There’s a relatively new craze gracing the streets of some of the finest cities in the world; animal themed cafes. You can chow down on sweet waffles, while frolicking with fluffy lambs, at ‘Thanks Nature Cafe‘ in Seoul, or pet some playful pooches in Los Angeles, while sipping some perfectly brewed beverages at the dog cafe. But there’s one animal that has reached the heights of cafe popularity; cats. The craze originally began in 1998, when Taiwan opened “The Cat Flower Garden,” and shortly after the rest of the world followed suit, with furry feline cafes popping up in Austria, Russia, India and all over the world. Cat cafes are proving people love to be surrounded by these furry felines, and scientists agree that the presence of a cat can reduce stress and improve your mood. So, what could be a better to start your day than some feline friends with your morning coffee?
We decided to take a look at two highly popular cat cafes, on opposite sides of the world. The ‘Cat Cafe Calico’ in Tokyo and ‘Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium’ in London. Two very different establishments built around the love of cats.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium proudly states it is London’s first cat cafe and offers everything from style, class and a highly quirky design. The tearoom is lined with bookshelves and a colourful, Alice in Wonderland-themed decor. The two-story cafe offers an abundance of delicious treats while you enjoy the presence of a variety of fluffy, adorable cats. Plus, there are a number of cat toys like feathers and string to entice the playful side of the cats.
Many UK animal charities have been highly vocal when it comes to the welfare of the animals, the RSPCA, Cats Protection and the Celia Hammond Animal Trust have all voiced criticism over whether cat cafes are ethical, but the Cat Emporium is proud of their responsible animal care practices and have a committed team of human carers to take on all of the furry feline’s needs.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is difficult to spot while wandering down Bethnal Green high street, and for anyone looking to be surrounded by highly affectionate and playful pussycats will be highly disappointed as the cats seem perfectly content to keep themselves to themselves. But that doesn’t mean they won’t let you stroke them as they laze around their dapper home.
Don’t forget to book in advance if you’re interested in spending an afternoon at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium.
Tokyo is home to over 50 cat cafes and one of the most popular is the Calico Cat Cafe in Kabuki-Cho district of Shinjuku. It is a world away from the Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in London. Instead of focusing on style, it’s the cats that hold centre stage. The aesthetic is a bare minimum, white paint with platforms and scratching posts all around the walls and in the middle of the room. You’ll be asked to wash your hands before you enter and all luggage will be stored in a locker for you.
You can find the cat cafe on the 6th floor of the building, but keep a lookout as it’s easy to miss within the bright lights of Shinjuku. Once you make your way to reception, you’ll meet the desk staff, who are very helpful and happy to outline all rules and menus in English. You can order food and drink once inside. But if your aim is to stroke one of the fifty cats, you may want to order some cat treats and watch as the furry felines frolic and jump all over you, trying to get your attention.
It’s a must-see for anyone thinking of taking a trip to the bonkers world of Tokyo.
So, which one will you choose? The stylish and quirky Cat Emporium in London or the minimal yet highly cat-focused Calico in Tokyo? Either way, you’ll be in cat paradise.