I’m actually rather allergic to cats, so I’m pleased to say I survived my first cat cafe visit. I haven’t been in the presence of a cat in about a decade, ha. I’ve heard about these types of cafes in Asia where they’re popular, but have never visited one until now.
Catfe is Vancouver’s first cat cafe. In partnership with the BC SPCA, the cats are available for adoption. As the name suggests, Catfe is part cafe with beverages and snacks available for purchase, assorted cat merchandise and souvenirs for sale, and feline company. You pay your admission and buy your (optional) food purchase, which you can bring into the cat lounge, if you like.
- There are 10 spots per hour that can be booked in advance on Catfe’s site.
If you have a group, or otherwise don’t have much flexibility, book your spot(s) in advance.
- Catfe sets aside 6 spots for drop in per hour.
Price per person
$5 with a food or drink purchase
$8 without food/drink purchase
- Visits are for one hour, and they start on the hour.
First slot – 11.00 am
Last slot – 8.00 pm
I checked the day before I went, and all advance slots were booked. They were even booked pretty solid on most days three weeks in advance. So, I went for the 11.00 am / first slot drop in. I arrived at 10.50 am, at the back of the line. I snagged one of the last drop in spots. If you’re too late, I think there’s an option of putting your name down for the next hour’s session at noon.
- I didn’t catch food prices, but if you’re on a budget, you can buy just a single cat macaron or similar treat.
- Note, the barista said the tea lattes aren’t dark enough for the cat foam art to show, so stick to the espresso variety for cat art. My latte (or Catte, yes, they like their cat puns) plus admission was $9.45 total.
After you pay admission, you can make your way to the lounge next door. Hand over your admission stub and an employee will go over some basic Catfe rules. Wash your hands, and then you’re free to continue to the cats.
You can sit at various benches or tables and chairs and wait for cats to come around, or walk around and check out all the cubbies and places for them to chill. There’s a little front room near the cash / entrance / exit (which you can see into from the mall) which has adorable cat themed art.
Due to my allergy, I chose not to pet the cats for the most part. Instead, I was a cat paparazzi. Catparazzi? My antihistamine did its job, though. No problems with sneezing or watery eyes.I was a cat paparazzi. Catparazzi? Click To Tweet
So, how are they doing adoption-wise? Catfe is definitely a success. They’ve achieved over 150 adoptions (getting close to 200 at time of posting), and they haven’t even celebrated their first anniversary yet. Impressive, right?
Verdict: I would return. Hey, Adele even dropped by when she was in town.
More on Adele’s visit – CBC article
- At the cash, use the lint rollers on your way out.
Especially if you’re allergic like me, be thorough with the roller. I had to take another antihistamine the day after my visit, probably due to the number of cats.
- Don’t forget to visit the small room near the cash and door for cute kitty art.
- Catfe is partially closed on Thursdays to move adopted cats out and welcome new cats in. There are limited evening spots available to adults only.
If you try for a drop in spot, but miss out because they are full, or need to pass some time because you are early:
- Go to Yokoyaya 123 on the mall’s bottom floor.
They take credit cards.
It’s not just any old ($2 and up) dollar store – it’s the Japanese / Daiso kind! Do a search for ‘Daiso haul’ for ideas.
*Warning, I’m not sure it’s possible to walk out of Yokoyaya empty handed. I limited myself to just a few items. Now that you know it’s there, factor it into your budget for your mall visit? Example: I picked up a large, hard-shell glasses case for $2.
- Catfe is on the second floor, International Village Mall (sometimes known as Tinseltown Mall).
- Transit / Skytrain station stop: Stadium-Chinatown
Exit the station by going down the stairs (if you don’t see stairs going down and a large roundabout, you’re at the wrong exit). Pass the T&T Supermarket, and the mall is across the street, at the intersection of Keefer and Abbott streets.
Do you need ideas for a Vancouver (rainy day) itinerary?
- If you happen to need a Vancouver itinerary for a few hours, you could easily combine your Catfe visit with:
And for comparison, here’s a take on a Korean cat cafe from Suitcase and Heels.
— Have you ever been to a cat or dog cafe? What did you think? —
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