While all stores are required to allow service animals, not all stores have to allow pets on their properties. So, it’s important to check with a store or franchise’s pet policy before letting your pet accompany you inside. Make sure to contact the store location directly as some locations of the same franchise may welcome pets while others don’t.
Fortunately, there are many different stores that aren’t pet stores that allow customers to bring their cats. Here are some pet-friendly stores in the US that you can visit with your cats.
The 20 Pet-Friendly Stores in the US
1. Ace Hardware
Ace Hardware proudly refers to itself as “the helpful place” and is a reliable home improvement chain that sells many products manufactured by reputable brands. Most Ace Hardware stores allow leashed dogs inside and don’t mind when dogs are in their outdoor gardening and patio spaces.
They also welcome other pets, including cats, as long as they’re in a carrier.
2. Apple Store
Most standalone Apple Stores welcome leashed dogs or cats that you can carry in bags or backpacks. Apple Stores that don’t welcome pets are usually located inside malls that have a no-animal policy. Just make sure that your cat is on their best behavior inside an Apple Store as an energetic cat may end up causing damage to very expensive products and equipment.
3. Barnes & Noble
Some Barnes & Noble stores allow leashed dogs and cats inside, so it’s important to first check with your local store’s individual pet policy. If your local Barnes & Noble does allow cats, make sure to avoid going near the café as an act of courtesy. People may not prefer having cats near them while they’re eating, especially if it’s not in an outdoor space.
Remember also to be respectful of the furniture and not have your cat sit on it and leave hair behind.
4. Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops is a privately held retail chain that sells all sorts of fishing, hunting, and camping equipment. All Bass Pro Shops are pet-friendly unless they’re located in a state or town with laws and regulations that restrict pets in public spaces.
Bass Pro also owns Cabela’s, which is also an outdoor gear and equipment store. Since Cabela’s is under the same ownership, the same pet rules apply to all Cabela’s locations.
5. DICK’S Sporting Goods
DICK’S Sporting Goods sells all sorts of athletic equipment and outdoor gear. Most locations welcome leashed pets and pets in carriers but make sure to check the store’s individual pet policy before bringing your cat. A nice thing about DICK’s Sporting Goods is that most of the stores have large venues.
So, it’s easy for you to walk around with your cat, and you don’t really have to worry about bumping into too many people while you shop.
6. Half Price Books
Half Price Books is a chain that sells new and used books, movies, and music. It’s also a great place to look for discounted textbooks. In general, Half Price Books is pet-friendly, unless the store is located in a town that has more restrictive pet regulations. So, if your local Barnes & Noble doesn’t allow cats, you can always try seeing if the Half Price Books nearest you welcomes pets inside.
7. Hobby Lobby
Hobby Lobby is generally pet-friendly, but it’s important to check with the specific store location before bringing your cat. Each store can have individual pet policies, so some may only allow dogs, while others will welcome other kinds of pets.
It’s best to keep your cat in a carrier at all times in Hobby Lobby since it has many small items your cat may want to play with. It can easily get into some trouble if it gets caught up in yarn or starts batting small craft supplies, like pom poms and beads.
8. Home Depot
Home Depot officially only allows service dogs inside its stores. However, many Home Depots, especially ones located in pet-friendly communities, don’t mind having leashed dogs and cats in carriers inside. Home Depot stores may also be more lenient about having leashed cats walk around their outdoor garden and patio areas.
Just keep in mind that since Home Depot has a formal pet policy, the store managers have the right to refuse entry if you try to go inside with your cat.
9. JOANN Fabric and Crafts
JOANN Fabric and Crafts is a great location for creative individuals looking to start their next craft project. Fortunately, this chain has a pet-friendly policy. It does request pet owners to ensure that their pets are leashed or in a carrier bag and that they’re on their best behavior.
All its requests are reasonable and in place to help pets and all customers enjoy a safe and undisruptive time while shopping.
10. L.L. Bean
L.L. Bean gladly welcomes pets at all its locations and just requests that they remain leashed or in a carrier at all times. So, your cat can accompany you as you shop for outdoor recreational equipment and apparel. The only exception to this rule is L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport, Maine.
This location has an indoor café, and L.L. Bean wants to keep pets away from café food and drinks.
Most Lowe’s locations welcome cats that are leashed or in a carrier and are well-behaved. So, if your local Home Depot is strict about restricting pets, you can try contacting your local Lowe’s to see if they allow cats inside.
