Feb 4, 2015

Overwhelmed in Neko no Niwa, a Cat Café in Singapore

Meet Little Miss Muffet

It was hard for me to choose which cat café in Singapore I should choose. I would go to all of them (I found about 5 when browsing) but it would take too much time and budget. So I chose Neko no Niwa on Boat Quay because it was the most convenient to our route that day. Kitties, mommy’s coming!

The café is located at the shops by the river, on the second floor. On the way up, you’ll be welcomed by cats on the wall! When I entered the cafe, I couldn’t decide on what to do. Too much of a good thing was going on! There were 13 cats in Neko no Niwa, all well groomed and taken care of, I wanted to play with them all at once!

I walked slowly across the room, with my eyes almost bulging out out of disbelief and my arms open as if I had to do something quick. Brown Monkey and Mr. White were sitting by the window, observing the people down by the river watching ball games on a big screen, screaming and chattering. I wondered what they thought of those rowdy men. They seemed to be concentrating, they didn’t mind my stroking on their cute little heads and backs.

Actually, my honest reaction when I see a cat, especially as clean as these cuties, is to grab and pick it up, hold it, pet it, kiss it, squeeze it! Yeah, I’m an Elmyra Duff, what can I say. But I couldn’t do that in Neko no Niwa because picking up a cat is one of their ‘Don’t’ rules.

“Not all cats like to be picked up. And can you imagine how stressed out they can be if every guest picks them up every day?” the staff explained. Yeah, that makes sense.

A few minutes after I put my stuff on the sofa, Emma came sniffing my backpack. This snow white smelled something fishy and she was right, I had some fish balls in my backpack, which I bought for snacks. Not able to get her hands in my backpack, she settled for a sit on my jacket. I wasn’t going to feed the cats. Visitors aren’t allowed to feed the cats because who knows what kind of allergies they might have. Their food is always provided on their own little bowls in the corner of the room.

Then there were the huge ones lazing on the floor, Little Miss Muffet and his brother Baloo. Lying on the floor on their sides with their long shaggy fur, they could be mistakenly as a mop! Baloo was a bit fierce, and he looked it, too. He didn’t let me stroke him more than twice before trying to hit me with his chubby paws. Okay, Baloo, I’m not going to mess with you. I’m just gonna let you enjoy the day in peace.

He's so huge, he reminded me of a goat!

Skittles was sitting neatly by the coffee counter. Her double cheeks set her look apart from other Tibby cats I’ve seen (or imagined). She liked to be patted on the rear back, which was always followed with a weird reaction: her back part risened high, the head down. I thought she was aroused sexually or something, but these cats were all sterilized so they couldn’t’ve sexual desire. That actually sounds kind of sad, but I don’t know how the cats take it.

“She’s happy. She likes to be patted this way. Look, her tail is waggling, too!” says the staff. Wow, I’ve never tried patting a cat like that, I didn’t think they’d like it!

Is she going to attack another cat or something?

Under the counter, black-furred Mr. White was sitting with his head halfway into a hole shaped like a doorway. “What’s he doing? What’s in there?” I asked.

“The hole leads to their litter-box,” said the staff. Oh, no wonder I hadn’t seen any litter-box in the room. They are keeping it neat, comfortable for visitors. But why was Mr. White just sitting there looking at the litter box? No idea. Cats’ behavior is sometimes weird and mysterious as it is entertaining. That’s one of the things I love about cats, their unpredictability.

In the middle of the room, cat houses and resting platforms were built on an installation, sort of, connected with each other. Kai Kai was resting there for the whole time. He didn’t even bother when I put a mouse toy beside him in bed. Demi finally came out of her ‘house’ and took interest in Emma’s mouse chase. There were also other tools that you can use to play with these lovelies, and every activity will be under the staff watch.

Kai Kai, being a calm cat for the day.

We were there for an hour, in the café that my friend Maesy had called it, ‘Vira’s heaven’. She’s right, I imagined this is what heaven would feel, full of the things I love. I was not in a good mood before I entered the café, but I turned all smile and grin the minute I stepped in there, and walked out contented.

Bless the people who came up with this cat café idea for cat lovers who couldn’t have cats in their homes, like me! And there will be one open in Jakarta, I cannot wait!
(update: the ones in Jakarta have opened. read the review here)

Quick notes on Neko no Niwa:

  •  Cuddle charge: S$12 per person for the 1st hour, S$5 for each subsequent 1/2 hour.
  •  They only take cash or NETS. The nearest money changer we could find was a 15 minute walk away at some plaza at Clarke Quay.
  • The nearest MRT station was the Raffles Place (Exit G), about 15 minutes walk from Neko no Niwa. But I think the Clarke Quay MRT station (Exit E) is more or less the same distance.

More about this first cat cafe in Singapore: catcafe.com.sg
Address: 54A Boat Quay (Level 2), Singapore 049843

Check out Emma playing with a toy mouse:


  1. huhuhu peluknya bayaaar, tapi boleh dijadiin bantal juga gak kucingnya? :P
    tsakep-tsakep amat kucingnyaaa...

    1. hahahaha... kalo dijadiin bantal lucu juga yaa, tapi ntar dimarahin sama penjaga kafenya :))
      nasib nih orang gak miara kucing, jadi mo peluk2 kucing aja bayar..huhu

    2. iya huhuhuhu...

      btw, yang di Kemang peluk bayar juga gak?

    3. yang di kemang masuk bayar.. sama sih kayak yang di SG ini.. Kalo bisa peluk tanpa masuk kafe, nah itu baru gratis. hihihi