I heard about cat cafes while living in Tampa. The concept really interested me: you pay a fee to spend time with an animal for the day and then when you are done you go on your way…no veterinarian checkups, no litter boxes to clean, no ruined home furniture. On my first Saturday in Seoul we decided to visit a cat cafe in Sinchon called Hello Cat Godabang.
The cat cafe is located by Sinchon Station on the 8th floor of a building. The sign is red, yellow, and blue and has a small black cat on it. The elevator is really small so some of us had to walk up the stairs to avoid the weight limit being reached. There was initially a 30 minute wait and then they contact you when you can come back. When you enter the cafe you clean your hands with sanitizer, take off your shoes, and put on slippers.
You pay the cashier at the front and order a beverage of your choice. The beverage is your admission cost. I had an ice cafe mocha and it was great. The cost per person is about 8,000 won.
The employees come and serve you coffee and then after some time the cats are brought out little by little. The cats are used to lots of people being around and don’t really pay attention to you until the employees give you some cat food on your hand and then they all come running to you. Most cats are only one or two years old and there is an information wall about each cat in the cafe in Korean.
You’re not allowed to pick up the cats probably to avoid any possible problems. The cats are de-clawed so you won’t get scratched. The floor is surprisingly clean and I didn’t see any cat fur lying around during my visit. The employees are really friendly and seem to love their job. The variety of cats in the cafe was neat and I kinda wish we had one of these in the United States (though I’m not sure PETA would allow it).
Overall, visiting the cat cafe was a fun and inexpensive experience that I would recommend to anyone in Korea. Cat cafes can be found in other towns around Seoul as well. There are a number of other cafes with other animals as well (I want to visit a dog cafe in the future).