The Cat Cafes of Berlin

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Berlin is a fantastic city break destination with enough vibrant neighborhoods, exciting restaurants and cultural activities to keep you busy for months, much less a weekend.

One of it’s best features is that there is truly something for everyone, including three wonderful cat cafes.

Located in the south, east and west ends of town, it may take a bit of travel time to reach them, but that’s part of the adventure, and besides, what does an extra trip on the U-Bahn matter when kitties are involved?

The Neighbor’s Cat visited Berlin’s cat cafes in September, 2017.

Funny Name, Great Place:  Pee Pees Katzencafe

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Pee Pees is well known in cat cafe circles as it was Berlin’s first and of course, the name alone makes it quite memorable.  As such, it has made more than one mainstream media ‘Best Cat Cafes’ list.

I knew I was in the right place when we walked and saw a sleeping cat in a baby push chair.  Navigating through the cute and cozy space, it was crowded being a Saturday afternoon, but we were promptly greeted by the friendly staff who spoke to us in English (Danke Schön!).  We ordered two lattes and split a slice of apple tart, all of which were delicious.

But I was here for the cats, famed residents Pelle and Caruso, rescued as young kittens from the streets of Berlin.  Unfortunately, the presence of small children (sweet little things, but noisy!) quickly scared the cats to the far corners.

Without kitties to pay attention to, I switched my focus to the cafe and enjoyed checking out all the quirky decor as there is quite a bit of it!  All of the patrons seemed to be enjoying themselves and the atmosphere was a happy buzz.

The lack of cats was a major bummer as was the tiniest hint of cat odor (humorous considering the cafe’s moniker), but if I had visited on a less busy weekday, this might have been different.

Overall, Pee Pees genial humans, cheerful atmosphere and excellent foodservice made for a pleasant visit which I encourage you to do when in Berlin!

U-Bahn line U8 (direction Hermannstrasse), exit U Leinestrasse.

Click here for complete cafe details.

Beeindruckend!:  Zur Mieze Katzenmusikcafe

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There is no better feeling than visiting a top notch cat cafe.

Not only does it make writing the review a pleasure, it more than makes up for the time I spend in the less-than-great places, which luckily, are few and far between.

Zur Mieze, also known as Zur Mieze Katzenmusikcafe has everything going for it– adorable cats, lovely atmosphere, outstanding coffee and caring staff.  All of which rank it among the best in the world.

We popped in on a Sunday afternoon and were greeted with a smile by a kind staff member.  She apologized while explaining that all the empty tables were reserved, but a couple seated nearby indicated they were just about to leave so we waited outside and took some photos of a white cat in the window while they paid their bill.  We truly lucked out!

Inside, we were delighted to discover that the cafe is known for their coffee, specifically five French Press blends, and award-winning cheesecake.  We ordered both, plus a hot chocolate and raspberry torte for €15.50 EUR ($18.51 USD).  I can confirm everything we consumed was very high quality, especially the coffee which puts Zur Mieze in contention for ‘best cat cafe coffee in the world’.

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Order complete, we focused on the cats.  Seven fluff balls, all rescues, call the cafe home.  The menu contained cat biographies with heartbreaking stories about where they were found, but also uplifting details about their personalities, likes and dislikes.  They were an incredibly social bunch, with several cuddling next to patrons (lucky you if Jacky Smoky fancies your lap).

There was a beautiful grand piano in the corner where the weekly concert (hence the katzenmusikcafe name) was set to begin at 5 pm, but never happened due to an issue with the pianist.  It didn’t diminish the enjoyment of the afternoon as the cafe itself is beautiful, classy and completely enjoyable– striking a great balance between modern and cozy.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, Zur Mieze delivers an outstanding experience that won’t leave you disappointed… unless you show up without a reservation.  It may only be Sundays near concert time that a booking is needed, but check in advance to ensure you don’t miss out.

Located near Schloss Charlotteburg, take U-Bahn U7 (direction Rathaus Spandau), exit Richard Wagner Platz.

Click here for complete cafe details.

A Bit Far, But Close to My Heart:  BaristaCats

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The day we visited BaristaCats the weather was unusually sunny and warm, which mirrored our experience in this wonderful place.

While the location is quite a ways from the city center, don’t miss the opportunity to visit this beautiful, brand new facility with a cheery and cozy atmosphere, including a spacious outdoor patio that both humans and cats can access.

Speaking of cats, there are six kitties, all rescues, and quite social and playful, even Muffin, a long-haired sweetie who is still getting used to life off the streets and is a bit shy.  We particularly enjoyed watching Mateo, an energetic ginger and Mokka, a friendly black cat wrestle each other.

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Known for specialty drinks, we ordered a ‘Cold Cat’ ice cream concoction and housemade lemonade for €8.40 ($10.00 USD), both of which were beautiful in presentation and taste.  They also serve a variety of snacks and desserts.

The staff are friendly and kind, but more importantly, they are cat lovers who know their charges well and monitor them closely for any signs of distress.

Overall, BaristaCats exceeds expectations in all departments and is well worth the effort to get there. Compared to Pee Pees and Zur Mieze, BaristaCats is somewhat outside the city core, but there are a couple of ways to get there via public transit.

Going there, we chose to take the S5 (S-Bahn) for the great views of the main tourist areas through central Berlin, then made a change at Ostkreuz for the S-75, exited at Hohenschonhausen and then walked the remaining distance, which is just under a mile.  For our ride back, we took the M4 tram (Hansastrasse stop) all the way back into town which is more direct and only a quarter mile walk down Malchower from the cafe.

Click here for complete cafe details.

The Neighbor’s Cat is the alter ego of Paula LaBine, an itinerant cat lover who writes about cat cafes, cat travel and rescue/adoption.  She is visiting every cat café in the world, 196 in 28 countries so far!   Find her at theneighborscat.com or on Facebook/Twitter @catcafeviews.

Pretty as a Picture: The Cat Cafes of Prague

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Prague has become a popular travel destination and is known for its beautiful architecture, often drawing comparisons to Paris.

So it’s not surprising that the city’s cat cafes are just as attractive.  Residents (and visitors!) in Prague are awfully lucky because they not only have an abundance of feline emporiums to choose from, but they are gorgeous to boot.

The Neighbor’s Cat visited all four of Prague’s cat cafes in September, 2017.

KOCICI KAVARNA

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The space that Kocici Kavarna occupies is dreamy and makes it a pleasure to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the world go by.

The presence of cats is simply a cherry on top of this picture perfect sundae.

The location, across the Vitava River a few blocks south of Old Town, is an easy 15 minute walk from the Charles Bridge.  When I walked in, I was struck by how light and airy the front room was, accented with autumn decor.  I placed my order for a latte at the handsome bar which was filled with tempting cakes.  Unable to resist, I added a cat cupcake to my tab.

In contrast to the front, I headed for the dark and atmospheric back room, where all the cats seemed to be, selected a cute little table and had a seat.  With the antique decor and candlelight, it felt like the perfect place to spill a few secrets.  There were several other visitors as well, and each had a kitty companion at their side.

