The Coolest Cat Cafes Around the World
John Mayer celebrated the arrival of 2024 in a unique and charming way – surrounded by cats. His appearance on CNN’s New Year’s Eve special, where he chatted with hosts Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper, captured significant attention online, with the internet thoroughly enjoying Mayer’s feline-filled celebration.
Mayer’s venue of choice, Cats in the Box in Tokyo’s Shinjuku, reflects a growing trend. Cat cafes have been gaining momentum globally since their inception. As we step into 2024, a year we’re dubbing the ‘Year of the Cat Café’, join us on a journey to discover some of the world’s most enchanting cat cafes.
What are cat cafes?
Ever heard of a cat cafe? It’s this cool mix of a coffee hangout and a cat lover’s paradise. Born in Taiwan, these cafes have become hotspots worldwide. Imagine sipping your latte while a friendly cat purrs on your lap.
Many cafes also offer the chance to adopt these cuddly critters. It’s a win-win – you get your coffee fix and some feline affection, all in one cozy spot.
Are cat cafes hygienic?
If you’re wondering if cat cafes are clean, you’ll be happy to know that in general these spaces are pretty on top of their hygiene. Cat cafes stick to strict health codes to keep both humans and cats safe. Food and cats are usually in separate zones, and there’s a ton of cleaning going on.
Plus, there’s usually hand sanitizer everywhere. And the cats? Good cat cafes ensure their residents are regulars at the vet and are kept super clean. For the most part, these places are neat and tidy, not just full of cute cats.
Are cat cafes ethical?
When it comes to cat cafes and animal welfare, opinions vary. In the UK, groups like the RSPCA and Cats Protection are skeptical about keeping lots of cats in small spaces with lots of visitors. But, organizations like International Cat Care believe it’s possible to create a cat-friendly cafe environment.
The consensus? Cat cafes need to be well-managed and regulated, focusing on the cats’ wellbeing first. This includes having private retreats for less social moments and strict interaction guidelines.
Plus, these cafes are great for shining a spotlight on adoptable cats, potentially leading to forever homes.
Now, let’s check out some of the world’s most amazing cat cafes.
- Meow Parlor, NYC USA
Meow Parlor in New York City, co-founded by Christina Ha of Macaron Parlour and Emilie Legrand, is the city’s first cat café. Emilie, a long-time cat lover, and Christina, a pastry chef and cat enthusiast, combined their passions to create this unique space. Meow Parlour, which houses several adopted cats, allows visitors to enjoy Christina’s delicious baked goods in the company of friendly felines.
The café is a product of the founders’ shared dedication to animal care, as both hold NYC certificates in Animal Care and Handling, and their personal experiences with fostering and adopting cats.
- Cat Cafe Temari no Ouchi, Tokyo Japan
Temari no Ouchi, a Tokyo-based cat cafe, represents the city’s evolving cat cafe scene. It’s designed as a “forest of wondrous cats,” with fairytale decor reminiscent of a Studio Ghibli film. The cafe offers a variety of drinks along with an extensive food menu.
The spacious playroom houses seventeen resident cats. To guarantee the well-being of its felines, the cafe features private spaces where they can unwind away from visitors. Additionally, there’s a firm policy against holding or picking up the cats, ensuring the cats remain comfortable and stress-free during their interactions with guests.
- Java Whiskers, Stolkholm Sweden
Java Whiskers, a cat café located in central Stockholm, combines the concept of a Swedish fika with the opportunity to spend time with cats. It features beautifully decorated interiors and offers a variety of food and drink options, including vegan and allergy-friendly choices.
The café houses nine rescue cats available for adoption, providing a temporary home until they find permanent families. Java Whiskers has house rules for their resident cats’ wellbeing, and actively contributes to the city’s cat rehoming efforts.
- Miau Café, Warsaw Poland
Miau Café is located in a serene residential neighborhood. The space is the result of crowdfunding efforts and is described as sunny, spacious, and stylish, with a cozy ambiance complemented by 40’s jazz music.
