Article by Natalya & Crystle-Day
The dawn of ‘Cat Cafés’ has arrived. We visited three of the most well-known to give you our take on these cat havens. Each cat café is different so there’s one to suit everyone, ranging from luxurious teahouses to cat-focused sanctuaries. Whether you want to play with kitties or need a quiet escape, you can find a warm welcome at these three spots. These cafés all serve beverages ranging between 20- 40RMB. A bit pricey, but it’s worth it to know you’re helping keep a cat safe. You don’t have to be the crazy cat lady to enjoy; even the manliest of men can find a suitable kitty café.
An Upper-class Den
The Cat Kingdom 猫国度
Hours: Everyday 11:00am-11:00pm
Tel: (029) 8728 8631
#56 XiangzimiaoJie, Nanmen Li 南门里湘子庙街56号
You’ll know this café by its distinctive golden cat sign and window full of cat trees. Security is tight there as the cats are pure-breed beauties and, therefore, quite expensive, so you need to ring the bell to be let in. The décor is chic, and reflects what a fashion magazine’s take on a cat café would be like. Although there were tons of cat shelves and tunnels, it seemed this place was more for the visitors rather than the residents .
The menu has English translations and a variety of choices: teas, coffees, ice creams, sorbets and even a selection of wines. We ordered a passion fruit tea and a sorbet (which seemed more ice cream-like). The immensity of our portions made up for any failed translations and was definitely worth the price. Cat collars, artistic postcards and other cat-inspired trinkets can also be purchased.
If you’re unsure yet curious about cats or enjoy the presence of cats but don’t fancy catering to them, then this is the den for you. There are few cats, which means you can focus more on your coffee buddies. The cats seem to prefer to let you watch them rather than be touched. They’re perfect models for photos and may grace you with a little brush against your leg but you don’t need to worry about leaving covered in cat hair.
Overall it is an immaculately designed, pleasant shop perfect for a catch up with friends. We recommend the café for those who want to enjoy a glass of red, take a selfie with some gorgeous cats and leave with a souvenir.
A Bookworm’s Den
The Cats Club 猫堂小站
Hours: Everyday 11:30am-9:00pm
Tel: (029) 8523 7121
South East Corner of Xiao Zhai, Hua Qi International, Floor 16, Room1631
Located in Xiao Zhai, in what appears to be an apartment complex, this hidden gem is worth a visit. Right next to the Xiaozhai subway exit “C” you’ll see a shopping mall with a Starbucks. Make a right into that driveway. On the left you’ll see a hotel lobby-like entrance. Enter and take the elevator to the 16th floor. Follow the long corridor to room 1631.
This café has a very quaint, homey feel. The décor is charming and fits the environment perfectly. A motherly Chinese woman, who enhances the at-home vibe, greeted us. With an extensive menu and zero English translations, we decided to be adventurous and order at random. We lucked out with delightful lemon iced teas, served in darling Mason-jar mugs.
Small families of cats inhabit this café so the age range is wide. The adult cats keep to themselves until they feel comfortable around you, while the kittens adore being petted. Yet, these cats aren’t very intrusive, which makes it a perfect place to unwind with a good book.
Overall, we recommend this café for those who enjoy being in the tranquil company of cats. The cats don’t constantly seek attention but they bask in human presence. Studying, reading or writing here will allow you to focus on your task with a cat companion nearby for stress relief.
A True Cats’ Den
Cats Forest Café
Hours: Everyday 3:00pm-10:00pm
Reservations: (029) 8725 1023
West section of South Shun Cheng, Inside South Gate, (next to the back entrance of Xiangzimen Hostel)
This cat café has odd hours of operation, which serves a purpose. During off hours the cats are kept away from the café. At 3:00pm, the café rooms are then a type of stimulant for the cats. They are more active and interested in exploring the café, and are naturally aware of entertaining their guests. One particular cat greeted me by planting my face with licks.
The Chinese menu was restricted to only about 4-6 drinks. This possibly had to do with the fact that most of the teas that were offered were hot and for cooler seasons. Nonetheless, our sweet floral iced teas were lovely.
This café is perfect for the avid cat lover. Cats were on top of shelves, under guests’ feet, alongside our drinks at our tables and on the laps of some. All cats are quite sociable with a mixed array of purebreds and strays. The owner has obviously raised some well-rounded cats.
Overall, we would recommend this café to cat enthusiasts who are in dire need of their cat fix. Enthusiasts may pet and play to their hearts content. For those who are allergic and aren’t keen on cats, don’t bother. The cats here are quite intrusive and they have no regard for personal space. Cat admirers are encouraged to check the opening hours for prime cat time so you can hog all the cats to yourself.
Natalya and Crystle-Day are two ladies who love cats but are not “cat ladies”. There is a difference