Cat Café

July 12th, 2012By Category: Culture, Travel

If this were Vietnam, the term “cat café” might lead you to question whether the establishment offered a dubious menu consisting of feline dishes. Thankfully, Japan has no such intentions for neko. Cat cafes are common in cities here, with patrons paying to spend time with the creatures in a home-like setting- you can also enjoy a beverage (provided you can keep it free from cat hair).

I recently visited a cat café in Nagoya to see what it was all about.

Storefront price listing and headshots

A few of the residents

House rules

So relaxed…who wouldn’t be with that dreamy music playing in the background?

Even more relaxed

Would-be cat burglar – best not leave your tea unattended

Getting a better view

Why yes, I would like a massage. Thanks!

Oh, are we done playing hide-and-seek?

Cat-themed manga included in cost

As well as celebrity autobiographies – YouTube star Maru’s book (he likes boxes!)

Sanitation station

Oh you’re leaving? Never even noticed you were here

Overall, the experience was satisfactory. For ¥700 (less than US$9), I spent half an hour with some furry friends. The cats seemed well looked-after. They were well-groomed and never showed signs of stress (there were informative cartoon posters telling the humans how to behave themselves). We had to sanitize our hands before entering and a woman was perpetually wiping down every surface in the place. A male patron played with willing participants the entire time we were there- he kept flicking a stick with a stuffed mouse on a string that left some of the critters mesmerized.

Without even realizing it, I had devolved into a state of relaxation. This appears to be the purpose of cat cafes- many Japanese people live in small apartments and work long hours, so while they can’t own these pets they can at least visit on occasion. For travelers, I would definitely recommend checking out a cat cafe- it’s a chance to experience something unique to Japan, and to hang out with some cute kittehs!

Author of this article

Nicole Sauer

Nicole is a traveler, teaching to pay the bills and because she enjoys it! She loves discovering and taking photos of hilarious English fails on public signage ("Please use a toilet finely!") She currently lives in Nagoya. Check out her other site at

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