There are 3 things I miss when I’m traveling by myself: Jack, Clos, and Barney. 2 out of those 3 are cats. Thus it was no surprise that one cloudy Seoul afternoon, I found myself in front of Tom’s Cat Cafe in Hongdae, waiting for the place to open.
Cat cafes is just one of the many themed coffee shops in Seoul. The idea of cat cafes is simple: you buy a drink and you get to play with cats.
When I came in, the smell of 20 or so cats was noticeable. I saw the guy working there running around with a bottle of air freshener with little effect.
It doesn’t matter though, I got used to the smell within minutes.
Tom’s Cat Cafe is basically a giant playroom with multiple towers, hidey boxes, and pillows to lounge on for their furry residents. For the human visitors, there were tables and chairs lining the walls.
There were cats everywhere.
I got to see some purebred cats I’d never seen before: like this pudgy faced one (Persian?), and this guy that had these weird folded ears.
I got to see some odd-eyed cats. They are so cool.
Some cats were so eager for attention they’d come up to say ‘hi’ as soon as I sat down. Like this guy right here who found my Kindle so fascinating.
Others were more of the playful type.
Tip: Tom’s Cat Cafe in Hongdae provided these cat toys on a string. I’ve seen many people simply dangle these in front of a cat’s face only to get nothing but indignant stares (and oh, how cats can give them). What you need to do is this, grab the pole and stick it under a rug. Pretend it’s a mouse and move it slowly under the rug. Also, move the pole in-and-out from under the rug. It drives cats crazy! Soon you’ll have cats all around you.
Even though nothing would replace my 2 old cats at home, these cats would do for now. I left covered in cat fur and smelling a little odd. But I was happy.
I got the cat fix I came for.
Which one are you? Cat cafe or dog cafe?
Tom's Cat Cafe in Hongdae
How to get there: Tom’s Cat Cafe is located on the 3rd floor of a building across from Cocoon nightclub in Hongdae and the small park where they have arts and crafts fair and concerts on weekends.
Cost: 8000 KWR