IMG_2836Neko no Niwa Cafe in Singapore

If you are a self-proclaimed cat lover, you can now count Singapore as one of your must-visit destinations. As of July, the city-state currently houses two cat cafés: Neko no Niwa, which opened in December 2013, and The Cat Cafe, which opened its doors just a month ago. Cat cafés are abundant in countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, but the phenomenon has just recently gained a foothold in Singapore, in New York City, and Europe.

IMG_2807Neko no Niwa Cafe in Singapore

For the uninitiated, cat cafés have been around since 1998, when the first cat-themed café opened in Taiwan–a country that, unsurprisingly, is also home to a popular cat village. Despite its origins in Taiwan, Japan is largely credited for popularizing the concept in East Asia.

For an hourly fee, visitors can enjoy the company of the fluffy critters while sipping coffee. Many cafés, however, enforce age restrictions and require its visitors to follow strict protocol for handling their cats.

IMG_2833Neko no Niwa Cafe in Singapore

IMG_2829Neko no Niwa Cafe in Singapore

Cat cafés provide a creative solution for those who want a pet but live in apartments with strict regulations on pet ownership, which might explain their massive popularity in countries like Japan. Even better yet, they benefit the felines residing in the cafés. The hourly fee in Neko no Niwa, for instance, helps defray medical and grooming expenses for its cats, all of whom were rescued or adopted.

IMG_2843Neko no Niwa Cafe in Singapore.

The Cat Cafe-SingaporeThe Cat Cafe in Singapore

The Cat Cafe-Singapore-2The Cat Cafe in Singapore

If you’ve run out of cat memes to read online and need to fulfill your daily dose of cat, Neko no Niwa or The Cat Cafe are definitely worth checking out.

For more on cats, read about Houtong Cat VillageNew York City’s pop-up cat cafe, and this Hello Kitty Hotel Room in Kaohsiung!