Monday, 13 January 2014

Mia's Review: Neko No Niwa (Cat Cafe)

Just in case you didn't know, we finally have a pet cafe dedicated to cat lovers in Singapore starting since Christmas Day 2013, located conveniently at Boat Quay.
Needless to say, ohyzfinaldust and I quickly arranged to set a date for a visit... which took place sometime earlier this month. 
warning: picture heavy post

 Located at 2nd storey of the row of shophouses and coupled with a pretty tiny signboard, it's actually quite easy to miss it. I reckon this kind of hints at their exclusivity. It's really difficult for someone to chance upon this cat cafe unless one is determined to visit.
There's this short staircase leading up to the cafe, with both sides of the wall painted with adorable cat doodling.






I personally love the one of the sleeping kitty dreaming of a fish. Ahahaha, what a glutton!

The cafe is not very big, consisting of a cats' section and the food section. You can order some drinks or dessert from within the cats' section via this window. The food section also consist on a small stretch of 'lawn', the only area whereby footwear is allowed, for patrons to remove their shoes and leave them at the shoe rack (not in pictures). We were also reminded to wash our hands before entering the cats' section, after being handed a ticket (upon which you have an assigned number used to order food and make payment when you leave), and also on the rules and regulations at the cafe. One of which, is to not disturb the cats when they're napping. 

And guess what, ALL the cats were napping when we dropped by at 415pm. Yes, cats all nap in the day. So really, what's the point of spending $12 an hour (and $5 per subsequent half an hour) to sit around and observe sleeping cats? 

 Showing more of the cats' sleeping areas.... Yes, they were all asleep... and we can't disturb them. 

 And so I decided to play with the cat's toys and read through their handbook instead....

And yes, all their cats were rescued cats. It's rather commendable for their thoughtfulness and care for these abandoned poor kitties, to nurse their malnourished and sickly bodies back into health and give them a second chance in life. And hopefully, it can also induce a higher acceptance of adoption in potential pet owners by showing them that there really isn't any difference between shelter animals and those caged up in pet farms. They're all equally highly individualistic and loveable. :)

And giving you an introduction of all 13 cats housed at Neko No Niwa...

Out of these 13 cats, we didn't get to see Dewey at all, for he's been sleeping in one of the sleeping hut the full 2 hours we are there. A few other cats like Mr. White, Jiajia and Little Miss Muffet did too, but they slept in open boxes/hammock so we can still see them sleeping. Other cats like Baloo, Luna, and Brown Monkey spent most of the 2 hours napping/stoning in the huts/covered boxes too.
So for that $22 worth of 2 hours we spent there, we only did get to see/interact with less than half of the cats.

Sleeping Jia Jia... Look, she's an 'ombre' cat! 

 Sleeping Kai Kai, Jia Jia's brother....

 After which Kai Kai woke up for a brief moment, only to join Jia Jia back to sleep on the single seater couch in an yinyang style. At one point when Kai Kai was woken up by someone kicking against the furniture, he spun around and literally sat on Jia Jia's face, who continued sleeping. Ahahahaha, so funny!

 Kai Kai yawning like a boss while he was up....

 There's Dewey who remained deep in sleep in this pink hut throughout the 2 hours we were there...

There's Little Miss Muffet, who also pretty much slept throughout the 2 hours.

 She woke up for a while and looked pretty miffed at me trying to snap a picture of her....

 The dead sleeping Skittles who didn't care that we placed all the cat nips on/around her to snap pictures... Eventually she woke up and even chillax on a pillow on oyhz's lap!

Luna, who was hiding in a box to nap, and was only out for a brief moment for a drink.

So was Baloo, brother of Little Miss Muffet and also the biggest cat in the cafe. See his paw hanging out because he has filled up almost the entire box. *rofl*

 Here's Baloo when he's out for a quick drink. He really is hugeeeee! To get an idea, scroll down and compare with the picture of Robbie drinking from the exact same water feeder.

 There's Brown Monkey stoning (he never came out of the hut even though he never napped) beside a napping Emma....
Brown Monkey got attracted by the cat nip first and woke up Emma with one of his cat-swipe.

 And then Emma got totally hooked...


And she came out of the hut just to play with the cat nip! :) What a beauty!

And also to chew on Finaldust's bag strap. Ahahaha!


Suddenly there was a small hoo-haa at the other side of the room and we realised that Demi has woken up and leaped onto the chair. That kink in her tail is actually pretty entertaining. Try touching it and see her swipe her tail around... but actually we aren't supposed to irritate her tail like that. :(

Soon, Miley also came out from her hidden spot in the tunnel linked to the food section and we got the chance to use the grooming brush on her, under supervision of the staff of course.

