Cat and Dog Café in Myeongdong (명동) South Korea

Well quite an interesting concept, and to me as a foreigner it was extremely intriguing to sip on a cup of tea while dangling a toy in front of a cat or dog in a bustling shopping area. So I investigated two separate cat Café’s and one dog Café.

I feel the purpose of these places is to meet the desires of those who live in apartment, which is 90% of all Seoul residents, who are not allowed to have pets of their own. Often the interaction of a cute furry friend is a welcome relief. I saw a documentary on these Café’s before I went to Korea so I was purposely seeking them out.

Upon entering you are given slippers to change into as you come in and hand sanitiser which is the cafe’s aim to reduce disease being introduced. You pay a small admission fee that includes any hot or cold beverage of your choice. In one cafe the cats with the runny eyes or sneezing habits were being treated with eye drops and medicine, which is great, but it was right next to the expresso machine..

It can be a battle to get the cats attention, so you can purchase additional treats from 1,000won to 3,500won, in Australian dollars that is similar to our $1-$3.50 price. These treats are dried fish or biscuits and by holding them in your hands you will feel like the cat whisper as every cat will abandon its post and come and beg for food.

An observation the cats are more suited to an indoor setting then dogs, and many cats did looked pleasantly happy to interact with humans.

I’m sorry about the quality of some of the pictures, it was often a spontaneous decision to walk in and I didn’t always carry my camera with me, so I used my iPhone.

All three of these places were located in a short distance from one another in the main shopping district of Myeongdong. For the dog cafe there’s always a person in a dog costume on the main street with sign pointing to the location.

These guys would stand in the searing 35 degree heat encouraging people to visit their cafe's.

These guys would stand in the searing 35 degree heat encouraging people to visit their cafe’s.

For the cat cafe’s we just stumbled across them when walking through the shops, there’s signs out the front but always remember to look up! There’s always shops and restaurants above your head and that is the case with the two cat cafe’s as well :)

Cat Cafe no. 1
The first cafe would put coloured scarfs around the cats necks so you could identify which were sick, you could and couldn’t pick up or were too young to be handled.

Life is pretty relaxed around here..

Life is pretty relaxed around here..

This was a kitten, so you are not meant to pick up the kittens, but it was crying for attention and made itself at home on my lap.

This was a kitten, so you are not meant to pick up the kittens, but it was crying for attention and made itself at home on my lap. (They humidity did crazy stuff to my hair)

In the furthest corner this cutie was trying to catch some shut eye.

In the furthest corner this cutie was trying to catch some shut eye.

This was a busy one in a more prominent area

This was a busy cafe in a more prominent area. Look at the grey and white cat shaking its head, where did the face go!? hehe

Suddenly every cat obeyed her command and was summoned to her side, the cat whisperer had some delicious treats as a reward! hehe.

Suddenly every cat obeyed her command and was summoned to her side, the cat whisperer had some delicious treats as a reward! hehe.

Cat Cafe no.2

Second cat cafe was more tucked away, smaller and less people I actually quite enjoyed it here and the cats were more willing to have a pat!

Second cat cafe was more tucked away, smaller and less people I actually quite enjoyed it here and the cats were more willing to have a pat!

So it was my turn to be the cat whisperer and I asked the guy at the register which was their favourite treat for extra bonus kitties.

So it was my turn to be the cat whisperer and I asked the guy at the register which was their favourite treat for extra bonus kitties.

They were pushy and very cute.

They were pushy and very cute.

Directions to Cat Cafe 2 – Called “Cats Playground”

Directions to 'Cats Playground' Cat Cafe

Directions to ‘Cats Playground’ Cat Cafe

 

Dog Cafe

Dog Cafe.. well.. I couldn’t stay here long.. It was like a hospital room in appearance but it had a very strong smell. The urine smell was so off putting I could not bring myself to drink my cool drink. The was many dogs locked in cages on the walls with warnings to not pat as they bite, and even as I went around the room different dogs would snarl at you or run away because they were over being chased for pats. The dynamics between the animals was very intriguing, 3 little maltese like dogs all mounted each other in a very explicit nature and I think they were all male.

