The Five Best Cat Cafes in Seoul, South Korea

IMG_6392Seoul is a vast geographical metropolis and exciting travel destination with much to see and do.

From pop culture trendsetting Gangnam to shopping hotspot Myeongdong to the arts and entertainment haven Hongdae, this fast-paced city guarantees you won’t be bored.

With so much territory to cover, sitting down for regular breaks will be necessary, but why just pick any old coffee shop when you can enjoy your brew in the company of cats?

The Neighbor’s Cat recently visited all eleven of Seoul’s cat cafes with five standing out as among the best.

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4REST NORWEGIAN FOREST CAT CAFE & SHOWROOM

We found this cat cafe quite by accident which is a happy coincidence because it turned out to be one of the best.

I’ve seen a lot of cats in my travels.  Well over 1000 at last count, but these fur babies are among the most gorgeous I have ever laid eyes on– and they know it!

The cafe is home to ten adults and four kittens, all Norwegian Forest Cats.  I’m a big fan of cat cafes that serve rescue cats as the vibe is usually sweet and heartwarming but this pinnacle of pedigree was actually quite uplifting.

The cafe itself is also handsome- sleek and spare, but nicely complemented by warm wood and rustic furniture.  The quirky collections featured around the room keep it unique and interesting, as if you could possibly be bored in this Mount Olympus of feline gods and goddesses.  They flirted and swished around for two hours before we finally dragged ourselves away.

The coffee, served by the friendly cat-loving owner, was the best we had in Seoul, and they also serve decadent desserts, so seeing as the cats aren’t the only indulgence here, go ahead and splurge.  Once you arrive in this Hongdae neighborhood gem, I predict you will be here for many hours and need the sustenance.

Complete cafe details here.

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CAT CAFE ATTIC CAT

Out of all the cat cafes in Myeongdong, this one is probably the most popular.

And for good reason, it does cafe as well as it does cat.

I love cats and I also love coffee.  While the sweet fur babies should always come first, I also appreciate a great cafe experience and feel a cat cafe should deliver on the bare minimum of what a cafe is:  a comfortable place for conversation and a cup of coffee.

Cat Attic does just that.  With colorful yet cozy nooks and decent lattes to attract coffee addicts plus a trove of social kitties to satisfy cat lovers, it strikes the perfect balance of cat and cafe.

We visited on a busy day in Myeongdong and found it without issue, which was nice since most of our cat cafe locating in Seoul proved to be difficult.  What I noticed right away was how much the owner and her husband know and love these cats.  They spent a great deal of time offering information on who likes a scratch behind the ears and who likes to hop up on your back.  Between delivering drinks, wiping down surfaces and monitoring the needs of humans and felines, I was impressed at their devotion… and multi-tasking!

Unlike the images you might associate with an attic, this cafe was bright, clean and extremely pleasant with elegant wood and slate decor, and pops of color.  Most importantly, the kitties seemed healthy and well-cared for.

When visiting Myeongdong (via Metro Euljiro 1/Line 2 or Myeong-dong/Line 4), I highly recommend popping in to this 3rd floor feline emporium.

PS.  The location in Gangnam is also top-notch!

Complete cafe details here.

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TABLE A CAT CAFE I

(146 WAUSAN-RO LOCATION)

Could cats and raccoons be the ideal combination?

Of the three Table A cafes we visited, this one was far and away the best, and while the raccoons definitely added a certain mystique, they were not the main reason I liked it so much.  Spacious, sunny, clean, great drinks and full of mischievous kitties, this is a delightful cat cafe.

Seoul has a few animal cafes (puppy, owl and sheep, to name a few), but I had to do a double take when I saw the picture of a raccoon on the door.  After we ordered our drinks (two hot teas for 10,500 SKW/$9.22 USD), but otherwise no entrance fee), I made my way downstairs where three raccoons played on a larger version of a hamster wheel behind a secure area away from the cats.  To be sure, they were super cute, and while it’s an interesting gimmick, it didn’t seem like a happy existence for the raccoons, unfortunately.

Back upstairs, the atmosphere was cheerful, with plenty of cozy corners and comfortable seating that attract a decent sit-down business of both locals and tourists to complement the brisk take-away service fueling Seoul’s rabid coffee culture.  But the cats are the stars here, a variety of Bengals, Scottish Folds, Exotics, Persians and Maine Coons that, while not excessively affectionate, are reasonably sociable.  The staff were friendly and tea was good quality.

Located near Hongik University metro (Line 2), this Table A location is a great place to wile away a summer afternoon.

Complete cafe details here. 

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CAT PLAYGROUND

The first time we visited, they weren’t open, which is strange as Google shows them to open every day.

We returned to this busy Myeongdong location (via Metro Euljiro 1/Line 2 or Myeong-dong/Line 4) two days later and discovered the reason- a major remodeling project.

Cat Playground is investing in their future with a fresh, colorful and quirky atmosphere.  With 30+ adorable cats, ranging from Norwegian Forest to American Shorthair to Persian and even a Sphinx, it’s one fun cafe to hang out.

It was on the crowded side the day we visited, but after being welcomed by the friendly staff, we managed to snag a table where we sipped our iced teas while several cats came to investigate our presence.  Most were incredibly social and playful, but a few ran to the protection of the off-limits section under construction to escape the cuddle seekers.

There are several cat cafes to choose from in this neighborhood, but I found Cat Playground stands out for offering a clean, odor-free atmosphere and happy (albeit some quite overweight) kitties.

Complete cafe details here.

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Y CAT

Formerly known as Gio, Y Cat Cafe is difficult to find, but worth the persistence.

I had seen three variations of the address including 12-6 Wausan-ro 21-gil, which is where we originally set our GPS.  It was not the correct location, but it did get us close enough to see the sign on Hongik-ro.

Located near Hapjeong metro (Line 2 & 6) on the 3rd floor, we each paid a 9000 KRW ($7.82) fee, washed our hands and exchanged our shoes for slippers.  Once inside, we ordered a couple of lattes (included in the entrance fee) from one of the perfunctory, yet pleasant staff, and sat down at one of the many tables around the room.  While we sipped our drinks we noticed the cafe is incredibly spacious and well appointed for both humans and cats.  I particularly enjoyed seeing all the cardboard cat beds which were occupied by snoozing kitties, including two sweet gray babies posing as yin and yang.

Speaking of cats, there were a whopping 37 on hand, from Somali to Maine Coon to Russian Blue to Exotic to American Shorthair, and I was concerned it might be too many for the space, but the cats seemed relaxed.  We visited shortly after the cafe’s noon opening and while most were sleeping, the cats that were awake were incredibly friendly- we had two cuties on our laps within minutes- and the rest posed for pictures like seasoned models.

We had the place to ourselves for most of the hour we spent there, only having to share the kitties with a two young college students and a French couple.

My only nitpick is that while the staff work hard to keep the cafe clean, there is a hint of urine odor, but overall, Y Cat Cafe has a fun atmosphere and loads of furry felines to ensure a happy visit.

Complete cafe details here.

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4 thoughts on “The Five Best Cat Cafes in Seoul, South Korea

    1. There is a photo of the raccoons in the original review if you want to see for yourself!! theneighborscat.com/table-a-cat-cafe-i-1

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