For those of you that frequent the streets of Rawai village on a regular basis, you will have no doubt noticed a couple of cat cafes along Sai Yuan road probably within in a couple of hundred yards of each other.
Of course, I was aware that this craze swept across Japan many years ago, however, I was surprised (pleasantly) that they have appeared here in Phuket.
Cat cafes created a storm in Japan and are incredibly popular to this day, although, this is due to the tight property contractual regulations and cost of being able to keep your own pet in that country. In Thailand most landlords will allow pets and if you own your own property then the case is closed. For this reason I was keen to see how these cafes in Thailand managed to attract business and to get knee deep into the novelty myself.
“I love cats and I’ve always wanted my own cafe”.Nighty, owner of Neko’s Cat Café.
The attractive female Thai owner Nighty told the Bowl that she started life with the cats as pets. She bought Mr. Grey and fell in love with him. It wasn’t long before she acquired some more and then decided to marry two loves of her life and realize a dream. She said, “I love cats and I’ve always wanted my own cafe”. Now, six years on the café is thriving and you will always see regular customers, both Thai and Foreign frequenting this place. It is also a really popular activity for taking partners out on dates, this is more so true with Asian couples.
Nighty was firm in relaying that Neko’s does not charge customers to come and sit with her pets as she believes this would make her business more like a zoo than a Cafe. Instead, everyone is welcome to come and play with the cats, however, as with any diner, you are expected to order a drink or some food.
Once Nighty and I had finished with the pleasantries I got down to business and went looking for some cat action. Most looked wiped out and had retreated to sleep boxes mounted strategically high on the walls. I had a good play with those that would allow, however, the coolest looking cat called Mocca was playing hard to get. I picked him up and tried to pet him on my lap, however, he was having none of it. Nighty told me he hasn’t been too well recently so I will let him off. Next time Mocca!!!
It was clear to me how you could easily become a regular visitor here.
I met a Ukrainian couple in the café who were stuck in Phuket and they missed their cats from back home and this place gave them peace.
I think there is something to be said for just relaxing in the company of cats (well all animals in my opinion apart from great white sharks) and will return for a drink and bit a feline downtime when I’m next in the area.
Thank you to Nighty and all the staff (of course the cats as well) for making the Farangbowl feel welcome.
Thank you for reading and watching.
Neko’s Cat Cafe
Address: 39/57 soi Saiyuan Rawai, Phuket, Thailand 83130
Call: 093 584 8355
Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/yvZN9wrcVxjx1GjG8
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