There are ten cats in residence at Kocici Kavarna and I found them to be endearing and friendly, but especially Sweetheart, a cuddly long-haired ginger who quickly found his way onto my lap and into my heart.

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My only criticism is that I caught the tiniest whiff of cat box every so often.

Overall, my visit to this cat cafe was lovely in all aspects.  The cats, the environment, the food/drink and service were all top notch, making a visit to Kocici Kavarna a wonderfully satisfying and highly recommended break when in Prague.

KOCKAFE FREYA

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Prague’s oldest cat cafe is yet another beautiful place to sip coffee while enjoying the presence of furry felines.

Located in the Zizkov neighborhood, a short distance from the main train station and Jiriho Podebrad metro stop, I felt right at home at Kockafe Freya as soon as I stepped inside.  The set up is stylish and cozy, with just enough space between tables to feel communal, yet private for conversation.

I was coffee-ed out by the time I arrived at 4 pm and being a Friday afternoon, decided to order a white wine and some nibbles for the super low price of 80 crowns ($3.65 USD).  As I listened to indie music, the cafe’s seven cats (all rescues) curiously and quietly roamed the room switching places for their next nap, which is when I noticed the adorable merchandise featuring these kitty celebrities.

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During my hour-long visit, a mix of tourists and regular customers filled the cafe, and we received great service from the friendly manager who clearly adores the cats and enjoys running this lovingly crafted space.

Kockafe Freya has a hip and relaxing vibe that I found irresistible and strongly recommend a visit when in Prague.

KAVARNA KOCICI

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Kavarna Kocici (not to be confused with Kocici Kavarna!) is another lovely place to enjoy a latte in the company of cats.  Adjacent to the Old Town (between Florenc and Krizikova metro stops) I stepped into this bright and cheerful cat cafe after a pleasant walk through the Karlin neighborhood.  There are two levels- the basement is cozy and atmospheric, I decided to sit upstairs where most of the cats were hanging out.

There are nine felines living at the cafe and while they are social and enjoy sitting near you, are not as keen on being petted.  I hung out with Skorice, who sat in a nearby window and came around to sniff me every so often.  The menu contains the bios of all the kitties, so you can learn their names and personalities.  I suspect as a regular, you would make feline friends in no time!

I ordered a latte for 65 crowns ($2.96) which was high quality and nicely presented.  The cafe also serves a variety of cocktails and food- sandwiches, soups and cakes.  In speaking with manager Zuzka, she stated they had been open for three years and were shifting to an eco-sensitive concept with decomposable cups and vegan/raw food.

With friendly cats and staff, excellent food/drink and a relaxing cafe environment, a stop at Kavarna Kocici will most certainly be a highlight when visiting Prague.

CAT CAFE PRAGUE

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Located in New Town, just adjacent to the tourist mecca of Old Town, the vibe of Cat Cafe Prague is definitely ‘make yourself at home’.

Spacious, with plenty of cozy couches, adorable felines and an all-you-can-drink coffee bar, you might be tempted to stay all day, but remember you are paying an hourly rate of 99 crowns ($4.51 USD).

I was greeted in English by the friendly host, who explained the rules, including replacing shoes for slippers and hand washing, something that is common in Japan, but rarely implemented in western cat cafes.

He also provided a quick tour of the facility, showing me the cat room, video game room, lounge and kitchen area where I was told I could help myself to as much coffee, tea and snacks as I liked.  He noted there are eight cats, all rescues, including two small kittens.  The cafe tries to select cats that are fairly social and will adapt well to the environment.

With cat on the brain, I started in the ‘cat room’ so-named for the plethora of toys and cat equipment it contained.  I focused my attention on a playful young kitten that never tired of chasing a string and diving through a nylon tunnel.

Next, I moved to the colorful and comfortable lounge where I made eye contact with a cat whose name I later learned was Kenzo.  I sat still on the couch until he hopped up on the armrest next to me and proceeded to nuzzle my neck until I thought I would die from kitty-induced euphoria.  It was one of my best cat moments in a cat cafe.

I didn’t spend any time in the video game room with its big screen and Playstation set up, but I liked the dark and atmospheric space.

Between photographs, sipping coffee and playing with cats, my hour went by very quickly.  The beverage and snack bar was not something I had seen before.  It was a nice touch, although everything was fairly basic.

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Cat Cafe Prague isn’t as pretty as the other three cat cafes in town, but with a clean, cozy space, friendly staff, and the prospect of getting some kitty love from Kenzo, I recommend popping in when in Prague.

The Neighbor’s Cat is the alter ego of Paula LaBine, an itinerant cat lover who writes about cat cafes, cat travel and rescue/adoption.  She is visiting every cat café in the world, 195 in 28 countries so far!   Find her at theneighborscat.com or on Facebook/Twitter @catcafeviews.

The Cat Cafes of Beijing

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Beijing is an exciting travel destination famous for its history, whether they be ancient sites such as The Great Wall and Forbidden City or relatively modern ones like Tiananmen Square.  China’s capital is also known for being traditional and a bit mysterious which you can feel when walking its centuries-old hutong alleys, seeing new life as tourist attractions.

While Beijing respects and preserves the past, its also embracing the present with a crop of popular and interesting cat cafes, proving that kitty love is universal and transcends cultures everywhere.

The Neighbor’s Cat visited Beijing’s cat cafes in April, 2017.

Cute as a Button: l'Infusion

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I could have stayed all night.

There were only two cats, which normally raises an eyebrow, but since L’infusion isn’t technically calling themselves a cat cafe, I’ll give them a pass.

I really loved the vibe at this cute and cozy cafe.  From the comfy couches, to the great drinks, to the coffee shop lite rock music- the atmosphere was pitch perfect so I would visit even if there weren’t kitties.

Speaking of which, they were both super cute, although one was racked out the entire visit, but little black made up for his pal’s nap by keeping us company.  My partner ordered a cafe latte and since it was 5:30 pm, I decided to have a beer.  The menu was extensive with pages of beer, wine and specialty coffee drinks in addition to a substantial offering of food and sweet treats.

Formerly known as ‘Muming’, this cafe is located between metro stops Lama Temple (lines 2/5) and Andingmen (line 2), and is easy to find.  Additionally, walking the entire Wudaoying Hutong lane after visiting L’infusion enhances the fun as it is filled with adorable galleries, shops and restaurants.

More cafe than cat, but still a feline lover’s delight.

For complete cafe details, click here.

World Romance:  World's End Girlfriend

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A Cat Bar?

Why should kitty time be restricted to just coffee and tea?  Bring on the cocktails!

World’s End Girlfriend Cat Cafe does indeed have a full bar, but with their uber-girlie decor, soft indie rock tunes and pretty drinks, they not only get my vote for ‘Most Romantic Cat Cafe’ but also the award for ‘Most Original Name for a Cat Cafe’.

