After living in Korea for two years I have had my fair share of visits to cat cafes. I mean how could a crazy cat lady live some place where there are cat cafes by the dozen and not visit?
Visiting cat cafes in Korea wasn’t enough for me. I always wondered what cat cafes were like in the place cat cafes were created, Japan. Since we were visiting Japan immediately after leaving Korea then what perfect time to hold the Cat Café competition, Korea vs. Japan.
Below I am going to breakdown both of my experiences at cat cafes in both Seoul and Tokyo.
First off we are going to talk about Korea’s cat cafes. I have the unfair advantage of sampling quite a few of Seoul’s cat cafes, so I feel like I have a better feel for cat cafes overall in Korea, wheras I only have one experience in Japan.
I will give as fair of a overall review from all cat cafes I have visited in my two years in Korea, because to be honest the cat café I visited in the video was by far the best cat café experience I think ANYONE could have, all those friendly felines all to myself. That’s every crazy cat lady’s dream.
To see this experience check out the video HERE.
-Korea’s cat cafes always have at least 20 cats. This number isn’t exact but there were always a butt load of cats hanging out and plenty of opportunities for one on one facetime with some cats
-Affordable. Korea’s typical price for a cat café was around $6-8 including a coffee, unlimited time, and relaxed rules on photography and video
-Positive atmosphere with music playing, people friendly staff, and at least a few playful cats
-We have visited one cat café (unfortunately we don’t remember which one it was) that had a very strong ammonia odor from the litter boxes. The smell was so overpowering we left pretty quickly
-Coffee is average
-Not all cat cafes had toys to play with cats
-When someone buys cat snacks expect ALL the cats to ignore you and go to them
-Most do not open until 12 pm
Our experience was STRANGE. It’s a bit unfair since we are judging this entire competition on one experience when we had many in Korea, but we are trying our best to assume all cat cafes aren’t this awkward.
What made it awkward? The lady working there and how quiet we had to be. All the rules. We understand some rules need to be in place for the general welfare of the cats and customers, but the photography rules really don’t make sense. We understand why no flash is allowed…
See our full experience at Japan’s cat cafe here!
-Cute and comfortable atmosphere. Ours felt like Strawberry Shortcake’s living room with comfy pink or red couches, lots of pillows, and felt super inviting.
-Some cafes offer you to check up on your favorite cats online after your visit!
-The café shares baby photos and lets you feel like you got to see these little kitties grow up right in front of your eyes.
-Too quiet. We felt like we shouldn’t make a squeak it was so quiet.
-Awkward, since people were so quiet and cats were sleeping there was nothing to really do other than sit and watch cats sleep.
-Many of the cats we were not allowed to even touch. One of these cats happened to be the only playful cat running after toys and looking like it was having the time of it’s life. All I wanted to do was play with this cat and I couldn’t!
-Expensive. Cat cafes in Japan START their pricing at around $10 for only 30 minutes of café time. The pricing goes up from there and seems a bit steep.
-Time. Why are there time limits? Have they had so many problems with people staying all day? It just seems like an unnecessary rule or a way to get more money out of people.
-Too many rules.
To see our experience at Japan’s cat cafe check out our video HERE.
KOREA!!!! I mean if we had to just judge based on the two videos we shared you can see that the atmosphere and dynamic of the café is COMPLETELY different. But again, it’s a bit unfair because that just seems like a crazy cat lady’s dream world. Back to back we have NEVER had a bad experience at a cat café in Korea, except for one time the odor was a bit pungent. The Japan cat café is more well suited for someone who wants peace and quiet NEAR cats. If you want to be more hands on with cats and more of them then we can’t recommend Korea’s cat cafes enough. The cats seem to be more friendly with people and more sociable.
What do you think? I do know my cats pretty darn well, but I am just one person with this opinion. Do you think you’d prefer Korea or Japan’s cat cafes? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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