The Purrrfection That is a Cat Cafe

I recently celebrated my birthday in Thailand, and you know where I spent it?

I didn’t ride elephants or jump off a waterfall. Instead, I bee-lined it to a cat cafe and partied with over 20 rock star kitties.

As I sipped coffee and nibbled on a slice of banoffee pie (complete with a caramel cat face drizzled on the plate,) I took in the beauty unfolding around me and realized that heaven is real. There were small cats, big cats, fluffy cats, and bengals. Some had smooshy faces and one had bright, orange eyes. They rolled, pounced, meowed, and batted at toys and string. One disappeared into a cardboard box and curled into a soft, sleeping mound. Others noshed on treats or lapped water from a homemade trough.

“Here, hold this one,” said the cafe owner, as she dropped a cream colored Persian into my lap. Indeed, heaven is real.

Cat cafes are coming in hot around the globe, and for good reason: two of the best things on earth, cats and coffee, have been combined into one irresistible business model. While the brilliant concept is slow to emerge in the US due to health regulations, Asian countries have fully embraced cat cafes, with tourists and locals flocking in droves. Take a look at 6 of the most popular cat cafes around the world and start planning your trip cat lovers.

Cat Town Cafe, Oakland, CA

This is the first permanent cat cafe in the U.S., not only catering local coffee, bagels and other bakery delights, but allowing visitors to fulfill their fur fantasies with a plethora of kitties to play with. Cat Town Cafe aims to find loving homes for their cats, as it is a non profit cat rescue. Walk ins are welcome, but only 14 visitors are allowed access at a time, so it is recommended to make a reservation beforehand.

Cafe Neko, Vienna, Austria

Get your feline fix at this beautiful Vienna based cat sanctuary, where the kitties have been rescued from local shelters. While there is a variety of cat breeds, the cafe is known for its collection of Maine Coons – a particularly large breed with lush, shaggy fur. These guys can weigh up to 25 lbs! The cafe is located on a quaint, cobblestone street and offers an assortment of hot drinks, fresh juices and pastries.

Catmosphere, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Lo- key and relaxed with a movie cinema twist and a full food and coffee menu, Catmosphere has got it going on for anyone on the move in Thailand. Chock full of kitties cute as can be, enjoy a meal and veg out with one or two of the cafe’s whiskered residents and leave smiling. Catmosphere takes the cat cafe experience one step further with their Cat Cinema, where visitors can enjoy a classic film with their favorite animals.

Catmosphere also has a second location in Sydney, Australia with an adorable space theme. Visitors can hang with the “catstronauts” and partake in several cat-tastic activities such as cat yoga.

Cafe & Cats 1998, Taipei, Taiwan

Formerly known as Cat Flower Garden, this is the world’s first official cat cafe, so naturally it must be included in this list. Home to 14 cats, visitors can enjoy the feline themed decor and buy scrumptious treats to feed the fur babes. A cozy basket is situated next to each table in case a kitty decides to nap beside you, and of course, there are plenty of creamy coffees and snacks to choose from. Taipei is teeming with cat cafes, many that also serve as rescue centers for adoption.

Temari no Ouchi, Tokyo, Japan

Hidden down a peaceful side street in Kichioji is a cat cafe unlike any other. Step through the arch-shaped doors and you’ll find yourself whisked away to a whimsical cat land. The entire decor of the place mimics that of a fairy tale, like stepping into Sleeping Beauty’s forest. Temari no Ouchi offers everything from coffee and tea to food and cocktails. And of course, there are plenty of four-legged friends padding about.

Cat cafes are extremely popular in Tokyo, with plenty of cafe options to choose from. Some boast rare breeds or stick to special kinds of cats like fat cats.

Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, London, England

A long day in the city can be positively draining, so it’s a good thing that Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is open for hot tea, coffee and cakes. Book a 90 minute visit, bring a friend or a book and cozy up with the cafe’s nine rescue cats for some relaxation. Lady Dinah’s offers some wonderful events, such as color in’s with cats, cat yoga and pet first aid courses. There is also an adoption program if you happen to connect with a kitty and can’t bear to part ways with your new friend.

Meet the Author: Courtney Lambert

Courtney is a full time writer covering soccer, travel, and the outdoors. You can find her scouting out hole in the wall joints for the perfect carnitas taco, jumping in the ocean under the light of a full moon, or exploring the beautiful Florida wilderness and documenting her adventures in her blog.

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