We visited on a random Thursday afternoon, but almost turned around as the lane leading to WEG didn’t seem very commercial.  In the midst of the hutong’s houses, we caught a glimpse of the sign.  It didn’t look open, so we knocked and a young woman opened the door and invited us to sit down.  We were the only patrons in the place and we debated having proper drinks as they have a full bar, but ultimately decided on a coconut flat white (60 yuan/$8.70) for my constant companion and a Honey Lemon Iced Black Tea (50 yuan/$7.50) for me.  Both were beautifully presented and tasted even better.

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But wait!  I haven’t even gotten the cats.

We encountered four felines on our visit, and while the number might seem low, the small space combined with the big personalities of the cats means a quartet is just about right.  These kitties rank right up there amongst the friendliest we have encountered in dozens of cat cafe visits around the world.  One sweet fur baby wanted lap time while two others perched nearby and the fourth watched from the bar.

While we played, our bartender worked on floral arrangements for the room, adding to the lovely atmosphere.

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A great option for a night out in Beijing, bring your significant other to this den of romance and hopefully the cats will look away when you sneak a kiss.

For complete cafe details, 

Small World:  Cat World

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If you have been reading my cat cafe reviews for China, you already know that finding them is half the battle.  Between constant openings/closings and little to no website/social media presence, I had to spend a lot of time researching locations via the internet, only to strike out most of the time on the street.

So, happening upon Cat World was a delightful surprise.

We were on our way to Coffee Cat on Jiaodaokou North 3rd Alley, and the sun had just set when I saw a sidewalk projection in the waning light.

It was a cat cafe logo.

Gobsmacked, we knocked on the door and a smiling young woman with purple hair opened it.  She showed us inside to a table where we ordered green tea for two (40 yuan/$5.80).  It was then we looked around noticing it’s a small place, run by this hip mom with a young daughter, and filled with eight striking black/silver American Shorthairs.

The daughter had a friend over and the two girls entertained the kitties (and us) using a variety of cat toys.  These felines all seemed young, happy and healthy (although some are also quite chubby!) with lots of energy.  It was fun, but after a few minutes the intimate atmosphere made us feel a bit awkward.  Normally cozy is good, but I couldn’t help but feel like I was in the living room of a stranger.

Overall, the friendly owner, lovely cup of tea and beautiful cats more than compensate for the tiny environs, making it a pleasant stop.

A word of caution.  This cafe is nowhere to be found on Google, so I have mapped it to the best of my ability.  Also, as cat cafes in China fluctuate considerably, it is not out of the realm of possibility that it will not be open in the future.  If you are walking the hutongs of Andingmen district, I encourage you to stop by, but don’t go out of your way to make it a destination.

PS.  I’m not 100% sure the name of this cafe is Cat World, so if you find out differently, please let me know!

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For complete cafe details, click here.

If Hello Kitty Owned a Cat Cafe:  Cat Posthouse

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Nanluogu Alley (aka Nanluoguxiong) is an historical old lane in the Dongcheng district of Beijing built in the Yuan dynasty, but today is a popular tourist spot with many bars, restaurants and souvenir shops.

It’s also the home of Cat Posthouse.

Unlike most of our Chinese cat cafe visits, we found this one easily as the pink exterior caught our eye and foreshadowed what was to come.  Inside, you are immediately overwhelmed by an explosion of magenta. Hello Kitty decor and harsh overhead lighting.

We were greeted promptly and the proprietor was friendly, if not a bit distracted by his phone.  After donning surgical booties over our shoes and washing our hands (the first cafe in China that had standards for hygiene), an assistant seated us and took our order for two lattes and a piece of chocolate mousse cake (118 yuan/$17.10).  The coffee was nice, but the cake had that been-in-the-fridge-too-long taste.

After my eyes adjusted to the stark and saccharin environment, my next impression was that there are too many cats for the space, about thirty fur babies, including one yowling pitifully in a cage.  I also noticed a distinct cat box odor.

There were some curious youngish cats that entertained us and the other tourists scattered about, but the rest seemed exhausted as they crowded together on the padded window seat.

Overall, the staff are friendly and there are a lot of cats to play with, but the atmosphere just wasn’t up to scratch.  It did not have a relaxing cafe vibe with the fluorescent lights, and the childish decor was not to my taste.  It also seemed a bit sad with too many cats.  If you have limited time in Beijing, consider there are better options.

For complete cafe details, click here.

Will the Real Sirena Please Step Forward?:  Sirena

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Locating Sirena wasn’t a problem.  Actually, there are two of them, but I still can’t be certain what either of them are.

Let me explain.

My research in advance had revealed a Sirena Cat Cafe and a Sirena Meow Inn on Wudaoying Hutong.  It appeared they were one in the same.  After popping into the place with a sign that read ‘Sirena Meow Inn’ (and matching the photos in my internet sleuthing) we were told there were no cats there.  I searched further and found the reviews for Sirena Cat Cafe stopped in early 2016 so I am 99.9% confident they are defunct..  There are limited reviews for Sirena Meow Inn on Agoda and Airbnb, so I believe they are still a guesthouse, but definitely no mention of any cats or visual confirmation when we were there.

We continued down the street, a bit bummed that we had struck out, but not surprised given the highly variable cat cafe market in China.

Then, we saw it.  A cat sitting in the doorway of a restaurant and bar called Sirena.

I was confused.  Yes, it had a Mediterranean theme with blue and white colors, just as the reviews had indicated.   When we saw the cat, we decided to investigate further.  Once inside, we immediately noticed the cat themed chairs and then spotted another kitty.  We figured this needed to be checked out, and as it was after seven pm, we ordered drinks- a Jack Daniels for me and a vodka tonic for my partner (100 yuan/$14.50).

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Cozy at our pillow filled table near the bar, we sipped our cocktails next to a sleeping white and ginger kitty that was clearly a street cat as his underbelly was more gray from dirt than white.  His pal, another ginger, was a bit skittish and watched us warily as I snapped some photos.  Hearing noise upstairs, my partner volunteered to have a peek, later informing me that it was a restaurant with a lovely balcony, but he didn’t spot any more cats.

So.  With three wandering felines, Sirena is probably a ‘bar with cats’ vs. a Cat Bar.  I debated whether or not to include it, but figured addressing the Sirena situation made it worthwhile.

For complete cafe details, click here.

The Neighbor’s Cat is the alter ego of Paula LaBine, an itinerant cat lover who writes about cat cafes, cat travel and rescue/adoption.  She is visiting every cat café in the world, 195 in 28 countries so far!   Find her at theneighborscat.com or on Facebook/Twitter @catcafeviews.

Do Good & Have Fun: Rescue Cat Cafes in Taiwan

The next generation of ‘cats and coffee’ feature strays for adoption

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Taiwan has long been a destination for cat lovers, ever since the first cat café, Cat Flower Garden (now called Café Dogs & Cats), opened its doors in Taipei in 1998.  Since then, the trend has swept across Japan with the rest of the world recently catching on. 

