Updated: Nov 27, 2019
Cat Cafes - I know lots of people have varying opinions about cat cafes. Some are intrigued by the idea, while some are less than fond of the idea.
I've been to several cat cafes in Japan in the past. They were very clearly created as a business scheme as they were situated in busy tourist areas. Lots of these places are fairly small, and you're left to wonder how the cats live after hours.
Upon entering those places, you're usually met with some very exhausted cats. The longer you stay, the more you see the staff members forcing the cats to do things they don't necessarily want - all for the sake of business.
It's overall a sad sight to see for real cat lovers. Many customers who have a lesser understanding of cats are more than willing to indulge; clapping and all the while shouting "かわいい!!" every 3 seconds.
It's the reason why I have stopped going to Cat cafes.
However, my friend visiting me this month wanted to check out a cat cafe that our mutual friend was very invested in. So I decided to give Cat Apartment Coffee a chance.
We arrived on a Saturday, just 10 minutes before opening time. There was already a line forming in the garden past the sliding doors:
(I took this photo after the fact, but the line was all the way to where I was standing when I took this photo)
We knew we weren’t going to get in for the first wave, and we were right.
They let about 10 customers or so up to the second floor, which was where the cats were. On the first floor, there was a small cafe store and tables as a waiting area.
The owners kindly explained that the wait could be about 2-3 hours depending on how long the previous customers stay. We must also wait on the 1st floor, and leaving meant we will forfeit our spot.
My friend and I were pretty exhausted from the Temple hopping we did last night, so we (reluctantly) welcomed the wait.
(they had an album of the cats while you wait!)
2 hours later, it was finally our turn! The owner asked us to read over the rules on a laminated sheet of paper, then asked us which course we wanted. For information on the prices, check out their website!
And then we were escorted upstairs!!
We were greeted by Lucica-chan~
You can bring your own cat toys (must be unopened and unused) to play with them like these customers are! The cats are very friendly and active.
The sweets & drink set.
Getting ready for an afternoon nap.
All in all, I think Cat Apartment Coffee is a fairly good cat cafe. I feel that the owners, since (I think) they are operating the cafe out of their own home, really care about their 16 cats. They purposely put in lots of rules in the cafe to protect and not overwhelm their cats.
The space where the cats are feel very different from other cat cafes I’ve been to previously. I feel that the cats don’t feel too overwhelmed and they’re cautious of strangers, but they don’t actively avoid customers. The cats seem generally ok and as socialized as cats can generally be.
What are your thoughts on cat cafes?