It seems like suddenly almost everywhere you turn someone has opened a cat cafe — a glorious place where you can play with cats (and sometimes other cuddly animals such as rabbits and dogs) while sipping your morning or afternoon coffee.
Most of the time, these feline sweeties are sitting right next to you or, if you’re lucky, on you.
We’ve found 21 cat cafes in Japan, Singapore and Taiwan that will fill your heart with kitty love and fill your stomach with caffeinated goodness.
Cat Cafe Nyanny
Walking around in Akihabara, how could you not be drawn into Cat Cafe Nyanny, with its many signs outside that feature hand-drawn pictures of coffee and felines? Before you can enter the small building, you have to use disinfectant on your hands and remove your shoes (a standard Japanese tradition), but once you do, you can enter what is essentially kitty heaven. The interior is filled with scratching posts and hiding perches and tubes for any of the 20 felines that may be at Cat Cafe Nyanny on any given day. The cats can and do go anywhere.
Cat Cafe Nekorobi
Whether you’re in Japan and want a low-budget way to see parts of Toshima, Cat Cafe Nekorobi has amenities aplenty: books, video games, computers, smartphone chargers and tablets. Just pay a small hourly fee to hang out.
You cannot pick up the cats here, but you are encouraged to attract their attention with cat toys. You can also photograph yourself with any of the felines here. Cat Cafe Nekorobi has 13 kitties of different breeds that wander around the space.
Temari no Ouchi
If you take a look at the website for Temari no Ouchi in Musashino, you get a good hint of what the actual building looks like. Designed like a fantasyland, this tall, spacious cafe’s prime landmark is a round woodland cat house with plenty of climbing space for the cafe’s kitties.
While you do have to pay an entry fee, it’s absolutely worth it. Fake ivy and moss hangs from the chandeliers affixed to the ceiling while patrons sit on the floor and eat and drink on quaint circular wooden tables. The cats here are very happy, and it’s totally infectious.
Cateriam Cat Cafe
In Tokyo, near the Shimokitazawa Station, is Cateriam Cat Cafe, which also has signs beckoning you inside. You can only spend a limited amount of time here; 15 minutes is standard.
As you browse the menu, expect any of the 15 cats to come out and greet you. While Cateriam’s staff asks that you be as respectful to the animals as possible, if the felines are awake and lounging about you can pet them and photograph them.
Cat Cafe Miysis
While many who stroll into Cat Cafe Miysis in Yokohama will probably visit during breakfast or lunchtime, bloggers recommend that you stop by nearer to closing time. At this point, the cats have had their dinner and they’re very energetic.
The cafe is hidden on the second floor of a nondescript building, so you’ll definitely have to make an effort to find it. You’ll get at least an hour of kitty playtime (and you can add more time if you want for more money), although it’s advised that you don’t give the cats any food outside of snack time and that you don’t grab them. If it is snack time, these friendly animals will run up right to you.
Neko Cafe Leon
Another Yokohama cat cafe, Neko Cafe Leon’s star kitty is also called Leon. This munchkin cat is particularly adorable because of its stubby legs.
The cafe is quite popular and gets particularly busy during the weekends, where you might wait between 30 and 60 minutes just to get in. The cafe is close to Yokohama’s Chinatown and the Ishikawacho Station, so you could easily spend a whole day in this part of the city. Neko Cafe Leon keeps its doors open to patrons until almost midnight.
Cat Cafe Calico
The lights of Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district are already sensory overload, yet nestled among all that activity is Cat Cafe Calico. It’s on the sixth floor, and you’ll need to clean up and stash your belongings upon arrival.
There is something for everyone here: Gamers can try out the newest titles while kitties curl up and watch, and book lovers will appreciate the mini library, where you can also find plenty of cats. Feed the felines and yourself (with separate food, of course) and commemorate your trip with a free postcard and a cat picture book from the cafe.
Neko Cafe Hapineko
Translated to mean “Cat Cafe Happy Cats” in Japanese, Neko Cafe Hapineko in Shibuya is located on a packed street, but if you can find it you’re going to have one fun day. The stresses out of the outside world melt away once you enter the main room with its large window, comfortable furniture, and endless cat toys and hiding places.
As many as 16 cats live here, the majority of which are shorthair felines. While these animals love human interaction, they’re also friendly enough with each other that they’ll play and chase to entertain you and themselves. You can purchase time at the cafe in increments of 30 minutes.
Hiroshima’s own Cafe Manekineko is practically impossible to miss: Its exterior is decorated in bright red, there are signs on either side of the wall, there is a big flag, and a cheery welcome mat next to a giant cardboard cat greets you.
While the staff kindly asks that you don’t take pictures with the flash on or feed the animals, you can handle the felines here. With more than 30 cats inside, you shouldn’t have any issues finding a cute kitty to spend some time with while you sip a drink or enjoy a snack.
Cat Cafe Keurig
The owner of Fukuoka’s Cat Cafe Keurig, Kayuno Nomura, already cared for a number of stray cats in her neighborhood. Eventually, though, when these animals didn’t come back she decided that she wanted to take in other strays and make sure they’d be healthy and happy.