The country has remained a steady presence on the cat café scene with plenty of options to get your kitty fix, from traditional cat cafes to regular cafes with a shop cat, and now, cafes that feature adoptable felines.

While many Taiwanese cat cafes have rescue kitties in permanent residence (non-adoptable), there is a growing trend of cat cafés helping felines searching for their forever homes.

A hybrid between a shelter and café, this version of cats and coffee is hugely popular in North America where local rescues and sanctuaries partner with cafes to get kitties out of cages and into a social setting where they can shine in front of prospective adopters.

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Such cat cafes are much rarer in Asia (sometimes referred to as ‘halfway houses’), due to cultural norms regarding pet adoption.  Historically, this just hasn't been a thing people do- if you wanted a pet, you would go to the store and buy one.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover several cat cafes featuring adoption throughout Taiwan as part of my quest to visit every cat café in the world.

These dedicated folks not only facilitate rescue/adoption, but also help educate the community on animal welfare issues such as *TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return), and teach prospective adopters about cat care and the responsibilities of cat ownership.

As a foreign visitor, you probably aren’t going to be adopting a cat in Taiwan, but if you want to support rescue efforts while having a unique vacation experience, consider a visit to one of the following cat cafes. 

Camulet

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I happened upon Camulet by accident walking to a different cat café and it turned out one of the best in Taipei.  Call it kitty serendipity.

Not only is Camulet a delightful place to enjoy a coffee break, the cats are also available for adoption, proving that a quality café experience and animal rescue are not mutually exclusive.

Located in Banqiao district, the shop has been so popular since it opened in May last year, that my initial request for a Saturday afternoon table couldn’t be accommodated.  Returning a few hours later, I understood why.

One of the nicest cat café facilities in Taiwan, this beautiful space has been designed for maximum cat interaction with seating at low tables that encourage lap visitors.  With spare and modern interiors, soft lighting, and a rotation of cute cat videos, Camulet offers a perfectly balanced atmosphere of cheerful and calm. 

Ten cats are in residence, all available for adoption.  Many have found their way to the café by people who feed street cats, however, not all cats are suitable for this environment, and those in the café have been carefully chosen by the owner, who has studied cat behavior.  She ensures the cats avoid stress by providing an escape room and limiting the number of visitors and very young children.  Her socialization strategy appears to be working, as the kitties seem playfully happy, and six have found permanent homes so far.

The service is equally lovely with caring staff offering a large menu of salad, pasta and rice dishes as well as desserts and beverages.  There is a minimum spend requirement of 200 NTD ($6.72). 

With an ideal environment, friendly people, great food and adorable cats, Camulet is a high quality experience that is no accident. 

For complete café details, click here.

Music & Cats

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As an accomplished violinist, Emily Lin is well-known in Taiwan for her music and love of cats, holding concerts to raise funds for her shelter and cat café, Music & Cats.

I discovered the coffee shop through a fellow cat lover I met online while tweeting about cats and Taiwan.  He offered to show me some of his favorite cat cafes that are lesser known and potentially challenging to find for foreign visitors.

We met at Qizhang station and chatted about travel and cats as we walked down Muxin Road until we reached Wenshan district, home of Music & Cats.

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Our group received a friendly welcome by Emily’s friend, who introduced us to Emily while we sat down to chat over a cup of coffee.  Emily has been rescuing cats for over five years and opened her café two years ago.  There are currently thirty cats in residence at Music & Cats, and another twenty at her other facility.

She takes in cats that are difficult, and works diligently to socialize them.  One such kitty is Mao Mao, a gorgeous white British Shorthair suffering from behavior issues since she was abandoned by her owner (it was discovered she is deaf).  Things have slowly improved under the love and care of Emily, but she knows this fair feline would prefer to be the only cat in the household with a patient owner who can give her lots of time and space to blossom.

Developing a suitable adopter profile is part of Emily’s socialization process, and it isn’t easy finding such specific homes, but she perseveres.

We spent an hour meeting the cats and chatting about animal rescue in Taiwan before I took a few photos of Emily’s precious fur babies, including a great shot of Mao Mao, who had been elusive during my visit. 

It was a happy ending that I hope translated into a good omen for the snow goddess. 

For complete café details, click here.

Cat Art Home

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Down a pretty lane in Yonghe district, near Dingxi metro station is a small cat café filled with big hearts.

Open nearly seven years, Cat Art Home specializes in caring for Taipei’s truly forgotten felines- those that are ill, old or have other challenges. The caring staff have given these special cats lots of extra love and attention, such as one poor baby that had cancer and required hand-feedings.

Open nearly seven years, Cat Art Home specializes in caring for Taipei’s truly forgotten felines- those that are ill, old or have other challenges. The caring staff have given these special cats lots of extra love and attention, such as one poor baby that had cancer and required hand-feedings.

Whatever they are doing is clearly working because every year Cat Art Home facilitates over 100 adoptions!

I visited on a busy Thursday afternoon and was lucky that the volunteer who greeted me spoke English as she was able to answer my questions about the facility.

She noted there were twenty cats in residence and introduced me to several, including a sweet little tabby, a former runt-of-the-litter and gorgeous white Lulu, a spirited girl that became a bit overzealous when my thumb got in the way of her wet treat.

We spent the next hour discussing the rescue scene in Taipei while a steady stream of regulars socialized with the kitties in the simple, yet relaxing atmosphere.  The space is filled with quirky cat art and set to a soundtrack of lullaby music.

There is a 275 TWD minimum spend requirement with a variety of beverages and desserts available. 

While the least commercial of the cafes profiled in this article, Cat Art Home’s commitment to helping Taipei’s vulnerable felines is most admirable and deserving of support. 

For complete café details,

Lang Lang Don’t Cry

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Tucked away in the shadow of Civic Boulevard near Taipei Main Station is Lang Lang Don’t Cry, also known as Pet Halfway House, a hip café run by dedicated animal welfare advocates.

Opened in 2015, this two-story rescue and adoption center is unique in that it houses both dogs (first floor) and cats (second floor), plus a coffee bar/restaurant.

The day I visited was quite busy, but friendly Julia greeted me warmly and then prepared an outstanding iced latte while she gave me the lowdown on the café and their rescue efforts.  The owners, Tan Jou and husband Alan Liu, decided to open coffee shop as a way to socialize stray animals and increase their chances of being adopted.  They have been very successful, with over 200 dogs and cats adopted in the past 2.5 years.  

As more companies and individuals have joined them in their efforts, the café has outgrown its current space and is expected to move to a new location this year. 

Tan and Alan’s approach drives much of their success, a combination of grass roots promotion and proper vetting of prospective adopters. 

The shop uses social media to promote animals available for adoption, including cute photos and stories about their personalities.  The café now has a large group of loyal followers that help spread the word about rescue and adoption.

