There are all sorts of theme cafes in Japan, and one of my favorites is the cat café（猫カフェ）. Cats are beloved in Japan as a sign of luck and generally for their cuteness and being so adorable at play. I’ve lived with cats most of my life so when I was given an opportunity to visit a cat café, I certainly said yes!
Cat cafés have a few general set-ups before you begin your time in one. As with homes in Japan, you remove your shoes first and replace them with slippers before you enter. Secondly, you are asked how long you will spend time in one – you can spend all day if you like, but there is a cost for the duration of time you spend. There is a sink basin you can wash your hands in, and if you need hand cleansing sanitizer, that is usually available as well. If you also need an allergy mask, those are also usually provided for you. These seem like a lot of things to take care of up front, but it’s a kind gesture not only to the guests, but also to the cats of the café. With everything taken care of, now it’s time to visit the cats!
There are often lots of cats at the café. They like to climb their play places and often can jump to shelves that overlook the rest of the café. These cats have seen a lot of people, so don’t be sad if one or two of them don’t seem to bother paying attention to you. In fact, the best way to get their attention is most classic: feed them with some treats! The staff of the cat café has the treats available, so all anyone needs to do is ask for them. Just be sure not to overfeed the cats before feeding time. Feeding time is a sight in itself, too, so you can see many cats come together to grab the first bite to eat!
While at the café, there are other things to do than relax and look at the cats. There is manga available, so you can kick back and read. And of course, it wouldn’t be a café without drinks! There are often drinks served which range from the classic cup of tea or coffee, to soda, or even a glass of beer or wine at some places.
If you don’t have any allergies and love to watch cuddly, fluffy creatures just hanging out, cat cafés are adorable places to relax. Take some friends along, and enjoy the company.