Cat Cafes. Need we say more?
Cat houses/cafes give you all the benefits of owning a cat without any of the drawbacks. No feeding, cleaning, or hourly rates involved. Just about all the touching and cuddles you want, but at the cost of marked up nosh for you and your feline friend for the moment. So we decided to take an allergy booster and put on a long-sleeved shirt to go review some feline cafes!
1. Cat Eyes Cafe
Cat Eyes Cafe is sort of hard to find, a converted apartment with twelve catty flatmates. Hahaaaaa. Ha. But really though, the adorable kits don’t always get along, but the owenerbbbbbbbbbbbbb sorry that was the ginger longhair on the keyboard, the owner keeps a pretty firm [back]hand with them.
The place itself is big, probably comfortably fits about 20 with front and backrooms, but still feels quite homey. There are board games, comfortable seats, clean, cat-hair free surfaces, and a big window overlooking the Shanghai Natural History Museum. The prime real estate’s mainly reserved for the cats and their cat castle, though. They are, after all, doing all the work to make rent and pay for the fast wifi.
There’s cafe fare (cakes & pastries) as well as some pasta dishes. We tried a medium-size cappuccino (38 RMB) which was a bit weak considering the cost. Overall, though, you’re not coming here for the coffee, right?
Address: Rm 17A, Bldg A, 129 Dàtián Rd. near Natural History Museum (大田路129号)
2. Life Cafe
Life Cafe is tucked in the back of a little lane house, like the den of a cat burglar from the 1930s, along with one of your socks, that thumb drive with the documents you desperately needed last week, what could be a dead mouse and all the other stuff you can never to find. But we found Life Cafe, somehow, despite the tiny little invisible sign on the front gate that didn’t help much.
The place has two floors, one of which is your regular living-room style cafe, and another which is made up of several low-ceilinged living rooms for hire, at the marked up prices of serviceable tea and food, of course. The creaky floors and stairs are much louder than the pleasantly low key music, but maybe that’ll just make the place even more like home for some people.
Where’re the cats though? That’s the tricky bit; they belong to the house itself, or maybe they’re just strays, but they just sort of wander in and out of view whenever they feel like it, like they own the place. Which, to be honest, they kind of do.
Address: Compound 1, Building 2, 427 Jùlù Road, near South Shǎanxī Road (巨鹿路427号-1院内2楼东南)
3. Petit Cat Cafe
Petit Cat Cafe is also a lane house, though still quite small and noisy. Its popularity doesn’t help. You can reserve tables ahead of time, though. The cats, not so much. In fact it gets so crowded that you’ll only catch brief tail swishes among dark forests of caffeine jiggled legs growing out of the poorly lit interior.
Maybe in spite of the darkness, the decor is so pink, fluffy and sweet that you just might cough up a hairball. People with cold, bitter, brittle hearts should beware.
The music is great. With the paper thin floors, you might hear what sounds like dudes practicing slap-bass riffs over `Mama I love you, Mama I care.’ We decided to leave that mystery undiscovered, a beautiful, spectral symphony that adds a bit of character to this little kitty abode.
The service is a bit slow though. With not many orders taking place, the cappuccino took almost twenty minutes to arrive, and it wasn’t just my heightened, twitchy awareness (I’d had like, four coffees by this point, no one said reviewing cat cafes was easy) dragging out the passage of time. When it finally did arrive, the waitress was walking around with her hands clasped together with exacting precision, pouring coffee with her elbows out like she was a little clockwork geisha doll or something. All in all, a pretty weird little place.
Address: 45-53 North Shǎnxī Road (47号53陕西南路)
4. Miao Wu Café
Another lane house, but from top to bottom. Three stories of chilled-out cat house. The ground level has an outdoor table, cockatoo included, and a smaller interior with a table and the counter where you order. The upper floors are much larger, though.
The Renaissance-esque second floor is mostly for people, with lots of tables and comfy seating, awash with light spilling in from a big window. Cats are welcome and will chill there, of course, but it’s not like the third floor. The third floor is carpet (shoes off please) with cat castles, cat nap nooks, cat catwalks and so on. You’ll find most of the cats here, and the people sitting on the carpet with a cat purring in their lap or by a low coffee table or on their knees chasing cats around. There’s also a small outdoor terrace.
The food, drink, prices, and service are in keeping with the theme, though, that you go to a cat cafe for mainly one thing: furry friction. Nonetheless, Miao Wu Cafe has a number of weekly deals and even a membership to soften the damage.
Address: Lane 91, No. 34, Xúhuì District Road (徐汇区 天平路91弄34号)
We’d say that these aren’t the kinds of places you go to unless you really love cats, but that’s fairly obvious, isn’t it? The coffee is typically not great, the food is okay, and the price is high for what you’re getting. But again, you’re paying for the cats, the loveable balls of equal parts fluffy cuteness and condescending superiority.
Bring some work, consider the extra couple RMB for the coffee a tax on your sweet Instagram #caturday posts, and just relax, enjoy the company of some cool cats.