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“You already have a cat [that you take to cafes in a backpack]. You don’t need to go to the cat cafe,” is what someone told me.
I disagree. There are many reasons to visit cat cafes even if you already have a cat.
For those of you who’ve never heard of or been to a cat cafe, it’s a cafe with cats that you can spend time with. Due to health and safety reasons, in North America, the cats are not in the same area where food and drinks are served. Reservations usually have to be made in order to enter the area with cats.
The world’s first cat café actually opened in Taipei, Taiwan and became popular in Japan where many apartment buildings don’t allow pets. Now, they are all over the world. There are two cat cafés in Seattle, USA: Neko in the Capital Hill neighborhood and Meowtropolitan in the Fremont neighborhood. There are two cat cafés in Edmonton, Canada: Cat Cafe on Whyte and Paws The Cat Cafe although I have only been to the former.
7 Reasons to Visit Cat Cafes
1. To be with other cat lovers
You can’t help smiling when you are in a room with cats and people who love cats. Where else would you see how many people appreciating cats except for at the vet?
2. The ambiance
It’s not just a bunch of tables and chairs. There are cat towers and cat-themed decor, not to mention games and books on cats.
3. Cat-themed drinks and food
The Meowtropolitan has cat-shaped macarons and cat latte art (instead of flowers or leaves). Neko has Japanese pop soda with cats on the bottle.
4. To visit specific cats or make cat friends
Both Neko and Meowtropolitan have resident cats, meaning cats that live there permanently. I fell in love with one of Meowtropolitan’s resident cats, Squid. Not only does he have a playful and inquisitive personality, but he is also a white cat with two different colored eyes (heterochromia irides). He would be adopted in a heartbeat if he were available for adoption!
5. Cool cat merchandise
Both Neko and Meowtropolitan have cat pins, cat hairbands, and cat wine (non-alcoholic catnip drinks for cats).
I got a paw-shaped mouse pad for the cat room at the vet clinic that I work at from the Meowtropolitan.
The Meowtropolitan also has a line of reasonably priced ankle socks: each resident cat has his or her own sock. Guess which pair of socks I bought?
6. Shopping there benefits cats.
“Meowtropolitan gives back to the cat community with our Meow For Meals program. [They] donate a meal to a cat shelter, rescue, or feline-focused charity for every sale made.”
Coupon code for Meowtropolitan’s online store www.meowtrading.com: NewToFelineKingdom
7. Cat cafes have cats up for adoption.
Another place to look for a cat instead of online or at a shelter, especially if you’d like one that’s more sociable, is to visit a cat cafe with cats looking for homes. The Cat Cafe on Whyte has cats from the SAFE Team (Saving Animals From Euthanasia Team). The Meowtropolitan has cats from the Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC). All of Neko’s resident cats are feline leukemia virus (FeLV) positive or immune deficient cats that would otherwise be euthanized.
Cat cafes are controversial in some parts of the world. For instance, in the United Kingdom, some animal charities don’t think that cat cafes are a suitable environment for cats due to a large number of cats living in an enclosed space with a large number of strangers visiting. International Cat Care, a charity passionate about improving the lives of cats, says that “it is a difficult environment to get right but it’s not impossible by any means”*. All three of the cat cafes that I’ve visited had rules for not touching cats when they’re sleeping or hiding. Cats in all three of the cat cafes have places where they can go (either through a cat door or up high) if they need a break from people.
Seven noteworthy reasons to visit cat cafes even if you already have a cat:
- Be with other cat lovers.
- Enjoy the cat-friendly ambiance.
- Enjoy cat-themed drinks and food.
- Make cat friends.
- Buy cool cat merchandise.
- Give back to the cat community.
- Adopt cats. #adoptdontshop
Please stop by your local cat cafe soon or visit one on your next trip!
I’d like to visit more cat cafes around the world. Please share pictures or stories from the cat cafes that you’ve been to!