Confession: I am a crazy cat lady. Even though I’ve grown to love dogs over the past few years and am now at the point where can’t see myself not having a dog once I put my backpack down and settle somewhere, I still adore cats. No matter how bitchy and grumpy and diva-ish they are, I love their distinctive cat personalities and they make me happy.Anyone who has ever traveled with me will confirm that I can’t walk by a cat without petting it (I go through a lot of hand sanitizer 😉 ) and I don’t even want to know how many out of the over 100,000 photos I’ve taken in the past five years of travel feature cats. Places like Malaysia, Turkey, Italy or Buenos Aires, where there are a lot of cats around, make me happy. All I wanted for my birthday in Argentina a few years back was spending time in the Botanical Gardens in Buenos Aires, which is home to dozens of stray cats.And for years I have been wanting to visit a cat café. These cafes, in which you basically hang out with a bunch of cats while having coffee, originated in Taiwan where the first cat café opened in 1998, and has since grown across Asia – especially in Japan, where there are more than 150 cat cafes, and South Korea, since in both countries most landlords don’t allow pets in their buildings. So if you want to cuddle with a cat, a cat café is the easiest way to get your cat fix.Just before I arrived in Bangkok, I stumbled upon a blog post that mentioned a cat café in Bangkok – and the timing couldn’t have been better. I was in dire need of some cat love at the time, and so I headed straight to the neighborhood where the cat café was located. After a disappointing experience at a ‘cat café’ in Berlin last year (there were only two cats that were hiding the whole time, and the coffee maker didn’t work. So much for cats & coffee!) I tried to keep my expectations low, but I didn’t have anything to worry about.The Purr Cat Café is exactly what you picture when you think ‘Cat Café’: a cozy place filled with gorgeous cats, some more interested in guests than others, but all fun to watch.
Upon arriving I had to remove my shoes and put on slippers that are provided and wash my hands in the reception area before I was allowed to enter the café. I didn’t know what caught my attention more – the delicious-looking cat-themed cakes or all the fluffy Main Coon cats. I was in cat heaven.I chose one of the low tables and sat down on the carpet, and took in the cat action around me. The café comes with rules – guests are not allowed to pick cats up for example, or wake them up when they’re sleeping – but there are enough cats that are willing to share your coffee with you (just kidding, feeding them is not allowed) and to entertain you.And that’s exactly what I did: I sat, watched, played, cuddled, photographed.. and by the time I left the cafe, my bad mood was completely gone. But how could these beautiful creatures not cheer one up, right?What surprised me was that the clientele of the café was not at all female-dominated – there were several men who were just as much into the cats as the girls were.For true cat lovers there is a small shop next to the cafe where you can buy cat-themed gifts and souvenirs – but luckily my cat craziness hasn’t reached that stage yet. I know, however, that I’ll be back at Purr Cat Cafe Club the next time I am in Bangkok – and that I will also visit the cats at Caturday Cafe, Bangkok’s other cat cafe.
Address: 63 Soi Sukhumvit 53, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok (a 10 minute walk from Thong Lo BTS Station)
Cost: Admission is free, drinks and food are a little pricier than in other cafes (starting at around THB100) but it is money well spent.
If you are not planning a trip to Bangkok any time soon but would still like to get your cat fix, fear not: you can find Purr Cat Café Club on Facebook and Instagram.Have you visited a cat or dog cafe? Would you include one in your travel itinerary, or does cat hair with a slice of cake not sound very appealing to you?