Mar 1, 2014

Finding Japan in Singapore ~ Singapore's 1st Cat Cafe ~ Neko no Niwa

Cat Cafes... I have heard of many in Japan and Korea, but I have never stepped into one when I was in Japan. That's because I was more of a dog lover rather than a cat lover. I realise how wrong I was when I visited Singapore's first cat cafe, out of curiosity...

Tucked along the street along Boat Quay, along with the seafood restaurants, stands Singapore's first cat cafe. It is located on the second floor of the shophouse unit. So do look up and watch out for the prominent metal signage at the shophouse, when you are looking for the cafe.

Cafe Cats, also known as Neko no Niwa 猫の庭, houses 13 cats. They were all adopted cats, saved from the streets and shelters. Under the care of Neko no Niwa, you won't be able to find a glimpse of their painful past. They are now healthy, fit and have a shiny smooth coat of fur.

The cafe is also very clean and well-kept. There are toys and structures for the cat residents to play with, and we can also brush their fur using the given brushes.

When we went over, it was 7pm. Some of the cats were just waking up from their naps. Some of the cuddly beings strutted around, stretched their lazy backs and approach the visitors warily.

Some are still half-awake and couldn't be bothered with our phone cameras, DSLRs stalking them and continued with their daily business.. or in some cases, their naps.

You might probably realise my favourite model at the cafe is Demi :P

For first-timers like us, we are given a booklet on the basic rules of the cafe.

The more prominent ones I remember is washing your hands before entering the cats' dormitories and not using flash when taking pictures. Actually, I stopped using my compact camera to take pictures of them too, as I realise when I try to focus my camera on them, it emits a red light, and the cats don't quite like them. So all the photos taken and posted here are via my trusty iPhone.

It is best to visit them during the late mornings or late evenings (like after 8pm), as the cats usually have afternoon naps. Since payment is by hours, it is better to visit when the cats are active.

It was therapeutic to hang around at the cafe, even though most of the time, I was stalking the cats, trying to take a good shot of them. But just watching them strut around, or jump up the shelves, or even just staring out the windows is surprisingly very relaxing...

Keen to pay a visit to Neko no Niwa too? Here are some things to note:

Payment structure
First hour at $12 per person, subsequent hour at $5 per person.

Food and drinks are sold too. Of course, payment for these are separate from the hourly charges. Take a peek at their menu.

They carry artwork and craftwork from other artists and crafters too. All revolving around the theme of cats. You can buy them too at the cafe.

Only cash payment accepted.

Where to find Neko no Niwa?

54A Boat Quay (Level 2)
Singapore 049843

Nearest MRT: Raffles Place Exit G, Clarke Quay Exit E

View Larger Map

And the most important of all... remember to call to make a reservation first! The cafe is very popular, hence it is best to book a place first before you go there, to avoid disappointment.

Telephone Number: 6536 5319

Hope to see you at Neko no Niwa! Can't wait to make a second visit... this time I will choose a timing when all cats are active!

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