Every culture has some borderline cooky cat fanatics—often found sipping on tea, knitting in hand, cat on lap—and Taiwan is not exempt. In fact, Taipei is credited as the birthplace of the cat cafe, the creator of the original sweet escape to a paradise where you can sip on coffee while adorable furry creatures purr next to you. The idea of felines sitting shop proved so infectious it spread across the world, became a phenomenon in Japan, and now, we bring it full circle by compiling a list of meownificient cafes with pawsitively the best company this city has to offer.
The world’s first ever cat cafe opened in 1998 to humble beginnings, aiming merely to be a place for busy Taipei residents to unwind, relax and heal their wounded hearts after a long day. The cozy cafe is now the home of 14 cats, a bird and three dogs—all strays—whose names, years of birth and genders are all listed on the menu for ease of recognition. Customers can buy snacks to feed the lovable creatures and play with the pets, who will comfortably lounge all over the cat-scratch-friendly tables, chairs and you!
image via Cat Garden
This cute and spacious cafe by Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall is staffed with a wide range of friendly cats, making sure all patrons get their fair share of feline attention. It serves breakfast and brunch—specializing in French toast—and even offers several alcoholic choices, so you can enjoy your boozy weekend brunches with some furry friends. But be aware, according to the cafe’s Facebook, children under 12 years of age are not allowed in the cafe. This perhaps is a good thing if you’re looking for a nice child-free furry escape.
image via Toast Chat
This is a small and cozy place right by the Songshan Creative Park, housing a family of four cats. The name of the intimate cafe stands for “Together” and “Forever,” which are the names of the mama and papa cats that dominate the cafe. The cafe is small, but the space gives you some quality time to cuddle with the individual cats. The low NT$50 minimum fee makes it a good and affordable spot to get your feline fix after a long day at work.
image via T & F 就是幸福
Minimal Cafe (極簡咖啡館)
This spacious cat cafe located in one of the quiet alleys near Shida Night Market has so many cats you won’t have to worry about sharing. The beloved kitties roam the cafe like it’s their own playground and are not shy about cuddling with strangers. With extensive seating options and power outlets, this is amongst the local and student favorite for getting work done while de-stressing with some purring creatures.
image via Minimal Cafe
Residing on the famous Yongkang Street, this stylish cafe is home to a few chubby and friendly cats. The quiet and eccentrically-designed cafe has a great ambiance for concentrating on work or catching up with old friends, serving a wide variety of coffee and great dessert. With bookshelves of free novels to read and comfortable cushioned seats, the cafe is a cozy place to relax in the middle of the bustling city.
image via Yaboo Cafe
Su Huo Ling Workshop (甦活零工坊)
Su Huo Ling Workshop is positively brimming with cuteness. And that’s not just due to its colorful yet simple decor à la a Japanese boutique, but because of its nine adorable cats—and a shih tzu—that are not afraid of strangers and love to cuddle, purring at every stroke. The cafe sells pet food and products and catcessories and even has special meals for your pets, which you are welcome to bring with you.
image via 甦活零工坊
Mask Cat Cafe (貓妝自家烘焙咖啡館)
A former art teacher, the owner of Mask Cat Cafe opened the store and adopted three stray cats because he loves two things: Coffee and cats. The shop is styled like an old-time retro roadside cafe—the sort you’d find on a less glitzy road in New York or Paris—complete with a tiled floor, a narrow storefront and feline-related art sprawling on its walls. Two of the cats love to eat and will quite literally jump at the prospect of food, making for some lively companions; the third is a bit less mobile, being the eldest of them all. Wifi, power outlets, handmade desserts and light meals, home-brewed coffees and teas, cats and jazz music—Mask Cat Cafe is practically begging you to stay.
image via Mask Cat Cafe
Cat cafes don’t get any artsier than Anhe 65. This spacious shop located in a large basement right off of Anhe Street is a cat lover’s paradise, with three adorable resident cats and feline-inspired crafts covering its every inch. The large available space allows the store to also host intimate music and artistic performances, giving the local artists a warm and easy platform for a cretive outlet. The friendly staff and good food makes this feline spot one of the best to hit up.
image via Little Aesthete
Seed Futian Cafe (種子福田)
This spot is not in Taipei but deserved a mention because the cafe actually doubles as a foster home for abandoned kittens. The felines who live and lounge in the cozy cafe are open for adoption by cafe patrons. In other words, you can spend an afternoon sipping tea as you decide whether the cat is the right companion for you. The restaurant serves organic vegetarian food, with beautiful tea sets for a nice afternoon tea. It also has a spacious outdoor seating area where the cats also roam, so you can soak in the southern sun the next time you’re in the area.
image via Seed Futian