A Visit to the Cat Cafe

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Cat Cafe Nyanko
© J // Washing Rice Blog

With a sizable amount of the population living in rental properties due to exorbitant land costs for building a family home, owning a pet is often not an option.  But that’s okay, because Japan’s marketing experts have come up with just the thing!  For a small entry fee or the cost of a few drinks, you can chill, feed, pet, play, and take pics with cute and cuddly animals waiting for some lovin’s at dog and cat cafes all across the country.

Since I’ve long accepted that I can’t own every cat in the world, I’ve always particularly found the idea of cat cafes appealing.  Play and love on a bunch of kitties without the hassle of cleaning litter boxes?  Yep, that’s right up my alley!  Little did I know there was a cat cafe hidden on a street I often take to work, right in our neighborhood.

I’d been to a dog cafe in Ikebukuro a long time ago, where the conditions were a bit depressing and it seemed the animals weren’t properly cared for.  Not wanting to set myself up for another heartbreak I checked reviews online, or kuchikomi, for the cafe.  They were all outstanding and commented on how well the cats seemed to be taken care of.

Feeling excited to learn this, a co-worker and I set up plans to meet up there during the Golden Week holidays, on Showa Day.

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Upon entering, we saw we were to take off our shoes and put them in the shoes boxes provided.  Then we were escorted to a sink to wash our hands, where some cute furry faces were already waiting for us.  Every cafe is different, but at the one we visited the rate was 1,000 yen per hour and 200 yen every 15 minutes extension beyond that.  The fee included one drink, and there were additional food and snacks (for eating or giving to the cats) sold at 200 or 300 yen.

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Happy (Persian), Arnold (Maine Coon), and Lala (Bengal). Lala kept trying to sneak a sip of our drinks.
© J // Washing Rice Blog

This cafe also had an extensive set of rules, which we were really grateful for.  Most of them, like no flash photography or picking up the cats without permission, helped minimized risk of physical or emotional trauma to the cats, and the cats seemed all the more outgoing and energetic because of them.  Every cat was really friendly, and we took quite a few pictures. 🙂

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Sam (Russian Blue), Gonta (Munchkin), and Simba (American Curl)
© J // Washing Rice Blog

We weren’t the only ones there, either.  The cafe was almost full!  Most of the patrons were adults, many who seemed to be regular customers.  One lady I talked to said she owns around 15 cats but still visits almost every week!  I don’t even want to imagine the amount of poop she must have to scoop, lol.  She said almost all of her paycheck goes to feeding and caring for her cats, with anything leftover for cafe visits.  That’s some dedication right there!

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Arnold (Main Coon) & Jupiter (American Shorthair)
Jupiter definitely hasn’t let only having one good eye keep him from the spotlight.
© J // Washing Rice Blog

We also chatted with the owner for a bit.  She told us most of the cats were purchased from breeders, but a few were kittens born later at home or rescue adoptions.  Another nice thing about the cafe was that it promoted and facilitated adoptions.  If a cat was no longer adjusting well to cafe life, the owner wouldn’t force it to work, but instead give it space while she looked for a more suitable forever home it could go to.

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Ten (Exotic Shorthair), Kojiro (Scottish Fold Munchkin), Goma (Scottish Fold), and Leo (Bengal)
© J // Washing Rice Blog

There were over 20 cats to play with, every one a different personality and breed.  Every table was given a book with the names, pics, and profiles of all the cats in the cafe.

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Tom (Chinchilla Persian) looking like he’s enjoying a hot bath and Rara (Bengal) being playful.
© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Coco (Siamese), Pipi (LaPerm), Simba (American Curl), and Musashi (American Curl)
© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Even after an hour we still hadn’t visited and played with all of them!  We’re already planning a visit back sometime in the near future.  What a great spot for a date or a small girl talk get together! ❤

So what do you think?  Pretty sweet, eh?!
Give me a shout out in the comments if you have any other good cafes (dog, cat, or something different entirely) to recommend!

– J

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