However, the owners are also wary of abandonment (unfortunately, a common problem in Taiwan) and have stringent requirements for prospective adopters, such as spending time with the animal at the café, participating in an interview and home visit, paying for medical treatment, vaccines and microchip, plus signing an agreement promising they will not desert their pet.

Eventually, I made my way upstairs and was discovered four cats, two playful tabbies, one energetic black, and a shy orange.  I became fast friends with Guo-Guo and he rewarded my head rubs with happy purrs. 

One of the impressive things about Lang Lang is the feeling of community.  It’s not just the friendliness of the staff either—fellow patrons smile at one another and share tips on which cat likes chin rubs or which dog prefers ear scratches. 

With a central Taipei location, inclusive atmosphere, quality coffee and adorable animals, supporting stray animals has never been easier or more fun!

For complete café details, click here.

* TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) is a program where community (feral) cats are humanely trapped, brought to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, eartipped, and then returned to their outdoor home. 

 

The Neighbor’s Cat is the alter ego of Paula LaBine, an itinerant cat lover who writes about cat cafes, cat travel and rescue/adoption.  She is visiting every cat café in the world, 189 in 28 countries so far!   Find her at theneighborscat.com or on Facebook/Twitter @catcafeviews.

Coolest Cat Names From Cat Cafes Around The World

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Bestowing a name onto a being, whether human or feline, is no easy task.  I have named several cats in my lifetime, but none of my selections were particularly creative- Sally, Chester and Puss E Cat are a few that come to mind. 

That's why I'm so impressed by really fun cat cafe cat names.  Not cat cafe names, but the names of kitties that live at cat cafes.   Especially if said names match up with the personality.

In my 195 cat cafe visits, I've come across 2500+ kitties and while they all had a lovely name of some sort, the following stood out as memorable and completely cool.  Much like the cafes themselves.

Alan Wrinkleman:  Curious Cats, Derby, UK

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This Sphinx is the face of Curious Cats and why not?  He has not just a tattoo-worthy look that is the ultimate in hip-ness, but the name Alan Wrinkleman is what elevates him into other-worldly cool territory.

Baron von Cream:  Kissakahvila Purnauskis, Finland

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Kissakahvila Purnauskis is one of the best cat cafes in the world because they don't skimp on the details.  From the luxe tea room interiors to the swoon-worthy dining to the friendly felines, they wouldn't need to do any more, but they did... by giving the cats some of the coolest names ever, including my favorite, an orangesicle colored tabby named Baron von Cream.  Gah!

Egg Yolk:  Cafe de Kitten, Hong Kong

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I've met plenty of yellow tabbies in my cat cafe travels around the world, but it never occurred to me how perfect the name Egg Yolk would be until I met this celebrity (for real, he has starred in several Hong Kong ads and commercials) feline.  Seriously, check out this pose.

Princess Pancake:  The Cat in the Window, Aberdeen, UK

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Seeing this sweet face always makes me smile, in large part because of her name.  Yes, she is regal.  Yes, her face is flat.  It's obvious and makes sense, but it doesn't make it any less cool.  

Guillaume:  Maison de Moggy, Edinburgh, UK

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If I ever settle down long enough to have a cat in my life full-time, I promise his or her name will be Guillaume.  I only hope my kitty will be as fabulous as the original, found in Scotland.

Pineapple Baby:  Mr & Mrs Cat Cafe, Hong Kong

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We aren't sure why, but cats named after food are very popular in Hong Kong.  I found the name Pineapple Baby tickled me so much, that I snorted out loud when I read the card with her photo on my table.  Insulted at the implication, PB refused to look in my direction when I stood up to take her photo.  I guess I deserved it.  

Izmir:  Le Cafe des Chats, Paris, France

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So sleek and chic, Izmir is the cat embodiment of of Paris itself.  Initially, she seemed slightly aloof and almost too beautiful to touch, but this fair feline changed our world forever when she climbed into our laps for a cuddle.

Tofu Pudding:  Cat & Life, Taipei, Taiwan

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The Taiwanese aren't big fans of dessert, but tofu pudding, made from very soft tofu is the exception.  Interestingly, the cat Tofu Pudding is a lot like the treat- she's not very sweet, but is pretty and popular anyway.

Jigglelump:  Tabby Teas, Sheffield, UK

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This is one of the funnier names I've come across in my cat cafe travels.  The thing is, this cat is neither jiggly nor lumpy, which makes it all the cooler.  

 

 

The Cat Cafes of France, Part III

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If I haven't said it enough, I'll say it again; France, and its cat cafes are first-rate!

The Neighbor's Cat visited ten French cat cafes in November, 2017 and is considered the highlight of my cat travels.  You see, in France, they don't just settle for a few cute kitties and a cup of coffee, they give you the full French cafe experience, complete with charming atmosphere and fabulous food. 

Today, we will journey to Lille, in the northwest, and finish our tour in Paris. 

I hope you have enjoyed meeting the fine felines of France!

Cat-See-Live:  Au Chat Voir Vivre, Lille

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Au Chat Voir Vivre is another example of a great French cafe that also happens to have cats. 

The space is stylish and completely unique with lovely dark wood floors, mix-and-match chairs and lots of books.  The vibe is shabby chic with equal measures of sophistication and coziness set to a soundtrack of lively chatter.  Everything about it made me feel so happy.

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There are eight cats, all rescues, in permanent residence at Au Chat Voir Vivre (loosely translated as 'Cat See Live'), but most were sleeping during my visit.  The few that were awake were not particularly social but cute to watch while sipping a hot beverage.  

Speaking of which, my coffee and pear tart were outstanding and beautifully presented on a colorful tray and served in eclectic china.  I loved how everything about this cafe felt authentic, effortless and so very French, right down to the cups!  The menu has a substantial offering of hot and cold drinks plus patisserie, and they also serve a lunch service featuring a plat du jour.

My afternoon at Au Chat Voir Vivre was an incredibly satisfying experience and an easy day trip from Paris, too, as the high speed TGV train to Lille is a mere hour.  See cats and live?  Yes, but seeing the French countryside on the way to Lille is a life-affirming bonus.

Kitty of Light:  Le Cafe des Chats, Paris

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Izmir makes Le Cafe des Chats worth every effort.

The first time we attempted to visit, the line to get in was down the block.  We returned a week later on a Wednesday morning and while several tables were occupied, we were able to be seated immediately.  That's when we saw her, our Izmir.

This fair feline with the exotic name and split color eyes stole our hearts. 

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The cafe, which opened in 2013, has twelve rescued cats in residence, although we counted nine the day we arrived, a variety of short and long-haired kitties.  None were terribly social, but that may have been due to the number of children in the cafe, sweet things, but with their loud voices and running around, unfortunately sent the cats to their hiding spots.  

The staff have more of a hands-off approach, typical of a Parisian cafe.  Despite the steady flow of non-French speaking tourists, they are far more pleasant than you might except.  

