COOL CAT CAFES:
AS Alsatian polymath Albert Schweitzer once said, “There are two means of refuge from the misery of life – music and cats”.
If the Cats musical film last year wasn’t your cup of tea, why not switch it up to coffee and do some café hopping at the same time? Cafés of all kinds and themes have been sprouting up across Singapore, and with the sheer number of animal cafés on our sunny island, it can get a little bewildering at the best of times.
NEKO NO NIWA
After visiting several cat cafés in Japan, owners Sam and Sue witnessed how a customer entered a cat café only to settle in a comfortable chair, close his eyes and begin to soak in the relaxing kitty energy surrounding him.
Deciding to bring the idea back home, the pioneer of cat cafes in Singapore opened in 2013 in the hopes of championing cat therapy.
The name itself translating to “Cat Garden”, Neko No Niwa strives to dispel myths such as cats being noisy or dirty by providing an opportunity for people to spend time with cats and experience their wonders by themselves.
While cat cafes overseas tend to feature only pedigreed cats, Neko No Niwa puts the mantra “adopt, don’t shop” into practice as all their charges were lovingly adopted into their furr-ever home. They want to spread the message that non-pedigreed cats are just as beautiful and loving as their pedigreed counterparts, and all cats deserve our love and affection, no matter their background.
The café also conducts Cat Care Workshops on a quarterly basis throughout the year. Topics range from the basic essential must-knows (eg: when welcoming a cat into your life), to intermediate practices on grooming and nutrition.
Currently housing 13 adorable charges, Neko No Niwa is a peaceful, therapeutic space in the heart of Boat Quay. It’s a great place for visitors to soak up all the positive energy emanating there, and provides a temporary respite from the general hustle and bustle of life.
54A Boat Quay (Level 2), Singapore 049843
1st hour - S$12 | Subsequent ½ hour: S$5
3-Hour Special: S$24* | Whole Day Pass: S$32*
Mon, Wed to Fri: 11am-10pm (last entry at 9pm)
Sat & Sun: 10am-10pm (last entry at 9pm)
Closed on Tuesdays
7 years old and above | Children between 7-14 years old have to be supervised by an adult at all times
THE CAT CAFÉ
Tucked away in a 3rd level shophouse beside the bustling Bugis Street is a roomy, bright loft-like space, home to 15 furry friends. This café’s story began when two people with big hearts and a huge love for cats who just wanted to share the joys of spending time in feline company (basically, a convenient excuse to adopt a whole bunch of kitties!).
In order to convert an old office space on top of Bugis Village into a cat café, owners Jefferson and Candice spent more than three months convincing various authorities on their ability to run it. Never one to give up, The Cat Café opened its doors in 2014 and its long tenure since then is a testament to their capability.
As the café aims to bring awareness to the stray cats in Singapore, all of their kitties were previously stray or abandoned. They were all rescued by Kittycare Haven before being adopted into the café, so don’t be surprised if they look familiar to you!
The Cat Café prides itself on being the purrfect coffee place and strives to provide the perfect combination of cats, coffee, tea, and pastries. They want to create the best environment possible in which visitors can interact and learn about felines.
The décor can attest to that. Hung all over the walls are portraits and descriptions of their feline family, complete with their habits and quirky personalities. There are even pictures and posters educating customers on cats and how to pet them. For visitors who prefer reading over visual cues, the café also has a bookshelf filled with books and magazines.
One unique point about the café is that visitors pay per entry and have no time limit as long as they stay within the premises, unlike other cat cafes in Singapore. Therefore, do stay for the cats’ feeding times at 11am, 3pm, and 6pm to catch more action from your favourite kitty.
Psst: If 15 furry friends aren’t enough for you, do visit The Cat Café’s second outlet when it opens in early April at The Rail Mall.
241B Victoria Street (Level 3), Singapore 188030
$16 per entry (with a complimentary soft drink)
Mon: 3pm-10pm | Tue to Sun: 10am-10pm
6 years old and above |Children between 6-12 years old have to be supervised by an adult at all times
MEOMI CAT CAFÉ
Hidden amongst bar restaurants and cafes along North Bridge Road is the youngest cat café on this list, Meomi Cat Café. Since its opening in 2014, the cosy space has been home to 7 loveable cats, most of which are exotic breeds. If you’re looking to interact with cats that are less commonly seen in Singapore, this is it!
Meomi Cat Café strives to provide a personalised experience for each customer, from the time they enter the café all the way till they leave. The café rules and introductions are dispensed in the form of jokes and puns while the casual and jovial atmosphere lingers throughout the entire stay.
The friendly and humourous staffers are good with children. They introduce the felines to all interested visitors and regale in delight when talking about the social and intimate aspects of each cat’s personality and quirks.
Although smaller than other such cafes, it's huge on décor and furnishing. There are wall steps, hanging fixtures and a catwalk – all designed to let you get up close and personal with its furry charges. If you’re lucky or happen to visit at the opportune moment, the staff might just offer you some cat treats to feed your favoured feline.
668 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188801
1st hour - S$13 (with a complimentary cup of juice or tea) | Subsequent ½ hour: S$5
Mon to Sun: 11am-10pm
6 years old and above