Recently Cat Cafes seem to be popping up all over the place. After starting out in Taiwan and really taking off in Japan, I’ve heard more and more about them in the past couple years. We almost stopped by one in Portland during our visit, but it was too far out of our way. I’ve also heard of some locations cropping up in San Francisco and other west coast cities. Being a moderate (okay, obsessive) cat-lover, I’ve always had visiting a cat cafe really high on my list and when I saw recommendations for Neko no Niwa in Singapore, I just knew I HAD to experience one within Asian culture!
The cafe itself is located in Boat Quay which is a really neat area in itself. Situated right on the Singapore River, it used to be the busiest part of the old Port of Singapore. Tons of bars and restaurants are in the area and the cat cafe sits on the second floor overlooking the river.
When you walk in, you are required to take off your shoes. They charge a ‘cover’ in order to enter the cat room and rates are S$12 ($8.85 USD) for the first hour and S$5 for each additional half hour.
We were lucky that the place was very quiet while we there. And of course, within minutes all the cats were fast asleep.
Paul: “So, we’re paying to be ignored.. just like what we get for free at home?” Ha.
When you first enter the cat room, they provide you with a menu which features the rules for handling the cats, and a receipt which includes the time you arrived.
On the back of the menu, there are profiles for all of the 13 cats, so that you can ‘get to know them’ 🙂
Being a cafe, they have a variety of drinks, juices, and desserts which you can enjoy while in the cat room. You just need to use a cover so curious paws don’t find their way in.
I just loved the atmosphere of the cafe itself. The wide windows provided entertainment for the cats, but also let in tons of sunlight.
And check out the view that these little cats have! The Marina Bay Sands in the background.
Seriously… that view!
Best hour of my life? Neko no Niwa ended up being pretty much what I expected (a quiet room full of cats to pet), but it was still a neat experience and a great excuse to get a cup of coffee :). The place was quiet and the cats were incredibly patient and used to being pet at all hours of the day.
From Neko no Niwa, we were very close to the downtown area near Marina Sands and also walking distance to Raffles Arcade, which was our next stop. If we had more time in Singapore, I would have loved to return to the Boat Quay area at night for drinks and dinner along the river.
Need more cats?: 10 Irresistibly Cute Cat Cafes Around the World (Fodor’s Travel)