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Cute cat alert! You’ve been warned! Reading the following post may cause random acts of snuggling.
These days it seems like there are cat cafe’s popping up all over. A phenomenon that has it origins in Taiwan, with the first opening in 1998, and gained popularity in Japan, they have spread around the world. There are cat cafes in South Korea, Thailand and now they’re making their way across to North America with cafés opening up soon in San Francisco, and one even one in Vancouver (!!!). And yet, it caught me by surprise that there would be a cat cafe in Budapest.
After all my time living there, I generally do not think of Budapest as such a forward thinking and progressive city. Not to mention trying to get around all the laws involved with opening a cafe that serves drinks and snacks while having a bunch of cats roaming around. Surprisingly, they have made it work. And in more than one location to boot! There are two cat cafes in Budapest and I visited by St. Stephen’s Basilica for some snuggles with these furry creatures. The other one is located further away from the city centre, by city park and Hero’s Square.
While in university, I had a cat. She was adorable and acted like she was a dog most of the time: greeting me at the door, super affectionate and wanted attention all the time. At one point, I had no roommate and was cat sitting for two others. It was just me and three cats. I’m not a crazy cat lady I swear! I gave my kitty to a friend of mine when I decided to move to Budapest. She is now in Utah. Even my cat, though she isn’t mine anymore, is a traveler!
Going to the cat café was the purrrrfect (corny and predictable, but I couldn’t resist. Please don’t hurt me) opportunity to cuddle some kitties and destress with some furry creatures. I had always preferred dogs growing up, but it wasn’t until I got my own that I started liking cats.
There are many different cats at the café (I think around 14, but I can’t remember exactly) and they’re all identified on the café menu with their photo and name. Every table comes equipped with hand sanitizer and the area where all the food is served is covered and separated with a door. They’ve been open for just over a year now. I’m still surprised that the government has no health or safety concerns and haven’t attempted to shut it down!
The cat cafe wasn’t what I expected it to be. I had expected there to be lots of climbing apparatus, places for the cats to get up high off the ground, and lots of toys. I had expected it to look a lot like what this man did for his cats at home. There was a room with a few ledges on the wall and climbing area, but not big enough for all the cats that they had.
Maybe it is because of the time that I went, but for the most part, the cats seemed very disinterested by all the people. Looking at other cat cafés it seems like the cats were a lot more active. Here, they were mostly sleeping during our visit.
I’m not sure how I feel about the commercialization of the cats. On one hand, these cats have a warm place to live, plenty of food and get to play with people all day. But then on the other hand, some looked annoyed to have so many people around. I felt a bit bad for some of them as I watched other patrons of the café force their affection on the cats who were disinterested and just trying to get away.
Either way, they’re super adorable. Here are more shots of the cute residents!
And one more gratuitous photo of my kitty. I sure do miss her!
Are you a cat or a dog person? Have you been to a cat café? If so, tell me about it!
P.S. Look at these adorable cats wearing hipster glasses! So cute!
Cat Café Budapest
Révay utca 3
+36 20 617 3301
10:00AM – 10:00PM