Cat Cafe Seoul

I never considered myself a cat person and always swore that I would never have one. So who would have thought that not only would I own a cat, but that I would willingly (ever excitedly even) enter into a cat cafe in Seoul. While Jeremy’s family was in town, we ventured up to Seoul where people dressing up like cats advertising for cat cafe’s is a common sight to be seen. Especially in the neighborhood of Myeongdong where there are several cafes within walking distance of each other. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this phenomenon that has taken over Korea, it’s as simple as it sounds. A cafe…filled with cats.

cat cafe seoul

We picked one of the several cat cafe’s in Myeongdong which had an entrance fee of about $8 per person but included a free drink including tea, juice or an espresso drink. A small price to pay to play with a plethora of cats for as long as we wanted. We spent the next hour cuddling with these cuties and staying away from the alien looking hairless one…not all cats are created equal people. There were about 40 cats in all but you never would have guessed by how good it smelt (credit goes to the employee that sprayed the equivalent of febreeze on every fabric surface while we were there) and the fact that most of the cats were either sleeping or hiding in one of the many nooks and crannies built for them.

cat cafe myeongdong

cat cafe myeongdong

cat cafe seoul

cat cafe myeongdong

cat cafe seoul

It’s an experience that is unique to Korea and one that I never expected have. But it’s such a blast and a great opportunity for those who can’t have pets while living overseas to get in a little animal lovin’.

  • Grey

    So fun! This place seems like heaven for a cat lady like myself :)

  • EK Bradley

    There was one like this in Ilsan too!! But I never had a chance to go in it. Ahh well, next time!!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      definitely need to go next time! i would love to take my little niece there, little kids would probably go crazy!

  • Charlotte

    You know I LOVE cat cafes! I went to them all the time in Japan. I want to open one in the UK – that would be amazing!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i would love for them to open one in the states too! maybe one day..

  • Elizabeth Mayberry

    I like looking at animals but not touching them so i probably would never go here 😉

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      yea…unless you want to be rubbed against and sat on, probably not the place to go ; )

  • Tami

    That’s quite an experience. I myself am not a cat person, but I’d totally go just to say that I went and experienced something rather unique.

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i’ve heard of a lot of non cat people going just for the pure bizarreness factor. there’s also dog cafes but not nearly as well maintained

  • Susannah

    Wow! What an experience!!! I would totally go – even if just to say I did. :-)

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      definitely! it’s a lot of fun to just go and have a drink

  • Claire (@Kurea_San)

    I’ve visited cat cafes in Seoul and Tokyo, but never really enjoyed the experience. Something about how lifeless the cats seem… I’ve always wondered if they’re slightly drugged, or maybe it’s just the warmth of the room? Or potentially I just chose bad cat cafes to visit, as it seems like your visit was a lot more positive.
    Claire xx | somewhere… beyond the sea

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      really?! i have to say, these cats were definitely VERY active with one another. a lot of them were running around and playing with each other. but as a whole, cats tend to be pretty lazy during the day. ours slept for about 15 hours each day!

  • Misc Bliss

    I love your pictures! They are so crisp and clear, and I especially love the one of the fat grey and white cat reclining, lol. I went to one in Hongdae but it wasn’t as nice as this one. Not quite my thing (even though I am a cat lover) but am glad I have been!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      thanks so much! all the credit goes to my husband who takes the photos for me. and i’ve heard that about the hongdae one, so disappointing!

  • Carina G.

    That’s so funny! They should offer something like this in the USA! I miss my cats back home in Germany.

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i wish that they did! but pretty sure it would violate every health regulation

  • LauraInWonderland

    OMG I’m totally going to Korea! This is probably one of the most awesome things that exist. Seriously, I was looking for excuses to go to Korea and you just gave me the perfect reason. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      well here’s your reason! it’s so much fun and such a bizarre experience!

  • thediynurse

    How sweet! Before we were living together and could have pets [after my only childhood cat had passed] my then boyfriend and I would go to petsmart just to say hello. Sometimes theyd let me play with them so I could get my fix. Now I can’t look at them because I’d be in trouble if I brought another cat home. I think I’d go here all the time!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i love going to pet shops and looking around. i wish that they let them roam around more and not stay stuck in those small little cages!

  • Autumn

    I went to one in Hongdae and it was disgusting! It smelled so bad and one of the cats actually jumped on one of the chairs and peed on it. I guess they didn’t scoop the litter frequently enough most likely… after that experience I’m just meh. I miss the cat cafe I used to go to in Japan, sooo clean!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i’ve heard that! how disappointing! this one was really clean and didn’t smell at all! (at least in my opinion for a place with 40 cats)

  • Chantal

    I’m allergic to cats but I really want to go here.

