When I visited Tokyo we were lucky enough to visit one of Tokyo's famous Cat Cafes! As a great big cat lover, I was really excited to see some cats, especially as I was missing my own kittens a lot while I was many miles away from home.
These are my kittens! They're called Ralph and Button ♡ They're twins and they're both about a year old now. I love black cats so much! We didn't actually know the colour of these kittens when we adopted them, but it's a strange coincidence, as my previous cat Felix who passed last year at 15 years of age looked like a big brother to these two. I guess what is said about owners looking like their pets must be working towards my family, and black cats must be our form in the animal world ( ･ิω･ิ）
We could also pick up these funny postcards ❤ One of the girls pointed out that the cat is laying in such a seductive pose, like cat gravure!
The Cat Cafe we visited was Hapi Neko! It's located in Shibuya. Their website is located here: http://hapineko.com/ , and you can find access details there!
You should make a reservation, as it's often full, but you can reserve on the same day. We were able to reserve for 1 hour after we walked in, which was great!
This is one of the most famous Cat Cafes, where many western celebrities come to visit! Karl Pilkington from An Idiot Abroad also visited!
The Cafe is located in a tall building. When you enter you must go through a 'double door reception', so the cats don't escape. You order your drink (not necessary and kinda pointless, I wouldn't recommend getting an expensive drink because you want to spend your time with the cats and not drinking!), and you order your time slot (we chose 30 minutes). You read some instructions for handling the cats, and are warned that the cats with white and pink collars mustn't be touched by visitors as they have allergies to our clothing.
You can then enter, wash your hands, remove your shoes and put on their provided slippers, and finally meet the cats!
The interior design is really cute and cat friendly. The huge glass window is really pretty, and there's a very cosy atmosphere. The back end of the room is floored with tatami mats, and the rug in the centre of the room is heated. The cats have lots of places to hide, and they know where their exit flap is in case they don't want to be around people any more. It's a nice indoor environment!
In one of the corners there was a bookshelf, and I had a look through to find Maru's photobook! He's one of the most famous internet cats, and he's so beautiful ヽ(=´▽`=)ﾉ
The actual cats at the cafe were all very beautiful breeds. I've only ever really encountered my own cats, which have always been black shorthairs, so it was nice to meet some longhairs, and cats of different colours.
We soon learned that nearly all the cats were asleep, which wasn't what anybody was really expecting!
During our 30 minute slot there was actually just one energetic and awake cat. He was a big fluffy white cat and he was quite spooked by the rain! He ran around a lot, but he soon returned to the non-human side of the cafe through the exit flap too.
After stroking the cats for our full 30 minutes, we all left the cafe. On the way out of Hapi Neko there's a big board of sticky notes where visitors could write their notes for the cats! I didn't take the time to write one, but I read a lot of the ones written. There were lots from Australia, many said that their 'cat fetish had been satiated', which was a bit strange (´～｀), and lots and lots said 'Your cats don't seem to like me!'.
So what did I think of the Neko Cafe?
The cats are well looked after, have plenty of space, and they have a place they can go to get away from people. So I wouldn't call these cafes cruel.
I found that the cats didn't react at all when you stroked them. They were completely indifferent to people. You could pay extra to bring a cat toy into the Cafe, but I'm glad I didn't as I don't think they would have reacted in the slightest. They weren't playful, they were just existing. In many ways I found it similar to a zoo: the cats were there just for entertainment, and as an owner who is used to having extremely fulfilling and loving relationships with their cats, it was just a little upsetting to see them in a 'gawking' environment.
When you come into a cat cafe, you have paid money in exchange for being entertained by their cats, but that's not what cats do! They please themselves, and certainly don't entertain on demand.
One of the nicest things about looking after cats is their ability to form a relationship with their owner, how they react when they see you! But instead, these cats were surrounded by different people every single day, and I imagine after the first few months of living there they eventually grew tired of trying to befriend these passing people.
Upon entering the cafe, you were given a sheet to read with instructions on how to handle the cats, but I can imagine for a non-cat-owner it must be hard to know what's right and what's wrong when it comes to handling. So when I saw people holding onto the cats tightly while they tried to wriggle free it wasn't great.
In all honesty, I'm happy I went to experience it but I don't think I would go again. I think it's good for people who perhaps can't own cats, and don't have any interaction with them apart from these cafes, but for cat owners, I personally didn't really enjoy myself.
I hope you enjoyed reading my review of a Japanese Cat Cafe ♥ If you did, please follow my blog on BlogLovin, for new posts weekly!