When we were planning our mammoth trip to Asia we probably should have been really excited about getting to experience new cultures that differ hugely from our own or meeting lots of new and interesting people – that would probably be normal.
Instead all we could think about was finding a cat cafe.
Cat cafe’s are really popular in Asia and though there is one shop in London having a go at bringing the trend to the West, it doesn’t really seem to be catching on. Why? Well fundamentally in the UK we are dog lovers. We also quite like our hygiene and having lunch surrounded by lots of cats isn’t really a very English thing…
Because of this we opted not to visit the London “copy cat” and instead held out for the authentic Asian experience and boy are we glad that we did!
Where can I find myself a cafe of cats?
South Korea and Japan seem to offer the most in terms of commercial cat commodities but we aren’t going to be in either of those countries for another few months so we instead searched the cat scene in Thailand.
Cats are a huge thing here and any that you see on the street are likely to be wearing clothes. Seriously. Cats wearing jumpers is a normal part of Thai life although we still haven’t quite gotten used to it! I can’t deny that it does make them look absolutely adorable and it now takes us a long time to walk anywhere as I insist on stopping and playing with every fashion conscious cat that we pass. They all love a cuddle too. They know they look FABULOUS!
Ted, the cat.
There are two cat cafes to choose from in Chiang Mai; Maewmoth and Catmosphere.
We chose to visit Catmosphere because it is conveniently located not far from popular tourist spot Doi Suthep and so was easy for us to pop into whilst we were out exploring. Also, it is the World’s first space themed cat cafe – home to astro-cats returning from brave space missions with exciting tales to tell. How cool is that?!
Find Catmosphere here
Houston we have a space cat problem
When you arrive at Catmosphere it’s important that you wait outside for someone to come and get you. Not only are you required to swap your shoes for a pair of cat friendly slippers (supplied by Catmosphere) and thoroughly wash your hands, the staff will also want to make sure there are no space cats eager to return to their astro missions hanging around by the door looking for their escape opportunity. We actually didn’t see any cats ever trying to escape, they all seem really content living our their space retirement in the cafe.
We were a little disappointed when we first arrived as all of the cats were sleeping 🙁
I tried to entice a couple to play but none were very interested and so instead we sat on one of the comfortable chairs and ordered some snacks.
The food and drinks here are very good by the way. We expected that with the cats being the main attraction the snacks wouldn’t be up to much but we had some of the best coffee and cake we’ve had in Chiang Mai. It’s a little more expensive than most coffee shops but when you consider that entry is free and there are lots of cats to look after, we really didn’t mind paying a little more.
Really tasty snacks!
Cats will be cats and even in Thailand they’ll only be friends with you on their terms. Just when we gave up trying to play with them suddenly they all wanted our attention and we found ourselves to be in a cat-astrophic situation! Within about 10 minutes of our arrival we were completely surrounded by lots of playful cats plus two sleepy kitties who took up permanent residence on our laps naawwwh!
If I fits, I sits.
Pulling a cat shift
There are 19 cats at Catmosphere but they aren’t all in the cafe at the same time. Cats like to sleep a lot and it wouldn’t be very fun for visitors if the cats were all snoozing constantly. Likewise it wouldn’t be very fair to the sleepy cats if they were expected to play all day and so instead the cafe operates cat shifts wherein the furry felines are rotated throughout the day every couple of hours.
Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur…
This works really well because when the cats have had enough of playing they get to go upstairs where they live for some well deserved down time and simultaneously a whole load of excited cats are sent rushing down the stairs ready to have some fun.
We were only planning a quick visit but we had such a good time we actually stayed for two cat rotations and so got to play with all of the cats. They are all really well looked after and seem really happy and content to be there.
Did the cat cafe live up to our expectations? Hell yeah! We had such a great afternoon lazing around playing with happy cats and we’ll now make it a point to visit a cat cafe in every country we go to. The owner is especially nice too. He spent quite a bit of time with us talking about why he opened a cat cafe in Thailand (he’s European) and how he looks after 19 cats and we really liked him.
You are now my hoomans!
If you love cats and coffee make sure you stop by and pay Catmosphere a purrrfect visit, you won’t be disappointed (even though none of them ever did tell us any of their heroic space stories).