Sometimes you just need to cuddle a soft, fluffy cat, right? Find out about our experience at a cat café and decide for yourself whether it’s worth searching one out! Hint: YES!
I’m not exactly a cat LOVER* – I’m still not even sure if I can be trusted with a pet and sometimes cats are really selfish and grumpy – but there is the odd occasion where I feel compelled to cuddle one.
*UPDATE: I had a massive U-Turn on this when we adopted two stray kittens! Read about what happened here!
Today was one of those days so we set off in search of Meow Bar and Coffee – what else would it be called!? There were a few others that we’d researched but this one seemed the most promising; I did not want to be sitting surrounded by mangy street cats whilst trying to enjoy a hot chocolate!
Maybe it was our map skills but we found it quite difficult to locate. Based in one of Sanlitun’s SOHO malls, it was a matter of finding a shopping centre and having a look round until we saw the café, which took around three centres and about half an hour.
But! It was so worth it!! Meow Bar and Coffee was bright and spacious, and the cats had a whole area with soft cushions and lots of beds plopped around the place.
There were only two or three other groups of customers and SO MANY CATS! A few were lounging in a cage, around five were holding the till hostage and the rest were just mooching around.
The lady who worked there brought out a tin of tuna and started feeding them from a spoon so at first they didn’t take any notice of us.
Eventually, they decided that we might be interesting enough to come and sit near (this may or may not be because I picked up the empty tuna can and placed it strategically near to our table). One teeny tiny kitten jumped up and sat on my lap for a little while so I was in absolute heaven.
Every single cat was stunning, clean and friendly. They were all obviously just using us for snacks – the girl next to us let them lick her cream cake wrapper, which I don’t imagine was allowed but she immediately made lots of furry friends.
Some were naturally more reserved and bored of human interaction but found their own entertainment with the soft toys that were scattered around.
I bought a hot chocolate for 35RMB, which I wouldn’t normally pay as there wasn’t even any squirty cream or chocolate sprinkles or a little biscuit to come with it.
Living in Beijing on a budget for a while now has proved to me that you don’t need to splurge to get good food and drinks! HOWEVER I feel that it was justified because the cats were too adorable to not spend a considerable amount of time there.
We didn’t order any food because we were a bit wary of the hygiene standards – it’s one thing drinking powdered chocolate out of a mug but it’s a whole other story if you’re picking out cat hairs from your toast.
From the messy chalk menu behind the counter, I worked out that apart from tuna, that’s pretty much all they sell food wise. The cakes were wrapped up and so I don’t imagine they’re made on the premises, probably because no-one would buy them.
If you’re in need of a big dose of cuteness, then you’ll need to stop by. There are even books for you to read whilst you’re enjoying a drink and maybe even a cuddle.
I’m a bit of a germaphobe but you can stroke and play with the cats all you want – just spritz your hands with the sanitiser they provide as you leave and you’ll get the best of both worlds (those worlds being in your complete element with softness and also not spreading diseases!)
Where is Meow Bar and Coffee in Beijing?
Have you ever been to a cat café? Let us know if you recommend any – we’d love to visit more around the world!