Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Neko no Niwa - Singapore's first Cat Cafe


The cats have arrived in Singapore. My friend and I ventured over to Boat Quay to check out Singapore's latest addition to the cafe scene - Neko no Niwa, a cat cafe based off of similar spots in Japan. With reservations made more than a week in advance, we were ready to check out this unique setup. 

The cafe was founded just one month ago, in late December 2013. Neko no Niwa is especially unique because all of their cats are adopted, as opposed to the pedigreed cats usually found in cat cafes. So besides spending time with really cute cats, you are also helping efforts to rehabilitate other homeless felines.


One of the more descriptive set of rules I've ever read
The cafe's location in Boat Quay, is a bit curious, as the area is dominated by restaurants and bars. Once you climb the stairs to the second floor entrance, though, you do escape all of the hustle and bustle and enter into a very relaxed scene.

The employees were clearly passionate about the cats, as they took time to sit down with customers and explain the unique preferences of the cats. The soft lighting and comfy seating was fantastic, although a couple of the cats liked them too much and wouldn't budge.







Spending one hour with the cats felt appropriate, and though the $12 per hour rate seems expensive, it was a very pleasant way to wrap up my Tuesday evening. Neko no Niwa was an excellent place to interact with loads of cute kittens and share conversations with friends. 

I would recommend coming during daytime hours, as about half of the cats were slumbering during our stay. And definitely get reservations, the wait list has become lengthy with the huge success of the cafe.

*UPDATE*
After sending a thank-you note to the cafe, the kind people at Neko no Niwa clarified two aspects of the cat cafe experience:

1) The $12/hr rate is much more palatable when comparing the location to others in Tokyo or Hong Kong. And, since Neko no Niwa only has rescued cats, the money is helping plenty homeless felines.

2) The cats are nocturnal, and tend to take their catnaps during the afternoon and early evening. Thus, either morning or night would be the best time to see them being active



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