Play with Felines at a Cat Cafe in Tokyo

I admittedly am a dog girl, specifically puppies. It is on my dog bucket list to be locked in a room with dozens of puppies while they lick my face with their delightful young dog breath. Is that weird? Maybe. But, not nearly as strange as the Calico Cat Café in Tokyo.

Japan, especially Tokyo, is known for its unique experiences, such as a medical themed restaurant where you can eat beef, shaped like a brain, inside a private jail cell. So, it didn’t completely surprise me to learn that there was a place in the city where you could not only get a cup of coffee, you can also pay twelve bucks an hour to hang out with a bunch of friendly felines.

Even though I am not typically a cat lady, I wanted to go.
Calico Cat Cafe in Tokyo

The Calico Cat Café is on Kabukicho in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, very close to Don Quizote. It’s a little tricky to find, but so is everything else in this city. Just keep an eye out for the cat photo and symbols, everything else will be in Japanese.

Also, be aware that the entrance is on the sixth floor, though the cafe also takes the 5th floor, but you can’t enter on the fifth.
Calico Cat Cafe

We walked in and were instructed to wash and sanitize our hands, as well as remove our shoes. They gave us stylish (sarcasm speaking) slippers to wear while inside the cat café.

Then we entered into what some considered to be a kitty-lover heaven.

The first thing that was noticeable was the strong aroma. It smelled like…a litter box. A dirty litter box.
Calico Cat Cafe in Tokyo

There were lazy cats sprawled all over the place, most didn’t even glance our way when we entered. The only time they were interested in anyone was when they had food, which could be purchased there. Then they flocked.

So, if you actually want some kitty interaction, buy food. They will ignore you otherwise.
Calico Cat Cafe in Tokyo

What we noticed next were the unique breeds that lived here, many that I had never seen in the United States. Some were striped like a tiger, some had smushed faces and others had stubby little legs like a Corgi dog. There were Siberians, Abyssinians, a Russian Blue and so many other varieties.

Luckily, since I am not a cat expert by any means, they provided a folder with the profile of each cat, listing their name, birthday and breed.

We spent a few mintutes attempting to get the attention of some of the felines by waving toys in front of their faces. They didn’t even flinch. Where’s my food?
Calico Cat Cafe in Tokyo

We pet a couple of cats and then gave up.

Peter is a pretty good sport, considering all the weird places and strange food I have made him suffer through. But, he may never let me forget how he had to endure the cat café for 18 minutes.

Now if it were a puppy café we would both have been there daily for a dose of cuddle therapy.
Calico Cat Cafe in Tokyo

Why then would this be bucket list worthy? Because, not only is it a true oddity, we both laughed hysterically about it for the next three hours. Not just little giggles, but belly busting, tear- shedding laughter. I’d go back just for that.


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Play with Felines at a Cat Cafe in Tokyo
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2018-04-05T07:46:45+00:00December 7th, 2013|Categories: Asia, Japan, QUIRKY, TRAVEL|Tags: , |


  1. Um, this is my DREAM cafe. I LOVE kitties! I wish they had one in Austin, I am missing my kitty like CRAZY–my fiancee’s mom is watching him while we apartment-hunt and will fly down with him in February–and some kitty time is most needed. At friends’ houses with animals I ignore my friends and get my furbaby time in, especially friends with cats, haha.

    My fiancee, however, probably would hate this place, hah. He barely tolerates my cat!

  2. Zalika December 8, 2013 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Wow! I never thought Tokyo was that interesting. The possibilities are endless.. I too am more of a dog person, so this wouldn’t go in my life list, but just going to a Cat cafe(which is impossible to think it exist,s unless one sees the pictures), makes for a unique experience I think!

    • Annette White December 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm - Reply

      Tokyo is filled with unique experiences and this is definitely one of them!

  3. Heather December 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    I almost feel sorry for the cats — doesn’t seem they’re really interested in TLC…they just want to indulge in food. Hopefully they don’t get overfed during the day!

    You’re always bringing us something we’ve never heard of. Thanks 🙂

    • Annette White December 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm - Reply

      I thought the cats would have been way fatter from all the visitors, but they seemed in okay shape. Though, when I was there,none of them were interested in any sort of cuddling!

  4. The Yum List December 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Wow! A dedicated cat cafe!

  5. Mike | Earthdrifter December 15, 2013 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    So worth it to see all the different breeds. Shame that they’re so desensitized to people though. These cats remind me of monkeys because of their 24 X 7 one track desire for food.

    • Annette White December 16, 2013 at 8:40 am - Reply

      It was very similar to the monkeys I experienced in Honduras.

  6. Heather December 19, 2013 at 11:47 am - Reply

    I always wanted to visit one of these cafes but just never made it despite three separate trips to Tokyo. My parents adopted my cat when I moved to China and I miss her so much!

    • Annette White December 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm - Reply

      Well I hope you get the chance to go on your fourth trip to Tokyo!

  7. […] while watching a sumo wrestler’s practice session. You let me pet a few felines at the quirkiest Cat Cafe and served me drinks out of a dummy’s head at a fun jail themed […]

  8. […] Naast alle mooie dingen die Annette heeft gedaan, zijn er ook een wat meer aparte  avonturen die ze heeft meegemaakt. Zo heeft ze een eeuwenoud ei gegeten, in een kwallenmeer gezwommen , slangensoep geslurpt  en rondgehangen in kattencafés. […]

  9. […] Tokyo, Japan was another location that I walked away from in awe. It was one of the quirkiest cities I had ever been to and so rich in culture. We did everything from Watching Sumo Wrestlers Practice to Attending a Japanese Baseball Game to Playing with Felines at a Cat Café. […]

  10. `Kerry August 30, 2014 at 7:36 am - Reply

    I just got a new kitten and I have no clue what breed he is. I barely know he is a him. 🙂 I wonder at the point of this place, but it does sound interesting still. What a city that sounds like. Yeah, cats can be moody and particular, and those are just probably bored silly of people because so many come and go all the time. It’s like they are kicking back and observing the humans. :-)I always had dogs growing up, but kind of always wanted a cat after having several strays and I don’t think I am a cat or a dog person one way or another. I think I just love any animals loyalty and companionship.

    • Annette White August 31, 2014 at 7:03 am - Reply

      Good point, the cats at this cafe are probably just observing us and how crazy we are to pay money just to be able to pet them!

  11. […] This is not at all surprising since the Japanese are experts at creating quirky experiences, like Tokyo’s Cat Cafe or the Alcatraz ER themed […]

  12. […] which is not at all surprising since the Japanese are experts at creating quirky experiences, like Tokyo’s Cat Cafe or the Alcatraz ER themed restaurant. {Photo by Real Escape […]

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