Her cafe houses more than 20 former stray kitties with plenty of room to play and wander. While many cat cafes in Japan let you get close to the animals by petting and feeding them, Cat Cafe Keurig lets you take it one step further: You can actually adopt any of the cats here and give them a loving.
The Company of Cats
The Company of Cats reports that in its early days it was a hub “for a bunch of feline pals to gather, do a little yoga, get high on catnip and bask in sunbeams.” These adventurous kitties were all once strays who were taken in; the cafe is also passionate about getting patrons interested in organizations and causes that promote animal safety across Singapore.
House rules insist that you don’t run around, that you don’t yell, that you let a sleeping cat be (although pictures are permitted), that you don’t use the flash on your camera or phone, and that you don’t carry the animals. However, if one of the two cats at the cafe decide to curl up in your lap for a nap, that’s totally OK.
Meomi Cat Cafe
Mosque Street’s Meomi Cat Cafe is such a beloved spot that it’s recommended that you book a reservation before your arrival. Most bloggers write that the cats here — including a munchkin named Mario, a Scottish Fold with a flat face named Junior and an American Curl appropriately named Curley — are a little shy at first, but that once they warm up to you will have quite an unforgettable experience. You get an hour at the cafe for a single fee, but you can also buy more time in increments of 30 minutes if that first hour just isn’t enough.
Neko No Niwa
Some years ago, Sam and Sue fell in love with a sweet cat named Marbles. Then, on a trip to Japan, the couple discovered that cat cafes are huge over there, but not so much in Singapore. Hence, Neko No Niwa was born.
Just as with most of these establishments, you have to clean up and remove your shoes before you can hang out with the dozen-plus feline friends. Kids are allowed, but they have to be at least seven years old and accompanied by their parents or guardians at all times. If you like any of the cats you see here, you can bring one home by adopting it.
The Cat Cafe
Simply and aptly named, The Cat Cafe in Singapore opened due to Housing and Development Board rules for most residents that ban them from keeping cats. Singaporeans and visitors can still get their kitty fixes here, though, by petting and sitting with strays the cafe has adopted.
For a flat fee (if your building is not regulated by the HBD), you can take a cat home. The fee you pay helps ensure that future kitties the cafe adopts get their feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus tests, a microchip, other vaccinations, sterilizations for both genders, and a toxoplasmosis test to keep cats and patrons healthy.
Seed Futian Cafe
A little past Taipei in Kaohsiung hides the Seed Futian Cafe, a great place to both get a tasty cup of coffee and see fostered felines that have a new life. This spot specializes in a variety of teas and organic vegetarian fare. And if you feel a bond with a particular cat, ask the staff about adoption.
Mask Cat Cafe
Another artsy and sophisticated spot, Mask Cat Cafe in Taipei is just wondrous with its artwork installations and storefront. Three cats occupy its interior; one is a little older and not as active, but the two younger kitties more than make up for it. If you have food, these cats will practically become your new best friends. The staff here makes it own teas and coffees and bakes mouthwatering desserts daily. With charging outlets and Wi-Fi, you might as well kick back and spend some time here.
Su Huo Ling Workshop
Taipei’s Su Huo Ling Workshop is homey and comfy enough to dream away an entire afternoon. The rooms here are sparse yet bright, and you’ll find one shih-tzu hidden among the cafe’s pack of nine cats. If you have your own cat food or treats, you can take these with you to feed the kitties; you can also buy food if that’s more convenient. All the animals here are especially affectionate.
Yongkang Street is one of the most trendy roads in Taipei, and it also happens to be home to Yaboo, a cafe with beautiful wooden decor and bright ceiling lights. This bustling spot is sunny and bright in the daytime and cozy and dim at night — just the kind of place you’d expect to see a poetry reading instead of a few cats napping on wooden benches. Get some work done, bring some friends or come alone to reap the benefits of having an animal friend nearby.
Another spot in Taipei where booking ahead is recommended, T&F Cafe is close to Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, so you can easily make an afternoon or an evening in this part of the city.
T stands for “Together” while F is short for “Forever,” which refer to the father and mother cats’ love for each other. Although not as large in number as some of the other cat cafes in Taipei, with four animals in this feline family, these tight-knit furry friends are sure to become your buddies for as long as you stick around. They’re notorious for taking up seats, so make sure to get yours right away.
Take in the resplendence of the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei, and then take a load off at nearby Toast Chat. The cafe’s delicious French toast gives the establishment its name. You can only order breakfast and brunch here, so come earlier in the day for food; alcoholic drinks are also available for brunch or later. Note that children must be 12 or older to get in.
No wonder cats love spending time at Taipei’s The Lightened. With luscious chocolate cakes, quiches, freshly baked breads and rolls, scones and cheesecakes, who wouldn’t be drooling?
The lattes and coffees here are nicely decorated, and although the felines are curious about the foods being made, they stick to their own meals. That said, you’ll love their involvement with all that’s going on in and around the cafe. Settle into an armchair and see which of the two cats come over to sit near you first.
Karl Baron, Yanko Peyankov, Tom Godber, MsSaraKelly, Takashi Hososhima