However, Lowe’s doesn’t have a formal pet policy that welcomes pets, so some may only allow service dogs to enter.
12. Marshall’s/TJ Maxx/HomeGoods
Marshall’s is a pet-friendly department store. Just make sure to keep your cat in a carrier and in a calm state as you walk through the aisles. Marshall’s is owned by TJX Companies, which also owns HomeGoods and TJ Maxx. All these stores have the same pet policy, so you’re able to bring your cat to any of these locations as long as it’s leashed or in a carrier. T
he only exception is if the store is located in a town with more rigid pet regulations.
Michaels is a craft supply store that leaves its pet policy up to each individual store. Some stores will welcome pets while others have every right to refuse them. So, make sure to call your local Michael’s before bringing your cat.
Michaels is often a good location for cats that are new to shopping indoors. These stores are often much quieter and have less foot traffic than other stores, so it’s a good location to get your cat acclimated to being outside of the home.
Nordstrom has been pet-friendly for decades and welcomes leashed dogs and cats of all sizes in its locations. Cats are also welcomed in Nordstrom Rack, which is Nordstrom’s off-price department store. Just make sure that your cat is on their best behavior as Nordstrom carries many luxury brands, and you’ll be responsible for any damages caused by your cat.
It’s often best to keep your cat in a carrier just to be safe.
Orvis is a family-owned retail chain that sells outdoor sporting goods and fly-fishing goods. Orvis has an official dog-friendly statement that welcomes leashed dogs in all its stores throughout the country. You can check with your local Orvis to see if it also welcomes cats.
Just keep in mind that Orvis stores tend to attract a lot of dogs, so your cat may not enjoy accompanying you if you bump into a lot of dogs while you shop.
Patagonia lets its individual store locations determine if they’ll be pet-friendly or not. Keep in mind that some stores are dog-friendly, but they may not be cat-friendly. So, make sure to call your local Patagonia to ask about its pet policy and specifically ask if cats are allowed inside.
17. Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn is known for allowing pets in most of its locations. However, it doesn’t have a formal pet policy, so some locations may not allow pets indoors. Since Pottery Barn often sells fragile items that can easily break, it’s best to keep your cat in its carrier at all times while you shop.
It’s also better to keep your cat at home if it tends to get easily excitable or frightened.
Sierra is a retail store that offers off-price active and outdoor apparel and equipment. Sierra is a brand that’s operated by TJX Companies, so it has the same pet policies as TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, and HomeGoods.
It’s important to note that dogs are more commonly seen at Sierra. So, if your cat doesn’t like dogs, it’s probably best to leave them at home rather than risk exposing them to a stressful situation.
19. Tractor Supply Co.
Tractor Supply Co. sells farm supplies, pet and animal feed, clothing, and other outdoor goods. Tractor Supply Co. has a pet-friendly policy, and all of its stores welcome pets unless they’re located in a more pet-restrictive neighborhood. Make sure to keep your cat leashed or in a carrier at all times, and keep an eye out for dogs, as this location is a popular spot for dogs accompanying their owners while they shop.
20. True Value Hardware
True Value Hardware is a home improvement brand, and each of its stores is independently owned and operated. Since the stores are independently owned, they’ll have their own pet policies. Most True Value Hardware stores are pet-friendly and welcome cats in carriers. However, there are a few that don’t allow pets.
So, make sure to call beforehand for accurate and updated information on your local True Value Hardware’s pet policy.
Shopping with your pet can be a fun experience, and many retail stores allow cats and dogs on their premises. Just keep in mind that even if a company has a pet-friendly policy, local laws and regulations can prevent cats from entering stores. So, make sure to call a store beforehand to ensure that your pet is allowed inside.
If the store allows pets, do your best to follow their pet rules to keep them from having any reasons to discourage pets from shopping with their owners.
Featured Image Credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock
- The 20 Pet-Friendly Stores in the US
- 1. Ace Hardware
- 2. Apple Store
- 3. Barnes & Noble
- 4. Bass Pro Shops
- 5. DICK’S Sporting Goods
- 6. Half Price Books
- 7. Hobby Lobby
- 8. Home Depot
- 9. JOANN Fabric and Crafts
- 10. L.L. Bean
- 11. Lowe’s
- 12. Marshall’s/TJ Maxx/HomeGoods
- 13. Michaels
- 14. Nordstrom
- 15. Orvis
- 16. Patagonia
- 17. Pottery Barn
- 18. Sierra
- 19. Tractor Supply Co.
- 20. True Value Hardware