 Here's Robbie, the 'tail-less' cat that gave affectionate headbutt to Finaldust after he mimicked the staff's position which earned him a few headbutts too. But when oyhz tried, Robbie couldn't be bothered. 


And with the end of my picture spamming, let's move on to my thoughts on Neko No Niwa. First and foremost, kudos to them for setting up this cafe to give these abandoned kitties a 2nd chance in life. But in my most honest opinion, that basically summed up my good views towards this cat cafe. I can't comment on their food quality, because I couldn't be bothered to order anything on top of my $22 hourly charges for 2 hours spent with sleeping cats. 
My favourite dog cafe, WTF, now charges barely $9 on a weekend and allows us to stay with the puppies from the time they open at 2:30pm all the way until they closes at 10pm. What's more, we get a drink too! Need I say more?

For cat lovers out there, you'll know cat nap away most of their days, and with their opening hours ending at 9pm and apparently (or so I heard) limiting the number of patrons interacting with the cats at one time to prevent the kitties getting freaked out by too many strangers, how many lucky patrons can really get their money worthwhile by truly playing with the cats (when they wake up in the evening/night) and not obliged to just sit around and stare at them sleeping/stoning?
And yes, I am using the word 'obliged' for a good reason. Apart from being reminded on their rules of never to disturb a sleeping cat or carrying them, at one point one of their staff also came into the cats' section and kept us under his watchful eyes, reminding us of their rules whenever he caught us breaking them. 

Namely (apart from the 2 mentioned), 
1. Do not touch their paws.
2. Do not touch their bellies.
3. Do not irritate their tails
4. (You're doing it wrong) Do not stroke their head too fast. You should go slow.
5. Do not wave the cat nip mouse's tail at the stoning Brown Monkey. Do not disturb them! 

So the conclusion should be obvious. Why bother spending $12 an hour to sit around in an aircon room with other strangers to look at sleeping cats, and be 'told off' by staff when you try to interact with the cats? There should be more than enough strays at your void deck to entertain you, as long as you prepare some cat feed.
But oh well, just to be fair, I do believe that it would definitely feel very much less of a horrible rip-off should we have visited at night when the cats are done sleeping. 
So yup, if you're interested, start calling and DEMAND slots for late evenings/nights! It really is pointless to drop by in the day. 

For more information, visit their facebook HERE.

Till then,
Mia

43 comments:

  1. Seems so disappointing. I would rather go to cats shelter then. Where the cats there need more attention compared to the cafe's. And we can really interact with them without the 'guards' and rules.

    Thanks for the review!
    Really need to plan for a trip to WTF soon! Hahaha.

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    Replies
    1. yesss, you needa go WTF soon! go at 230 okay! it gets crowded and hard to kidnap the cute doggies.

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    2. I totally agree with u. The staff told me that the cats are mostly awake from abt 6 am. But they open only at 11 am on weekdays. I got there at 11.00 and only a few of the cats are awake but by 11.30 am all were sleeping or had retreated to their litter room. So disappointing! I stayed for 2 hours but still the cats were mostly sleeping. My experience at the CATS CAFE was so much better. The toys are more interesting and the cats are more lively. Most of them are awake and playful. Best of all is u can stay as long as u want. Also the staff are more friendly. Definitely a much better choice.

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  2. Didn't know the cat cafe is quite disappointing. Guess I would rather play with the stray cats below my block.

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    Replies
    1. or you go at night lor. when the cats all woke up.... then you can attract them with toys.

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  3. Awww such a shame that you couldn't interact much with the kitties. That is the whole point of going to the cafe! That staff needs to have this important point drilled in his head.

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    Replies
    1. i guess the staff loves the cats too much to care much about the business... or maybe he's worried the cats will scratch patrons when too annoyed....?

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  4. OMG this cafe is so cute! I have a friend that will absolutely love this! Thanks for sharing. xx Lisa giglove

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  5. This is the only negative review I have found for the cafe. Although I love the idea of Cat Cafe, this will definitely be a huge disappointment and irritation if this is what I experience on my future visit. A word of caution against overblown expectations is never a bad thing. I think you should ask Cat Cafe to post a link to this review on their facebook page in addition to all of the glowing reviews they have received.

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    Replies
    1. maybe those who gave good review visited at night when all cats are awake....