While waiting for our meal to arrive I took in the ambience of the cafe, a vintage library-inspired space with antique-esque salon furnishings, it has a classic, yet quirky nonchalance that feels very French (although a bit catty, so allergy sufferers beware). We thoroughly enjoyed our platter of mini desserts, pot of tea and a chocolat chaud a l'ancienne (old-fashioned hot chocolate) that was particularly decadent.  

It was a fairly standard experience until the very end.  We had our eyes on Izmir the whole time, but who wouldn't, she's so pretty to look at!  But as she fastened her gaze on us, we moved to the couch where she was perched and to our delight, she climbed into our laps for some cuddle time.  It was truly one of the highlights of the ten cat cafes we toured in France!

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Located in Paris, the most visited city in the world, and in the tourist mecca of Marais and Bastille, Le Cafe des Chats certainly can't help but be a busy place.  The location, plus unique environment and traditional French foodservice make it the ideal place to sit and watch the cats, but your experience will surely be more feline-friendly if you drop by during a less busy time.  

Say hello to Izmir for me!

Mallow Cute:  Chat Mallows Cafe, Paris

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Chat Mallows has some extremely handsome cats... and one dog.

We booked reservations for late afternoon and made our way to Gare Montparnasse.  From there, it was a pleasant thirteen minute walk to the cafe, winding between the 14th and 15th arrondissements.

Checking in, we received a pleasant greeting from the staff.  We weren't charged an entrance fee, but instead ordered two cups of coffee that were served in darling Chat Mallow branded cups delivered on a cat tray amidst pink and white Chamallow, a brand of French marshmallows that clearly is the inspiration behind the name Chat Mallows!

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Once seated, I couldn't help but smile  The cafe is very cute, with yellow and blue striped walls that evoke an old-fashioned candy shop.  I especially loved the adorable decor accents such as the Chat Mallow pillows and photos of cats dressed in classic French attire!  The tables are a bit close together, but better to get to know your fellow cat lovers.  Most importantly, it's a feline-friendly space with plenty of cushioned perches for the kitties to peek down from.  

Sixteen cats, a variety of pedigreed pussycats are in residence at Chat Mallows, including five Devon Rex who were napping together during our visit.  My favorites included Jerico, a chubby white British shorthair, Lourse, a gorgeous Maine Coon and Yoda, a sweet Sphinx.

The kitties weren't particularly social, but absolutely entertaining, walking around the room and looking at the guests with curiosity.  The dog was an interesting fixture that I haven't seen in my cat cafes visits around the world (at least not until Taiwan!).  He was mild-mannered and enjoyed being petted, but being tied up in the middle of the floor made it feel a bit crowded.

Overall, Chat Mallows is a charming cafe with plenty of beautiful cats to admire and I would recommend a stop if you happen to be strolling the neighborhood and in need of a coffee break.  

 

The Neighbor’s Cat is a comprehensive global cat cafe resource with first-hand reviews, entertaining articles and an extensive photo gallery of the cutest cat cafe cats on the planet.  On a quest to visit every cat cafe (186 in 28 countries so far) in the world, we are passionate about cat travel and raising awareness for rescue and adoption.  Facebook/Twitter @catcafereviews

The Cat Cafes of France, Part II

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Last time, we visited four cat cafes across France, and I hope you enjoyed their delightful charms.

Today, we will travel to three more feline focused coffee shops, all stylish, yet different in their approach.  One features rescue kitties available for adoption, while another hosts a clowder of pedigreed Maine Coons, and the third splits the middle with a combination of street and posh cats.

First up is Ronron Cafe, which proved to me that focus on rescue/adoption and a quality cafe experience are not mutually exclusive.

One of the Best:  Ronron Cafe, Reims

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Zoe, a petite tabby, curiously sniffed my arm, which seemed like a distraction technique but instead of heading for the whipped cream on top of my chocolate tart, she nudged my hand as if to say ‘Make yourself useful.’  I obliged her with a rub around the ears while taking another sip of Darjeeling tea. 

While Zoe and I bonded, I observed the other patrons.  Two teens left their sodas untouched as they moved from cat to cat cooing and petting.  A middle-aged woman eating lunch grinned happily as a long-haired tuxedo kitty slept next to her.  A young couple seated far away from the other guests held hands over Leo, a huge white cat that decided to make their table his afternoon nap location.

Simple, everyday moments are extra special at Ronron, one of the best cat cafes in the world.

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Everything about it made me feel just so happy.  The first thing you notice is how cheerful and stylish it is with colorful neon green cushions popping against the light brown slate walls, wooden floors and white chairs & tables.  In a tongue-in-cheek homage to the famed Reims Cathedral one wall prominently features a mural of the cathedral adorned not with saints, but of cartoon cats. 

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Once seated in my cozy corner, the kitties came over to greet me as soft instrumental music played overhead.  It was pure cat cafe bliss.

Speaking of the cats, there were ten the day I visited, all rescues and available for adoption.  I was delighted at how sweet and loving they were, and apparently they responded to the merry vibe as much I did.  In addition to Zoe, I made friends with Paty, an elfin-like black & white cutie, Speedy, a handsome white and tabby boy and Luna, a Zoe look-alike.  

Roxane, owner of Ronron Cafe, has thoughtfully created not just a pretty atmosphere for humans, but one focused on feline well-being.  Having previously volunteered with a cat welfare association before opening her cafe, she's developed a keen understanding of cats and their behaviors.  Today, she has specific requirements for the organizations (she works with several) that supply cats to the café, mainly that they are well-socialized and enjoy being around people. 

She goes one step further by requesting adults (vs. kittens) with short hair or less attractive features (missing eye, etc) that might prevent them from being adopted in a traditional shelter.  This approach combined with the relaxed environment has successful, resulting in over 22 adoptions since the cafe opened in March, 2017.

It's not just the physical space and kitties that earn five paw scores, the food is outstanding as well.  Ronron offers a full menu with daily specials and extensive list of specialty teas.  I selected a bacon and cheese quiche with salad followed by the aforementioned decadent chocolate caramel tart and cup of Darjeeling, all prepared and served by Roxane's mother Martine, who is a talented chef. 

Ronron is located in the beautiful and historic city of Reims, which is also famed for being the unofficial capital of the Champagne region.  An easy day trip from Paris, a visit to Reims and Ronron would be recommended even if you weren't a cat lover.

But when sweet Zoe nudges your hand, I suspect you might change your mind.  

Au Revoir les Chats Doux: Review of Le Chat L'Heureux Bar a Chats 

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Autumn was a busy time for The Neighbor's Cat with a whopping 48 cat cafe visits in three months.  As such, I've been a bit backlogged writing reviews.

When I finally pulled up the notes for Le Chat L'Heureux in Nantes, I was excited because my visit was incredible.  The cats, the food, the facility, the staff-- my experience was superior in every way and it's much more fun writing positive reviews.

So you can imagine my devastation when I learned that they are closing on January 27, 2018.  Per their website, the lessor has sold the building and the cats will enjoy 'retirement'.

