Things to do in Seoul: Cat Cafés

March 6, 2011

When I first suggested going to a cat café to a friend spending her first days in Korea, she assumed I meant going to a restaurant and eating the furry felines. Not so. Although some Koreans have (and still do) eaten cats, it’s not exactly commonplace anymore. Why? Well, there was a pretty large anti-cat following in the past, but nowadays, more people have taken to them as pets, especially with the popularity of Hello Kitty.

Cat cafés are a good example of that. Tom’s Cat Café in Hongdae is a quaint little coffee shop sandwiched between clubs like Ho Bar (there are at least a dozen “Ho Bar”s in the area) and Club Naked. A good refuge for one escaping the men ushering singles into their establishments and those on “soju holiday” (hat tip to Brave New World).

What is a cat café? Just a coffee shop… with cats and kittens. The idea is to provide a cat-friendly environment for couples (or just girls) who want to spend an evening petting kitties. Aside from a few ground rules, one can do just that for as long as she wants:

– Don’t pick up the kittens
– If the cat is angry, don’t pick it up (common sense, really)
– Don’t spank the cats… hehe
– Use the hand sanitizer before petting the cats

Eight thousand Won and you’ve got the whole night ahead of you. Here’s a preview:

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It’s worth mentioning these cafés aren’t as common as Starbucks or convenience stores. Only a few exist in Seoul, Daegu, and Busan (no idea about smaller cities, but I doubt it):

– Tom’s Cat Café in Hongdae, Seoul www.tomscat.com
– Gio Cat, Seoul www.giocat.com
– Bali Cat, Seoul
– Cat Tree, Daegu
– With Cat, Busan

One Response to Things to do in Seoul: Cat Cafés

  1. Andrea on March 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    This is so adorable – and really good for travellers because you can’t have pets with you when you’re moving around. I’ve heard that in Tokyo there is a place where you can go and pet kittens as well. Looks like a fun time!

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