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    2. I went at lunch time and stayed for 4 hours. The cats are mostly awake and more sociable than the ones in Neko

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  6. 12 dolar for just watching the cat sleeping doesn't seems super worth it :( but emma is so cuteee, love itt
    -beautylicious08-

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  7. It is very expensive but all these kitties are so cute!!! I love cats and I had a cat but I gave her to my mother after her breast cancer operation to keep her company. I miss her so much!! giglove

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  8. awww.. I am not a huge fan of cat.. But I shall recommend this cafe to my frens that is a cat lover ! :D #giglove

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  9. Ohhh my cuteness overload! I have a friend who owns cats and she will definitely love this place too! gig

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  10. The place looks awesome! I just wish that visitors can enjoy playing with the cats even during the day. Anyways, at least there are some cats that are awake during your visit. ^_^ Thanks for the review. gig

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  11. So interesting! I don't think there are even any pet cafes here in my country. I really like this idea, a cafe for rescued cats. However, it is kind of pricey that they charge by the hour (and that doesn't even include the food yet) so patrons can't really stay for as long as they want without their bill going up. Very unique place, though! :)

    GIGlove

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  12. cat cafe? very interesting and very different! you'd never find places like these in the uk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i guess pet cafes are pretty much still an asian thing? ;p it's very common in japan and korea too.... korea even has a sheep cafe!

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  13. such a disappointment, they have some stiff rules!! you are absolutely right...what it’s the point paying such a high fees, better visit the cats at the shelter and give them some love -___- Great review and pictures hun <3

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  14. Those cats are super cute, but it's such a shame that you din't enjoy your visit.

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  15. I've never heard of this kind of cafe out here, but it sounds like so much fun. That's about how much my cats sleep though! ;) #GIGLove

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  16. This is one of the funniest post ever. love cats!!!
    xxx
    mari

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  17. Too bad they have way too much rules. The cats are so cute though! I would really love to visit this kind of cafes. *-*

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  18. Adorable cafe, but restrictive. I wish it is worth your money to go there. Thanks for sharing though! giglove

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  19. I LOVE cats, but I am super allergic to them :( I'm happy to live vicariously through you while reading this post, tho. Looks like a lot of fun! GIGlove

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  20. Awww!!! What an awesome cafe! I think it's an amazing concept,wish I could go. gig

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  21. Wow, it is pretty expensive there but I love the idea. I just love cats. :) gig

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  22. Wow, love the wall art! It looks so fantastic!

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  23. omg that's so cute!! There's a cat cafe open in Malaysia recently too hehe

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    Replies
    1. do review about it when you made a visit! :)

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  24. I think this cafe is just a bit too strict. I know of other cat cafes in Japan and Korea that are at least a little more relaxed with the rules and you can really play with the cats.

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    Replies
    1. yeah, i know. my friend visited a cat cafe in korea recently and he also said the same....

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  25. we have cat cafe's here too! seems like its becoming a trend! =)

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  26. I never visited a cat cafe before but I would love to. I love cats so much but my parents wouldn't let me keep one. But from what I heard, they aren't really strict much.

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  27. Kai Kai is such a cute name and Emma is white and lovely!

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  28. Went there too, only one cat was active. Visted WTF cafe as well, but the dogs in WTF cafe won't really play with you unless you got food.. at least that was what I experienced.

    - Angelus, http://angelus-officially.blogspot.sg/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WTF was fun when they first started out with less popularity. Now there's way too many patrons (on weekends) and apparently there exist a group of diehard frequent patrons, who built so much rapport with the pups so much so that the pups only stick to them. :(

      Went the cat cafe recently and I enjoyed myself there! So much better than nekononiwa in terms of services. However, their acceptance of kids has harness hates from a group of cat activists and they're getting a little too harsh at their fb reviews, IMO.

      Delete
  29. The pictures you've uploaded are so cuteeee~ greeting to Hoo-haa, Jia-jia, and Robbie frim me ^_^



    Http://beautyasti1.blogspot.com

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  30. Disappointing service standard. We have a 7 year kid hence she needs an accompanying adult to enter the cat's habitat. Hubby and I are not cat lovers so we asked the clarifying question of whether "can we switch the accompanying adult mid way?" The younger lady staff was unsure hence she checked with the older lady staff who shouted the answer sacarstically from the serving counter, "PAY TWO LOR!" We will not visit this place again for sure. For the rest of you considering a visit, make your own judgement and wishing you loads of luck.

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    Replies
    1. Ikr. I think The Cat Cafe at bugis still accepts 7 years old children. Meomi also allows children but I can't remember cut off at what age, plus they have child rates too. These 2 cat cafes are soooooooo much better than nekononiwa. Maybe you can check them out.
      Ps. I've reviewed both of them too. :)

      Delete

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