10 Of The World's Hippest Cat Cafes
Cat Cafes, believe it or not, are actually a thing, and the craze has swept across the world ever since a small cafe in Tapei called Cat Flower Garden opened in 1998.
But what exactly is a 'cat cafe'? Well, according to Google, it's "a cafe or similar establishment where people pay to interact with cats housed on the premises." Reading that aloud, you probably wouldn't think such facilities would take off the way they have but then again people like all kinds of weird and funky things and it appears having a coffee while stroking a kitty is a universally-loved experience, as some of these famed cat cafes have proved.
Here are 10 examples.
1. Cats Republic, St. Petersburg, Russia
Russians love their cats, and many cat lovers from not just St.Petersburg but across the country visit this gorgeous little cafe in Russian's second city. Being the first cat café in Russia, it is also the most prestigious and mostly houses Hermitage cats. Often employed by art galleries to protect precious art collections from being gnawed on by rats and other unwelcome vermin, the Cats Republic has proved a retirement home for many of them, though being allowed to visit them is another matter altogether.
In fact, rather than simply walk in and pet one of these gorgeous kitties, would-be-customers must apply for a 'visa,' which is only granted once a $7 fee is paid. If successful, cat lovers are led to a separate part of the building, before being met with an array of enclaves housing the pussycats. But there's a catch. If customers wish to proceed to the actual cafe, which comes equipped with a library and gift shop, they must meow three times. Seriously.
2. Meow Parlour, New York, New York
You'd be forgiven for thinking the hipster neighborhoods of Brooklyn would be the first Big Apple establishments to welcome the idea of cat cafes but it was Manhattan's Meow Parlour, the first cat cafe in NYC, that seemingly set the trend.
Serving an array of drinks, including their signature cat'achino, yoga classes can also be booked.
Also, if you spot a kitty and believe it's love at first sight, Meow Parlour works with a local rescue group that helps cats find new owners.
3. La Gatoteca, Madrid, Spain
The Spanish are naturally hospitable people, so it's little surprise their kind-hearted nature extends to cats as well. Unlike most cat cafes, however, La Gatoteca in Spain's capital, Madrid, also acts as the headquarters of ABRIGA, an NGO that safeguards cats and informs the public about responsible adoption and educates potential owners on how best to raise them should they chose to adopt one.
Resultantly, many locals have labelled La Gatoteca a "cat sanctuary" as opposed to a café, with all cats up for adoption. Like most other cat cafes, there's also a gift shop and an impressive cat mural that covers most of its walls, no doubt providing a fitting addition to a city rich in collectible art.
4. Le Café des Chats, Montreal, Canada
Canadians are just so damn cool, aren't they? Everything they do is effortless, and as well as mostly being able to woo us in French and endear us with their kindness, one of their finest cities, Montreal, houses many cat cafes, including Le Café des Chats in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood.
Opening its doors in 2014, customers can cozy up next to a kitty and sip a warm latte, while licensed veterinarians are also on hand should visitors have any questions regarding their own feline's well-being.
5. Cat Café Calico, Tokyo, Japan
Aptly named Cat Cafe Calico, cat cafes are a lucrative business in Japan because of a strict no-pets rule abided by in many Japanese apartments, and as such, those not allowed to own a kitty can enjoy the next best thing by cuddling one over a coffee.
Home to over 50 cats, Cat Cafe Calico's two-floor cat cafe is the largest in the city and is slap bang in the heart of the trendy Kabukicho district.
6. Pee Pees Katzencafe, Berlin, Germany
Berlin's first cat café opened in 2013 and has been a hit with customers ever since. For tourists, it might prove tricky to find as it's quite sequestered and is at least a 20-minute drive from the city center.
That said, if you can track it down, the palate-pleasing cakes and pastries will be more than worth your while.
7. Cat Café Macskakávézó, Budapest, Hungary
Cat Café Macskakávézó requires an entrance fee for those wanting coffee and kitty time but with the price comes unlimited drinks, and a slice of cake. Sounds good to us!
There are also board games scattered, and the little fluffballs aren't afraid to shower you with love, so all in all the entrance fee seems more than acceptable.
8. Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium, London, U.K
Lady Dinah's was the first cat café to open in London after its owners successfully crowd-funded over £100,000 on Indiegogo and it is now one of the most popular cat cafes in the world. Because of its popularity, customers are thus advised to book well in advance.
Incredibly busy- even during work hours- its best you get the most for you money and make a day of it so arranging a 'High Tea' session is always good. This gives you a three-tiered plate of delicious nibbles and ample petting time with those cute little kitties.
9. Catmosphere Café, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand is a place that is pretty much home to everything imaginable, some of which we can't detail on here for obvious reasons but one thing we can document on without our faces turning red is this cool cat cafe called Catmosphere Cafe, located in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The owners, who also own a branch in Sydney, decided to opt for a space theme with various cartoon UFO ships painted on the walls. Customers can also rent the cinema room for two hours and choose from a range of horror and sci-fi DVDs. And yes, the cats will watch them with you.
10. Cat Café Neko no Niwa, Singapore
Singapore is one of the cleanest places on earth, and they take pride in everything they do so it's little surprise the Cat Cafe Neko No Niwa in Singapore, which sits across the river from the famed Arts House, also sells their own range of cat-themed jewelry.
The collection, which is titled 'Alfie de Meow' sees 10% of any proceeds going to CATSI, a non-profit charity that looks after the city's stray cats.