Cat Cafe. No, it’s not a place for cats to drink tea.
(But if you love that idea, you might want to buy this painting from Etsy here.)
And it’s also not a place to EAT cats, as some insensitive people I know suggested…
In reality, a Cat Café is just a place to enjoy the company of cats. In many places in Japan, and in Tokyo especially, it is very expensive to own a pet. Many apartments also do not allow animals. Not only that, but many people work crazy hours and just wouldn’t have the proper amount of time to devote to their animals. Thus the Cat Café was born.
When you visit a Cat Café, you pay by the hour to hang out with an assortment of cats. There are a variety of toys available in order to attempt to entice the cats, however you are not allowed to pick up the cats. If a cat comes to you and chooses to sit in your lap, that’s OK.
My friend Nivi and I went to the Calico Cat Cafe. Here is their website, although it is in Japanese: Calico Cat Cafe
There are a few items you can order to eat or drink at the Café, but since I was only concerned about visiting with the cats, I didn’t bother ordering anything. Quite a few people came to the Café just to read, which I found a bit interesting. I guess they just wanted to enjoy their book while being surrounded by cats.
When you enter, you sign in and get a name badge which indicates the time you arrived. You then wash your hands and put your things away in lockers. Before you enter the official “cat” room, you can take a look at each cat’s profile. You will also be given a flyer with pictures and names of all the cats.
Some of the cats will be very busy sleeping and choose to ignore you. I had no idea there was a cat inside this peach for about 10 minutes, and then finally she lazily poked her head out.
Some of the cats will enjoy playing with the toys.
If you’re lucky, one of the employees will hand you hat to put on the sleeping cats. What a wonderful photo op!
There’s quite the variety of cats, including what appears to be a Wiener-dog-cat.
There are plenty of cats to go around.
They really like shopping [bags]
But their favorite time is dinner time…they all turned to the door when they knew it was time.
The best part was feeding these little guys!
If you’re lucky you’ll get to meet some real good looking cats!