(AT) Cats and Tea, located in the southern Taiwan city of Tainan, is my favorite sort of cat cafe. There’s no entrance fee (just buy a drink and/or snack as you would at any cafe), freshly-prepared food is served, and the cafe helps homeless cats find human companions. The owners are also involved in the local TNR (trap/neuter/release) program. Win, win, win!
There were 12 cats in residence when I visited, and they had quite a range of personalities. Some were happy to play and be petted, especially when treats were involved, while others were a bit nervous and hung out in the back of the cafe or in a cat carrier. Two were confined to a large cage as you’d see in a cat shelter where cats might not all get along. There was also a tiny kitten who did a bit of meowing and seemed a lost until finally snuggling with another cat (mom?). As the cats are adoptable, it makes sense that they’d be less accustomed to living in a cat cafe than cats who are permanent residents of a cafe.
The menu was in Chinese, but the kind woman who took my order spoke English and suggested the waffles when I said I was vegetarian. There were a few options for toppings, and I chose cherry. I also got an iced latte that came with a convenient cat-blocking lid with a hole for the straw.
The tasty waffles (NT$150, around $4.70) were made to order. The cafe was clean, had excellent air conditioning (a bonus in the hot and humid Taiwanese summer), and provided the opportunity for plenty of cat petting. I visited at noon on a weekday, and there were two other tables of guests. One kind guest brought the kitten and then another cat over to me so I could hold them. As is common in cat cafes, a common spoken language isn’t necessary. Everyone understands cat love.
Location: No. 70 Jianye St, West Central District, Tainan City, Taiwan (700 台南 市 中 西區 建 業 街 72 號)
Hours: 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM, closed Tuesdays
Admission charge: None, but there is a minimum purchase of NT$100 ($3.10)
Reservations: Yes, but walk-ins are welcome
Price for a latte: NT$120 ($3.75)