Having visited many cat cafes around the the world, I couldn’t possibly resist the opportunity to go to one in Japan. After all, this is where it all started!
I opted to visit Cat Cafe Calico, which has over fifty, well cared for cats! It’s located in the popular Shinjuku ward of Tokyo, and is fairly easy to find (see directions below).
I was incredibly impressed with the condition of the cats. They were all wonderfully soft, indicating a good diet and that lots of grooming takes place.
The cleanliness of the cafe was impeccable, with guests having to leave their shoes and bags in lockers (slippers are provided). All guests are asked to wash their hands thoroughly before entering, to promote the health of the cats. The instructions and menus are in English as well as Japanese, making it a good place for international tourists.
The cats themselves are beautiful, and there are books about the cats available for you to read and become familiar with their personalities. A lot of the cats are surprisingly large, compared with other cats in Asia. Not fat, just big! They’re even bigger than the cats in the UK. And many of them are long hairs, so incredibly fluffy.
One of the best aspects of this cat cafe is you can buy some chicken to feed them. Cats being cats love the one who feed them, so being able to give them some tidbits is a nice touch. And this avoids people slipping them some cafe food, which wouldn’t be good for their health. This is different from other cat cafes I’ve been to, and it definitely aids the interaction with the cats. The cat snacks are limited to one per hour, per person, to avoid over feeding.
Apart from when you have food, the cats are fairly subdued. But I may have gone at a bad time (early afternoon). Mornings are generally a good time for a cat cafe, if you like them to be playful. There are plenty of toys around if you can tempt one into a tussle.
The drinks are delicious, and incredibly generous given the relatively low price. There is also alcohol and food available. You are not required to make a food/drink purchase, and you can just spend time enjoying the company of the cats, if you’d prefer.
All in all its one of the better cat cafes I’ve been to, and I would recommend to anyone whose visiting Tokyo, and loves cats.
Entrance (1hr) 1,000yen on weekdays and 1,200yen on weekends
Additional time 150yen per 10 minutes
Soft drinks (hot/cold) 200yen
Cat snacks 300yen
Directions to Cat Cafe Calico
Leave Shinjuku station from the east exit, and walk along the street on the left side of Studio ALTA. Keep going until you reach Yasukuni Dori, then cross the road. Once you pass Don Quijote you’re nearly there, so keep your eyes peeled. There’s a small sign with cats on, which directs you in and up to the 6th floor.