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:
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):