It features six friendly and social cats and serves delicious food and drinks, including a notable peanut butter chocolate tart. Additionally, the cats at Miau Cafe are adoptable, adding a meaningful dimension to the visitor experience.
- Caturday Cat Café, Bangkok Thailand
This fantasy-like cafe, set in a dreamy ambiance with Renaissance paintings and whimsical decor, offers a unique cat experience. The cats, ranging from purebreds to former strays, are well-cared for, friendly, and interactive.
Visitors can enjoy luxurious food and drinks in a clean environment with attentive staff, while being surrounded by the calm cat residents. This is a must-visit among cat lovers in Bangkok.
- Cat Cafe Studio, Mumbai India
Initially a small-scale project on the terrace of a creative agency in 2010, the Cat Café Studio focused on rescuing, caring for, and offering adoptions for stray cats. Expanding in 2015 due to overwhelming support, it became a significant adoption center and a full-fledged cafe, hosting 15-20 cats at any time, primarily senior and special needs rescues.
In 2017, they established The Feline Foundation to manage rescue operations. All cats are nurtured to health and await adoption, seeking a second chance at happiness, and proceeds from café sales go directly back to caring for these high-need cats.
- Romeow Cat Bistrot, Rome Italy
Romeow Cat Bistrot is a unique cat café in Rome offering a blend of gourmet dining and a cat café experience. Valentina de Matteis, the creative force behind Romeow, aimed to create a space where people can enjoy healthy food and take a break from daily life.
Romeow Cat Bistrot excels with its high-quality vegan offerings and a peaceful atmosphere, allowing guests to interact with cats at their leisure. This relaxed approach, reflective of the café’s sit-down dining style, ensures a comfortable environment for both cats and visitors. The space is home to six adopted rescue cats, each with a distinct personality, who are the real hosts of the establishment.
- The Cat Café, Lviv Ukraine
The Cat Café Lviv in Ukraine, operating for over six years, has remained open during the war to care for its 20 resident cats. Run by a small team of friends who consider the cats to be family, the café provides a safe space for both the animals and visitors seeking hot food, company, and positivity.
The owner, Serhii Oliinyk, decided to stay despite the uncertainty of the invasion, driven by his commitment to the cats, some of whom have been living there since they were four months old. The café, with three large rooms including two in the basement, also serves as a safe shelter during air raid warnings.
- Cat Café MoCHA, Tokyo Japan
Cat Café MoCHA is a dream destination for cat lovers. Opened in February 2015 in Ikebukuro, the café offers a serene escape from city life, where visitors can relax with furry friends in a beautifully designed space. It’s home to a variety of cat breeds that visitors can interact with, however picking them up is discouraged.
The staff ensures cleanliness and the well-being of the 15 resident cats. Cat Café MoCHA also has locations in Shibuya and Harajuku, each with its own distinct charm.
- Cat Town, Oakland California
Cat Town, founded in 2011, is dedicated to transforming how shelter cats are saved, significantly reducing euthanasia. Focused on elderly, stressed, sick, or injured cats, Cat Town addresses the needs of those often overlooked in traditional rescue models. In 2014, they opened the United States’ first cat cafe, the Cat Town Adoption Center, in collaboration with Adam Myatt.
This initiative has been pivotal in showcasing these cats’ true personalities, leading to successful adoptions. Cat Town’s approach has dramatically lowered the euthanasia rate for cats at Oakland Animal Services and continues to influence cat rescue strategies nationwide.
The year of the cat cafe
As we journey around the globe exploring the most fascinating cat cafes, it’s evident that each offers a unique blend of comfort, care, and community. From the streets of New York to the serene neighborhoods of Tokyo, these spaces not only provide a haven for cat lovers but many champion the cause of feline welfare.
They redefine our relationship with these graceful creatures, proving that a simple cup of coffee can be the catalyst for change and connection. As we look forward to more innovative and compassionate spaces like these in 2024, it’s clear that cat cafes are more than just trendy spots; they’re a celebration of the bond between humans and our four-legged companions.