A Visit to a Cat Cafe in Daegu, South Korea
I’m not a cat person. I’m also not a dog person. I’m an animal person. Give me a cat, a dog, a bird, a hamster and my baby-talking-animal-voice will be activated with a smile on my face (just don’t give me a bunny; I think they are evil). So thank the Buddha and a bowl of kimchi that themed cafes have become extremely popular in Asia. They are popping up everywhere (and even blowing over to the Western World). A few days ago I visited the Cat Cafe in Daegu’s downtown to get my fluff on.
Another Breed of Cat. In other words: “Something Different”
If you want to experience something unique then the Cat Cafe in Daegu is definitely the way to go. Having pets in South Korea is not common – keeping cats and dogs in tiny high-rise apartments is not only difficult, but also a bit cruel. As an expat in South Korea and as someone who loves animals, it’s even more cruel not being able to play with a cat or a dog, so the Cat and Dog Cafes came to my rescue.
Cool Cat. Or in other words: “Keep up with the latest trends (rules)”
The Go Yeong E Cat Cafe in Daegu is a little bit more loose with their cat rules than other Cat Cafes. But a few obvious basics are:
- Turn off your camera’s flash when taking photos.
- Don’t tease the cats (don’t pull their tails, whiskers etc.).
- Don’t feed the cats human food (they are selling snacks for the cats).
- No loud noises.
- Don’t pick up the cats.
- Don’t wake sleeping cats (this one was extremely difficult for me).
Purr Like a Cat. Or in other words: “Getting a bit of love from the cats”
Cats are weird creatures. They bring dead birds to your bed to show affection. They sleep all day. They don’t want to be hugged or bugged. They come to you when they want love.
When you get to the Cat Cafe in Daegu you see all the cats; most of them are sleeping – in mini hammocks, on the tables or on someone’s lap, some of them are licking their paws to prepare for the next catnap, some are playing around and some are climbing on top of the coffee machine (mmm…maybe not so hygienic).
You get up, break the rules and stroke a sleeping cat, you buy some cat snacks to bribe them and then, sadly, they go their way again. You stare jealously at the table next to you where someone looks blissfully unaware of the sleeping beauty on their lap – you feel rejected, unloved and like a lost abandoned kitten in a world where whiskers rule…
You want to get up and leave but before you know it all the patience and jealous stares paid off and a beautiful Persian strut over to your table asking for a few minutes of love before he passes out for yet another catnap.
Rule of thumb in a Cat Cafe: Wait your turn. Eventually a cat will show interest in you. Just be patient.
The Cat’s Out of the Bag. Or in other words: “The what, where and how”
The Go Yeoung E Cat Café (고양이) can be found in downtown Daegu – it’s situated right next to the stage and on the fourth floor of the building that The Body Shop is located in. If you walk straight from Daegu Station (not Dondaegu Station) you’ll basically walk into it (just look up and you’ll see a massive banner). In true Korean tradition, you need to take off your shoes and put on slippers when you enter Go Yeoung E Cat Cafe. Pay $7, choose a drink and then you can pet, stroke, smell and talk to all the cats for as long as your heart desires. You can also read about the time I visited an Owl Cafe in Japan, here.