I really want to let the owner and staff to know how special their cafe is, and how impressed I remain to this day.  Le Chat L'Heureux is not just one of the best in France, but one of the best in the world.

When I arrived just after the cafe's noon opening, I was greeted by Loriane, who gave me quick and friendly run-down of the rules as she seated me in the main cafe area, a casual, yet elegant space with an original 18th century stone wall. 

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I studied the menu and was impressed with the selections, a variety of soups, entrees and plats du jour, plus wine, coffee and an enormous selection of specialty teas.  I quickly placed my order and turned my attention to the supermodels of Le Chat L'Heureux, the cats.     

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A combination of pedigrees and rescues, the six felines of Le Chat L'Heureux (French for 'The Happy Cat') have been permanent residents since the cafe opened in April, 2015.  All are nearly three years old, a deliberate effort to socialize them from a young age into a cohesive clowder.  There is Ulysses, a curious ragdoll with piercing blue eyes and his brother Titus who likes to keep a distance--a better vantage to be admired, I reckon.  Cesar, is a drop-dead gorgeous (and rare) red point Birman with the fluffiest tail I have ever seen and rounding out the posh cats is Junon, a pretty, but shy British Shorthair, the only girl amongst these boys.  Then, there are the moggies- Lucky, a black and white former street cat that loves people and Luxor, a gray tabby that found himself homeless after his owner went to a nursing home, but is now a cat cafe celebrity that loves a belly rub,  L'Heureux's owner worked with Association Griffes to find Lucky and Luxor.

In between kitty love, I was able to discover that the owner is a former professor who wanted a career change and sought to create a cat cafe where beautiful felines lived, including rarer pedigrees that most people would not normally see.   I also found out that the space the cafe occupies is part of an historic building, which tilts a bit, (as do many of the buildings in this part of Nantes).  Back in the day, coins were placed between the uneven stones and mortar to monitor the leaning, a cultural vestige that is still in practice today.  

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I learned all of this and much more from Loriane, the charming host, who is also a student, but more importantly, an incredible story teller.  She spun hilarious tales of the cats adventures at night with Loriane herself narrating the thoughts of the cats.  

I'm certain I haven't had a more entertaining experience in a cat cafe.  

Adding to my delight, lunch was simply divine-- a hearty butternut squash soup topped with swiss cheese and homemade croutons, with a light Darjeeling tea and decadent minis for dessert. 

As I finish this review, I am painfully reminded that this wonderful cat cafe will have closed.  

Thank you, staff of Le Chat L'Heureux and, especially, Loriane and the sweet cats for your kind service.  I consider myself lucky to have met you.

La Maison Maine Coon: Review of La Maison d'Elise

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If you visit the 'About' page on this website, you will see a photo of me holding a Maine Coon cat.  I've always had a thing for them.

Lucky for me (and you!), so does Elise.

Elise, owner of La Maison d'Elise moved to Nantes a few years ago with her three Maine Coon cats before deciding to open a cat cafe.  

She has fashioned a chic and stunning space with warm wood floors, sleek leather chairs and white tables.  With seating for up to 25 people, everything still looks fresh and new which is impressive considering the cafe has been open for two years.  

I learned about this from Elise as I was lucky to visit with her between guests.  She is a warm and friendly host, and also incredibly hard working, managing the cafe by herself most days.

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Elise started with three cats, but found two more to enhance her clowder.  They are all gorgeous and interestingly, diverse in looks.  I had never seen an orange or gray Maine Coon before, so fortunately Jerkhan and Gala gave me the chance, but unfortunately they were sleeping in the cat tree for most of my visit.  Luckily the rest were awake including Leiko, a supermodel feline with beautiful long hair in a light calico/tabby combo, Miyazaki, a young and impish cutie, and Jün, my favorite, a handsome and extremely large boy with traditional markings. 

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La Maison d'Elise is not just unique in that all the cats are one breed, but also because they go home with Elise every night instead of living in the cafe. 

The cafe specializes in tea by the Alveus brand as well as bio products and juices.  Patisserie products are made off site and my chocolate layered tart and coffee were decadently delicious.

I found La Maison d'Elise to be a complete delight- from the lovely environment to the gorgeous cats to the personable host, Elise has created a high quality experience you are guaranteed to enjoy!

The Neighbor’s Cat is a comprehensive global cat cafe resource with first-hand reviews, entertaining articles and an extensive photo gallery of the cutest cats on the planet.  On a quest to visit every cat cafe (169 in 27 countries so far) in the world.  We are passionate about cat travel and raising awareness for rescue and adoption.  

 

The Cat Cafes of France, Part I

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France is famed for fashion, food... and felines? 

After visiting ten French cat cafes over two weeks in November 2017, I am convinced that France's furballs need to be added to the 'things the French do well' list.  So sleek, so chic, surely the term 'catwalk' must have originated here. 

But if you think the kitties are the sole reason to visit France's cat cafes, you would be wrong.  How about the chance to sample gourmet cuisine in an elegant environment that Vogue would deem 'French-girl-cool'?  

Leave it to the French to take the cat cafe concept and elevate it from cute & cuddly to stylish & sophisticated. 

Meow-stache: Cafe Moustache

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The day had started very early when I boarded a bus in Paris for the two hour ride to Rouen that Sunday morning in November.  By the time I returned that night, I had experienced a magical day that included some fabulous French felines. 

When I arrived in Rouen mid-morning, I was able to take a leisurely stroll across the Seine river into the old city.  I had certainly heard of Rouen, the capital of Normandy and it's famed cathedral (a favorite subject of Impressionist Claude Monet), but was gobsmacked by the large expanse of medieval half-timbered houses.  For the next hour, I took dozens of photos and soaked in the history.

By the time I arrived at Cafe Moustache, I was a bit chilly and in need of a cup of tea.  Luckily, I was able to secure one of the nine seating areas (they do not accept reservations) even though I arrived shortly after the 11 am opening.  The cafe has been very successful and I can see why- the atmosphere is cheerful, lovely and inviting, full of feline-friendly spaces and cozy nooks for their human admirers.  

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The cafe has partnered with Felin' Possible 76 for rescued cats.  They sponsor between five and seven at one time, making sure they have plenty of love and care until they are adopted.  Some of the kitties were quite social, going from table to table for ear scratches, while others were a bit shy, still learning to trust again.

I was impressed by the cafe's commitment to the cats welfare and that they sponsor cats that might not catch the attention of a prospective adopter due to a missing eye or leg.  Balou, an eight year old black and white boy is one such cat.   He only has three legs and has suffered abuse in the past, but it hasn't prevented him from living a full life, receiving much adoration from the cafe's patrons.  The day I visited, he posed for photos like a supermodel!  

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Food-wise, the cafe has a large selection of hot and cold beverages, plus pastries and a few paninis.  I had a cup of tea and muffin, both of which were good quality.  

