let's face it: Owning a cat in New York City makes more sense. Small spaces and lower expenses favor felines, and there are plenty of paws around the city ready to knead their way into your heart. So, here's the New Yorker's ultimate guide to picking, pampering, and protecting his/her purring pets. Making them into LOLcats, though…that's all you.
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Click through to see our top feline picks!
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Kitties Galore!
Adopting a pretty kitty in New York City (we rhyme on purpose) is unfortunately too easy thanks to abundant strays. Unless you have a particular breed in mind—which you might, due to allergens and preferences —skip the local pet store and make friends with rescue agencies. (Though, some pet stores, like Whiskers Holistic, will point you in the right way and have great relations with rescuers). We love BARC, but the special kitty lean of Empty Cages Collective is great. Fees run around $75, but you'll get spaying/neutering, vaccines and primary health care handled.
Empty Cages Collective, 302 Bedford Avenue (between South 1st and Grand streets);1-880-2684.
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Spoil Your Furball

If you are a seasoned cat owner, you're well aware that finding a sweater-loving Persian is quite a feat, so playing dress up probably ain't happening. However, toys and treats are a whole other story, and for that, head to The Pet Bar, which offers limited space but maximum selection and value. High-protein diets keep kittens lean, and don't worry about dragging your mega-bag of kitty kibble home: they deliver all over Manhattan.
The Pet Bar, 132 Thompson Street (between Prince and Houston streets). 212-253-9250.
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Spread Your Love

Condo association not feeling your feline fever? Unsure of whether or not you are ready for a steady pal? Try volunteering. Heading over to a location like BARC is a great way to meet people and play with hordes of cute kitties, but if you are a little more serious about your cat commitment, try being a foster mom (or dad). Most foster associations work within your time frame and needs—and it's a great way to see if you are "cat material." Check out the Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals for info which, bee-tee-dubs, is a great source for breed-specific rescue programs.

Above: The author's favorite feline, a shelter-born cat herself named Missy.
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Happy Healthy House Cats

Pet care can be quite costly, but no one wants to skimp out on a furry bestie. So if you don't have good recommendations and don't mind cold calling, try the much-adored One Love Animal Hospital in Downtown Brooklyn. For the wallet-conscious, try the super affordable Bideawee, which also houses adoption facilities. A couple hard and fast rules: even if your pet is not sick, they should have a doc who is familiar with their files; if money is an issue, let it be known up front—most vets will help you figure out a solution; Microchipping is not painful but affordable, and will insure your furball can always find its way home.
One Love Animal Hospital, 317 Atlantic Avenue (between Smith and Hoyt streets); Brooklyn, 718-532-7410.
Bideawee, 410 East 38th Street (Between First Avenue and FDR Drive); 212-532-4455.
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Keep Your Kitten Gorgeous (And Safe!)

For short-hairs, grooming is a little indulgent (but a fun treat every now and again). Long-haired little ones, however, may need a bath now and again, and we love the delightfully named Groomindales for a proper fluffing. For a cat-only experience, it's best to call someone in to visit your pal: we love The Pet Maven for at home catsitting and care--including a massage and blow-out!
Groomingdales, 349 East 82nd Street (between 1st and 2nd avenues); 646-837-6404.
The Pet Maven, 2 Tudor City Place (Between First and Second avenues); 917-744-4709
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