There were dogs in there that were much too big and intelligent to be kept in a room such as a boarder collie, and each of them seemed to have some form of social disorder. It was chaotic as the dogs were so board they would start attacking each other and I just felt to leave after 10 minutes. Maybe this is a scathing review and I went on a bad day, but I still didn’t like the conditions they were in. If I had the knowledge that the big dogs were walked at night I think my mind would be more at ease. This is not to say all dog cafe’s are the same either.

The room which was smaller then the first cat cafe I went to

The room which was smaller then the first cat cafe I went to

Dog on dog action....

Dog on dog action….

Very bored dogs, it was near impossible to get their attention as they would pace around the room.

Very bored dogs, it was near impossible to get their attention as they would pace around the room.

So in all, I understand that animals are amazing at relaxing you and few residents in Seoul are allowed pets of their own. However, I was concerned about the over crowding, the hygiene of our own drinks, sickness of the animals and how exhausted they seemed from rarely getting a break from pats!

23 thoughts on “Cat and Dog Café in Myeongdong (명동) South Korea

  1. Omo! Love those kitties *feeling all squishy*~~~♥ so they were more than 1 cat cafe in seoul…i’ m going to seoul this coming spring and were planning to visit the cat cafe as part of my self made cafe mission hahahah. Can you please guide me the way to the less crowded cat cafe? Or is there any address or something?

    • The kitties were very cute!!! I did squish a few not sure they appreciated it! It was called ‘Cats Playground’ when I get to a computer next ill edit my story and add a map for you :). You’ll have a wonderful time, there is certainly plenty of cat cafés around Seoul it’s just a bit tricky to find them. Ask a local who can speak English to help you search for one they are generally very friendly. Remember to look above the ground level shops as I found they were always a few stories up with a sign out the front with a picture of a cat or dog.

      • Thank you !! I really appreciated it and I’ll keep your tips in mind. The last time I went to Seoul and tried to look for Hello kitty cafe, it was kinda hectic and we were like making rounds and turns but fortunately we’re able to find it :-)

    • I have just uploaded a map of the location of the second Cat Cafe, I know it is Korean but when asking for directions it may be easier to show a local this map so they can understand where to direct you more easily :)

      • Thank you so much! This’ll help a lot… i depended a lot of maps the last time I was in Seoul to the point that I’m getting better in reading maps.. eeekkk… hehehe..can’t wait for spring to come ~ anyway, Happy New Year to you:)

      • :) Nope, not this Spring I guess. I’ll be heading for a short 3 days 2 nights trip to Sokcho and spend the rest of the trip days in Seoul. It’s cafe mission and experiencing Hanok this time… tee hee~

  2. What an awesome blog post! I’ve never heard anything like this and I LOVE it!!! Love it. How wonderful :) Oh, joy.

    Love the pictures.

  3. Pingback: Myeongdong (명동) Seoul, South Korea – What to do? A Review | rememberthefirst..

  4. I love animals so of course I love this! I see some unusual cats there too — in the 7th photo, is the one behind you a sphinx? And the 8th photo, I love that spotted one — do you know what type that is? So cool! And you’re very pretty, by the way :)

    • Thanks very much for the compliment Maryanne! :D

      Yes you are right it was a sphinx, I found that in both cafe’s they were the most affectionate and would love to be held, I think they are a breed that requires stability, don’t think they coped as well in that environment as say that spotted one you liked which is known as a Bengal cat :). This breed is very confident and adventurous.

    • I do wonder about the health regulations of these places, but I’m sure if done in a cleaver way the novelty of the idea would attract customers. There’s a few male’s in these photos but the ration is 10 females for every 1 male.. Hey great place for a guy to meet a lady ;) less competition! Hahaha.

      • I’m imagining it with a fireplace, old armchairs and teacups with cats curled up everywhere. I’d go there loads! It’s a brilliant idea.

        Oh, UK Health & Safety.

        They’d probably make everyone wear decontamination suits and gas masks.

  5. That is so cool! I am a huge animal fan and coffee fan so it would be like putting two of the best things ever into one giant package swelling with awesomeness. You are really making me want to spend a summer teaching there…

    • Well it would be a great place to go and prepare some lessons! There are plenty of quiet corners and cafe’s around. I didn’t have to look hard. Thank you for your comments, I didn’t feel my blogging was really reaching anyone so I kind of stopped recently, but you have encouraged me to keep writing so I can show you more how working there will be amazing!

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