I was not able to speak directly with the cafe's founders, Julia and Constance, however their website provided a lot of insight as to their approach and it's clear they have been both thoughtful and thorough they have been in researching and executing their vision.  Cafe Moustache offers a pleasant, feline-focused experience that in combination with the historic city of Rouen, makes for a wonderful day trip from Paris.

For complete cafe details, click here.

Cat Cafe Evolution: Le Darwin

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Cat cafes are not often known for the food served to humans.  

It's understandable if you think about it.  Cats should be the first and foremost priority with a nice atmosphere and cup of coffee running a distant second.  But France has proven that their cat cafes not only deliver on the felines, but also gourmet food experiences. 

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Considering the foodie culture, that might not come as a complete surprise.  I had amazing meals in NantesCaen and Reims, but Le Darwin, in Troyes stands out as a culinary masterpiece. 

Troyes, a 1.5 hour train ride from Paris, is an historic city known for medieval half timbered buildings and narrow, cobbled streets.  I'm hoping it will soon be famed for its top-notch cat cafe. 

Le Darwin is located in an attractive setting, a square next to a Basilique Saint-Urbain that I admired as I arrived shortly after the 11 am opening time.  When the sign on the door indicated that was delayed noon, I walked around and took in the sights, which is a bonus of being in France; there is never a shortage of interesting things to gaze upon.

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I returned just after noon to a warm welcome from the host.  As I was seated, we communicated using a little bit of French (me) and a little bit of English (the host) as our mutual love of cats seemed to transcend the language barrier.

Looking over the menu, there was an impressive selection of delicious-sounding options. While I was deciding, the cats began to make their way over and within a minute I was in love.  There are nine felines in residence, all available for adoption sans two 'house cats' Mika & Maya.  The kitties, (including a black short-hair, gorgeous green-eyed tabby and a Siamese mix named Fripouille) took turns on my lap for ear scratches and cuddles which I happily delivered in between lunch courses.  I learned that since the cafe's opening in January, 2017, they have successfully adopted 12 cats.  

Normally, I prefer to gush about kitties, but oh my goodness, the food here was amazing!  The amuse bouche was a cold garlic sauce topped with croutons and radish while my main, an Oeuf frite (soft boiled egg coated in crumbs and fried, like a Scotch egg) topped with bacon was divine perfection.  

For dessert I indulged in a crusty almond cupcake split in two and topped with a dense white chocolate frosting and mango sauce, plus a side of icy lemon sorbet adorned with bits of salt, merengue and candied lemon peel.  It was very sweet but nicely balanced by the citrus and various textures.  

All of this epicurean delight was also incredibly good value with two coffees, entree and dessert totaling less than €15.   

If the cats and food aren't enough to tempt you, the space is also lovely, separated into three areas including the main bar, dining room and coffee nook.  The ambience is comfortable and cozy set to a soundtrack of upbeat, electro-pop music.

My visit to Le Darwin excelled in all areas and whether you are a cat lover or gourmand, I'm confident a visit to Troyes would be a highlight of any trip to France.  

For complete cafe details, click here.

Chat Historique: Au Chat Perché

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Caen is a lovely port city in lower Normandy, approximately nine miles inland from the English Channel and 35 minutes from Omaha Beach (aka Normandy Beach). It's an historic city, famed as the burial site of William the Conquerer. 

It is fitting that Au Chat Perché (aka 'the perched cat') evokes the past by occupying a 17th century building, part of old hotel complex.   The space has been modernized, yet sensitively retains the features that make it significant and unique.  The decor is austere and chic, yet also manages to be cozy!

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There were five cats in residence the day I visited including three playful kittens that wrestled each other and entertained the patrons.  The other cats curiously inspected patrons and, at times, jumped into open laps for cuddles.  I was especially taken with Gordon, a black cat with a handsome face and sweet disposition.

According to Cyreac, the cafe is in partnership with La Compagnie des Chats Sans Maître, an association which provides the rescue cats.  Despite only being open for a short time (since September), the cafe has already found permanent homes for sixteen felines! 

Au Chat Perché is a family affair as Cyreac's wife Severine is the chef.  She specializes in vegetarian dishes and so I ordered the plat du jour, a delicious lentil veggie burger served with curried carrots, rice and salad, plus a pot of steaming hot tea.  It was an outstanding meal!

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Even though it was very busy on the Saturday I visited, Cyreac was a kind and friendly host, and gracious to answer all my questions in English as (sadly) I can only say please and thank you in French.  Merci beaucoup!

With its cool atmosphere, sweet kitties, delicious food and friendly hosts, Au Chat Perché definitely stands out as memorable and an easy two hour train from Paris St. Lazare station.

For complete cafe details, click here.

Chat-tastic:  Le Chat Puccino

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It's easy to fall in love at Le Chat Puccino.

Of course, the sweet kitties are the primary heart stealers, but other contributors include the cute and cozy atmosphere of the cafe plus fun touches, like coffee cups adorned with cats dressed in French Navy (aka Breton or Marinière) shirts.  

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Then there is infatuation-inducing city of Rennes itself.  The capital of Brittany is famed for a well-preserved historic district filled medieval half-timbered buildings that now house adorable shops, as well as galettes, a savory crepe made from buckwheat. 

It's possible to make a day trip from Paris (I did), but after visiting both Rennes and nearby Nantes, I highly recommend combining cat cafe stops with a bigger, broader tour of Brittany.  The entire area is physically stunning, rich in cultural tradition and filled with culinary and shopping delights.  

At the center of all there is to see and do is Le Chat Puccino.  Sophie, the gracious owner, opened her cafe in August, 2016 on a charming street adjacent to the historic district and quayside canals of the River Vilaine.  Inside, she has created a lovely environment with classic style, soft music and lots of natural light from the large storefront windows.  I was lucky to spend some time with her visiting about her experiences (in English, merci beaucoup!!).

Le Chat Puccino features rescued cats available for adoption.  There were four during my visit, but Sophie indicated that she was waiting on three more to arrive shortly.  In addition to an adorable Tabby kitten and Jolene, Sophie's own gorgeous queen-of-the-house Tortie (not for adoption), my favorite cat (who has since found her permanent home!) was Lena, a black and white short haired girl that cuddled with me at length. 

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There is also a full menu, and while I initially sipped a mocha, after watching the amazing food being delivered to visitors during the lunch hour, decided to order a toastie with side salad, followed by an espresso.  Delicious!

53It was sad to leave, but soon found myself entertained by a late afternoon spent shopping and sipping wine before I caught the train back to Paris.

After such an outstanding day (truly one of the best I had during my two weeks in France) I strongly encourage you to make your way to Brittany, Rennes and Le Chat Puccino.  Go ahead, fall in love for yourself!

For complete cafe details, click here.

The Neighbor’s Cat is a comprehensive global cat cafe resource with first-hand reviews, entertaining articles and an extensive photo gallery of the cutest cats on the planet.  On a quest to visit every cat cafe (155 in 24 countries so far) in the world.  We are passionate about cat travel and raising awareness for rescue and adoption.