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7 Reasons Cats Should Not Work in Coffee Shops

Distractions, loose coffee beans, and constant naps would make cats the worst baristas ever.

Angie Bailey  |  Mar 31st 2016

Working in a coffee shop requires speed, concentration, and the ability to multitask. This can be a challenge for even some human baristas. I worked in a coffee shop for about a year, and it’s not for the fainthearted, especially during a rush. Those shops get rockin’, and customers want their beverages as quickly as possible. It can be high stress!

A cat wouldn’t last a day as a barista. The lengthy naps, constant distractions, and sharp claws would annoy customers and irritate managers. Sure, they’d sail through the interview because they can be total charmers, but once the paws hit the floor and the orders started rolling in, they’d be done for. All that charm wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans … coffee beans, that is.

Here are seven reasons cats shouldn’t work at coffee shops.

1. The freaky-loud steamer

"We're outta here!"

“We’re outta here!” Photo via Shutterstock

In general, cats aren’t fond of loud noises, and espresso machine steamers produce quite the startling sounds. Kitties would never be able to create cappuccinos, lattes, or any other specialty beverages that require the steam monster. In fact, if a human employee was whipping one up, they’d dash into the supply closet and hide until closing time.

2. Claws and paper cups don’t mix

Even a careful kitty would run the risk of puncturing paper cups with his sharp claws. Customers usually don’t like having their coffee served in a paper colander. Management may enforce a rule about keeping nails trimmed, but there’d always be the employees who flick their tails at the boss. Plus, the cardboard boxes in the storage closet would be too big of a temptation for compulsive claw-sharpeners.

3. Loose beans for the batting


“Playtime!” Photo via Shutterstock

Since I’m a former coffee shop employee, I can attest to the stray beans that always seem to be scattered around the floor behind the counter. To humans, these are slipping hazards; however, to cats, they’re super-slidey toys! They’d totally ignore customers if they were involved in a bean-soccer game with another cat.

4. The name-on-the-cup situation

The misunderstanding of customer names on coffee-shop cups has been a joke for quite some time now. The barista asks for the name and then writes something completely wacky, that perhaps sounds a little like the real name, on the paper cup. My name’s Angie, but I’ve been served a cup with a Sharpie-written “Angel” or “Angle” on the side.

Cats would take the ridiculousness one step further. They’d turn the name into something cat-related, so my name might become “Sea Bass” or “Kibble.” None of it makes a bit of sense, and customers would become irritated, but cats wouldn’t give a rip. In fact, they’d try to outdo one another with the outrageous names. One day a customer given the name “Butt Lick” might completely lose it and file a formal complaint with the corporate office.

5. The temptation of cream

"They'll never notice a little lick off the ear."

“They’ll never notice a little lick off the ear.” Photo via Shutterstock

Cream, glorious cream! Whether it’s steamed, whipped, or straight from the carton, cats would be big fans of the delicious dairy product. Customers would receive their beverage with noticeable cat-tongue marks across the top of the cream. Angry comment cards would spill from the “Tell Us How We’re Doing!” box. Many cats would lose their jobs.

6. Inability to stay awake

"Um, no."

“Um, no.” Photo via Shutterstock

Everyone knows cats enjoy their extended naps. Well, this behavior wouldn’t fly on the job at a coffee shop. The cool thing about a sleepy human as a barista is the endless supply of caffeine. Even if an employee had pulled an all-nighter, espresso would slap a quick fix on that problem until the end of the shift, and then she could go home and crash. Cats, on the other hand … well, they’re probably not the biggest fans of coffee, even when it’s mixed with cream. So what’s a cat to do but fill his belly with straight-up cream and curl up in the break room?

7. Distractions everywhere!

A customer would place an order with an attentive feline barista one moment, then the cat would begin pawing at the register tape or pulling the coins out of the tip bowl and swatting them onto the floor. Their level of concentration is way better suited to staring at dead bugs in light fixtures. Customers would wish they’d gone to that place around the block.