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      that’s when you wear a stylish face mask ; )

  • Lisa

    Ah, cat café! We have one in Paris too (although it’s definitely not as popular as in Korea – no cat costumed people here hehe). Not only does it have a ton of cats, but one of the levels is actually an old wine cellar that they’ve redecorated.

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      that’s so awesome! i need to keep a note of that for when we make it to france one day. how cool that a level was an old wine cellar!

  • Kaelene Spence

    Okay these cats are adorable! How interesting, a cat cafe I have never heard of one!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i hadn’t either before korea! i just wish they came to other countries but pretty sure health codes in other countries would put a big nix on it

  • Jane Graybeal

    This is so awesome! We stopped in Seoul for a day on our way back from Thailand and I wish I would have known about a place like this, it’s too funny!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      oh man! that would have been an awesome place to go on a short lay over!

  • Cornelia

    Yes! (Based on your review saying it is neither gross nor smelly). That seems like such a fun and weird experience! haha. Do they all belong to the owner of the cafe?

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      they do! we were asking her a bunch of questions and she said she opened the cafe and started slowly accumulating them

  • Elizabeth

    I’m more of a dog lover, but that sounds awesome!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i used to be and we went to a dog cafe but it wasn’t nearly as clean as the cat cafe

  • Katherine

    I’d LOVE to go to any Cat Cafe! :)

    Katherine Nicole

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      it’s such a blast and a great way to spend a few hours!

  • Vaida Tamošauskaitė

    Geez. That looks like a heaven for me :)) hah. I would be a very regular customer there.. :)
    Looks awesome!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha, you walk in and all the cats come running : )

  • Country Girl’s Daybook

    What a riot! I never even knew places like this existed…

    ~ Country Girl’s Daybook, recently posted: March for Life,
    2014 à

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i didn’t either until i came to korea! it’s so much fun!

  • Caroline L.

    The real question is, how soon can I get there?! Also, holy moly, that second cat is FAT! Just the way I like them :)

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha! jeremy really wanted a fat cat for awhile and would always try to fatten up our cat

  • Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

    How funny and unique!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      it was a riot! i couldn’t believe these actually exist!

  • Jenna

    This may just be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. $8 for access to over 40 cats for as long as I want… get out of town!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      heck yes! it needs to come to other countries. the only other place that i’ve seen it is in beijing but not nearly to the extent as in korea

  • Sarah Shumate

    I would love to do this, but unfortunately a cat cafe would be allergy hell for my sinuses. :o( I can barely spend an hour at a friend’s house who only has one cat….much less 20 of them!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      oh no! you could just wear one of those really fashionable face masks that are common in korea ; )

  • Lisa

    My husband LOVES cats and will be so excited this exists! I’ve been to several cat parks or areas, but never a legit ‘cat cafe’. I may be a little jealous… :)

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i’ve never heard of cat parks! how cool! i would love to teach our next cat to go on walks as bizarre as that would be in my opinion

  • Katie Cook

    So random it’s hilarious!!! Miss you lady!! xxoo

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      miss you too friend! and yes…completely random. but that’s pretty much all of korea.

  • Elizabeth Than


    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels


  • Highheels & Tutus

    That is hilarious. Love the idea though, especially for pet love that people often miss while traveling. I’m shocked that it smelt good in there, maybe I would consider going into one then
    xx, High Heels and Tutus

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i was surprised as well. they were really careful about sanitation, smell and cleanliness there

  • Asia @ The Cracked Lens

    Of course I would!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      that’s what i like to hear! haha!

  • Elizabeth Craney

    This is hysterical. I would love to grab some of my cat loving friends and check it out … I feel like the entertainment would be endless!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      it is! it’s so much fun to just relax and watch them play. makes for a great afternoon activity!

  • Erin Ortiz

    What a cool concept! The kitty with the bow tie is oh so cute :)

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      isn’t he?! we had a bow tie for our cat and it cracked me up every time

  • Jess Boyd

    I would definitely go! I love pets, but just don’t have the time or money right now to take care of one (or 40 haha) so it would be great to pay and play with the cats for a little while and leave the litter box to someone else to clean.

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      that’s where i’m at right now. we can’t have any pets and i would love it if these were in the states!

  • Kayla

    Oh definitely! I love cats and I think this would just be something cool to experience.

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      it made for such a fun afternoon!

  • Alex Fahey

    Hmmm I don’t know about this… now a puppy cafe, I’d be up for. I like cats- but more on a one on one basis. That being said, I am not at all surprised that these places exist here.

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      we actually went to a puppy cafe right before we left korea. and i have to say, not NEARLY as clean. there were people who’s primary job was to go and wipe up pee and pick up dog poop. kinda grossed me out

  • Beka Johnson

    Heck, to the yes! I’d go again and again. I loved the cat cafes. meow!

    • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha if only they had them in the states!