Toast, Tea, and Kitties: Cat Cafes of Chiang Mai

It’s a ridiculously perfect concept: Toast, Tea, and kitties, kitties everywhere. As if cafes weren’t already some of the coziest open-to-the-public spaces around, there’s also cat cafes, the greatest combination of great things of all time. 

I think the happiest I’ve ever been in my life was at a cafe in Chiang Mai, Thailand sitting on a pillow with some carrot cake in one hand, black Earl Grey tea in the other, and a cat on my lap.

Sleeping Cat at Catmosphere in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Photo from Catmosphere Facebook Page.

Relaxing at Catmosphere in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Photo from Catmosphere Facebook Page.

There are at least four cat cafes in Chiang Mai, of which, I’ve been to three. These cafes were relatively small, but they housed at least 10 cats each which were free to roam about the cafe as they pleased. The cats were given a lot of freedom and priority. They even had some kind of escape route into a private room if they wanted to take a break or nap in peace.

Maewmoth Cat Cafe. Photo from Perigdulu.

Catmosphere. Photo from Our Dream Adventure.

Another cat cafe in Chiang Mai Thailand. Photo from Travel and Leisure Southeast Asia.

Before entering, some of these cafes had signs which instructed my friend and me to take off our shoes and wash our hands at the door to keep the place clean. Inside, there were small pillows and cushions on the floor. These made it easier to interact with the cats. We found frilly teasers and feathers to play with. We were asked not to approach the cats or carry them to our area, so our stay became a game of beckoning as many cats as we could to our table over others. It became a light-hearted but really important competition between us and the other customers. We were children again.

Somewhere in between our experience we ordered something, but really who goes to a cat cafe for a cup of coffee? Still, I need to talk about Thailand’s culinary excellence just a little bit because OH MY GOD, Thailand has got some of the best food around for the most affordable prices.

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Too good. Photo by Markus Villa.

Indulge. Photo by Wongnai.

I want some too! Photo by Catmosphere.

I love cat cafes. They can serve as a home for stray cats, they offer a learning experience on how to interact with them properly, and they’re also therapeutic! They can help alleviate anxiety and stress. Visiting a cat cafe is the funnest, most delicious thing to do on a lazy Sunday morning.

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Ahhh. Photo by Maewmoth.

For my American readers, I’m sure your wondering where you can find these cafes at home. Unfortunately, there’s only one that I know of so far called Cat Town Cafe, and it opened just last year in Oakland, California. According to the Huffington Post, it’s the first in the country, which probably means there aren’t very many here yet. It’s sad, I know. And it’s such a genius business model! It’s thriving all over the world, especially in Japan, in Tokyo alone there are about 40 cat cafes! If there’s anybody out there looking to start an instantly successful business, make some cat cafes ASAP. Do it for America!

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