If having cats roam around you freely while you sip on a cup of coffee sounds like a good idea, you might want to check out Neko no Niwa. The first in Singapore, Neko no Niwa has been receiving a lot of attention for it’s interesting concept as a cat-themed café. For an hourly fee and half an hour subsequently, customers can enter the cafe to play and groom the cats, or just enjoy the therapeutic environment, that’s if cats are your thing.
I have heard of cat-themed cafés in other countries and as a cat-lover myself, I have been wanting to visit one of them! Hence, I was very delighted when Neko no Niwa opened its doors in Singapore.
What makes this cat-themed café stand out? Unlike cat cafes in other countries which usually feature pedigreed cats, this cafe has rescue kitties. That’s right, all 13 of the the furry felines in the cafe are adopted. It is nice that the owners of the cafe advocate adoption of cats, and for this, two thumbs up! 😀
As some of the cats take time to warm up to people, a minimum stay of 1 hour is necessary to fully appreciate the environment created in the café. Here are the charges for the stay in the café:
1st hour: S$12 per person
Subsequent 1/2 hour block: S$5 per person
The café served their food covered (as shown in the picture above) to prevent cat fur from entering the food and drinks. However, despite the wooden lid, a strand of fur managed to find its way into my cup of latte. It was a shocker for me since I thought the wooden lid would have served its purpose. In the end, I just fished the cat fur out with my straw and carried on to drink my latte. Well, the wooden lid is not very cat-fur-proof.
Priced at $2.50, the banana walnut chiffon cake was average. It was a small serving and the presentation of the cake did not look appetizing. As a café, Neko no Niwa disappointed me. However, considering that it’s a cat café and the limitations it has, I find that is not too shabby. There are other options on the menu such as canned drinks and bottle water if you’re afraid of cat-fur in your drinks. Also, most of the customers that visited did not order any food and were there only to play with the cats. So after my disappointment, I decided to spend the rest of my visit enjoying the company of the kitties.
Tip: use a dangling/moving object to capture the cat’s attention
My friends and I went to the café at 3pm where the cats were having their afternoon naps. The café has many rules and one of them was: “don’t wake the sleeping cat”. During my hour long stay at the café, I counted about 9 sleeping cats. Unless you want to see cats cuddled up asleep in their cot (which I must admit is pretty darn cute) I would advise you to visit the café when the cats are more active – from 7pm onwards.
Overall, my impression of the Neko no Niwa isn’t too bad. The staff were very helpful and they really adore cats, which makes being in the environment much more enjoyable. The café is a cosy place for the cats and the customers to interact and there were ample seats, although most of the comfortable chairs served as beds for the furry animals while we sat on the floor.
As the café allows only a small fixed number of customers at any one point of time, do make reservations before going down to avoid being rejected at the doorstep because of the crowd. You can make reservations by either calling them at 6536 5319 or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Neko no Niwa