I have a confession to make. I have a full blown cat addiction, and, I’m not even sorry. Those soft little ears, twitching tails and indifferent faces cast a spell that have us dashing around the globe and visiting enough cat cafes to have a shortlist of 10 of the best cat cafes in the world. All the while a sleepy little tabby cat snoozes at home in London…
Once we’ve booked flights and perused hotels, Google searching for a cat cafe is one of the first things I do – and I’ve been accused of carrying out those 3 tasks in a slightly different order. It’s something I can neither confirm nor deny, but we do have a rather high hit rate of booking accommodation close to cat cafes. I’ll just leave that there, shall I?
To make this an exclusive exhaustive list of 10 of the best cat cafes in the world, several factors come into play. Happy and content cats, well thought out layouts with hidey holes, excellent drinks and snacks, and perhaps most importantly, a high ration of friendly kitties who snooze in or around our laps.
Ok, ok, that’s a little less scientific than I intended it to sound like.
Anyway, I’ve discussed this at great length with a variety of cat loving friends, and my 10 favourites – in order from pretty good to absolute best are as follows:
As well as serving coffee, many cat cafés are on a mission to raise awareness of cat welfare issues, such as the plight of stray and abandoned cats. Cat Café Neko no Niwa in Singapore (‘neko’ is Japanese for cat; neko no niwa, cat garden) only adopt stray and rescue cats. Its residents include a sweet little kitty called Emma, who is a rare find – only 15% of all white cats with blue eyes are not deaf.
Within 15 minutes of sitting dejectedly in a central coffee shop watching the rain roll down the window panes, we were cooing over the inhabitants of Munich’s vegan cat cafe. Does it get any better?
The Miau Cat Cafe is one of the most genuinely offbeat cat cafes we’ve been to. Our cab driver took us into an industrial estate, unsure as to whether to let us out of the car (we reassured him that we’d be absolutely fine) and we entered with glee. It’s one of the few cat cafes that we’ve been to where you can order a beer, and friendly dogs run amok amongst the snoozing felines.
The chilled out vibe of the cafe extended to the cats themselves, and we stayed for a good couple of hours, pinned down at various points by snoring kitties.
Slightly incongruous in the salty east end of London and only a stone’s throw from Brick Lane, the cafe attracts so much attention from passersby that people literally stop in the street exclaiming ‘ohhhh, it’s a cat cafe!’.
The second time I visited Lady Dinah’s, it was with a new friend who is as cat obsessed as I am, and this time we booked in the whole shebang – a proper afternoon tea – that we enjoyed in the afternoon amidst the kitty watching. Replete with prosecco, bottomless tea and lots of cats mooching around the Alice in Wonderland themed space, it’s a purrfect way to unwind.
We then caught the metro to Surry Hills, where we visited Catmosphere, the out of this world (sorry) cat cafe. Fitting in a few feline snuggles is swiftly becoming essential when we visit new places, and Sydney’s offering didn’t disappoint. With two large rooms – one with cats, one with kittens, we were in heaven.
So good that we’ve been twice on two separate trips, don’t these faces just say it all? I actually squealed in delight upon discovering that in the neighbouring block to our hotel on our first stay housed a menagerie of felines and served adulterated cappuccinos in a cat cafe where pre-booking was unnecessary.
I swear to the powers that be, I didn’t realise how close our cabin was to the Austin Blue Cat Cafe, but for the duration of our stay, we were close enough that we used the adoption centre as a point of navigation. Looking after up to 20 cats at a time, all but one are available for adopting by families who come into the cafe for an experience far cuter than usual.
We popped in just after opening one morning and have never met such friendly little felines. Crawling in our laps, butting our chins with their purring and winding around our legs, they didn’t leave Mr Kiwi and I alone. We popped back in another time with Tammy and had less attention due to the cafe being much busier but it was still adorable.
BaristaCats Café, located in the heart of Auckland’s CBD, is home to 14 fabulously furry residents who love to mingle and play. The cats themselves were super friendly (including a blind, little ginger kit by the name of Bryan who doesn’t let his lack of eyesight stop him from clambering up the highest points) and the owners broke our hearts when they earnestly told us about taking home one of the cats who was getting a bit stressed for a temporary kitty cat vacation.
Pre-trip, the only thing that we researched was stopping in the Valencia cat cafe – which is the sum total of as much planning as we did before our long weekend. As luck would have it, it was a few minutes walk from our lovely apartment. I swear it wasn’t intentional…
If I’m being entirely honest, the reason why this cat cafe scores so highly on the list is the sheer friendliness of the cats – my favourite was this lap warmer and the little black long-haired kitty called Luna who alternated between wanting belly rubs from me, and fetching a toy for another dude to throw for her.
Sometimes with travel, it’s all about the simple things that make a trip memorable. Oh, that and a demonstration of the CatMan car – the favourite transport method of Harvey, a Ragdoll resident. Over time he has been trained with cat treats to sit in the remote controlled car and generally be the master of all he surveys (between you and I, I suspect the latter part was his idea.)
The Manchester Cat Cafe has to be my favourite so far – there was more than ample room for the cats to avoid the visitors in true cat style if they want to, there was a fantastic selection of drinks (all included in the entry price) and even though we didn’t book, after a short delay we got in and relaxed on one of their many couches. It’s well worth of pole position in this list of my 10 of the best cat cafes in the world. So far.
Every single one of these places have one overriding theme – cat lovers who have launched a business to give these cuties a home, providing city dwellers with somewhere to slake their need for a little feline interaction. Ps. for maximum cat attention, when visiting a cat cafe, try and get there when they’re just opening.
Have you been to a cat cafe? If so, which was your favourite?
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