Cat Cafe Manila is a treat for my fellow cat lovers in the country. This was the pièce de résistance of my day as this is not your ordinary pet cafe. Yes, it still serves to satisfy hooman’s kitty petting needs, but they also vow to do their part in taking care of the homeless cats, too. They partnered up with CARA Welfare Philippines (Compassion and Responsibility for Animals) to be the temporary shelter of our beloved puspins (abandoned cats) until they find responsible owners to take care of them.
Inside the Cat Orphanage
The cafe is located in the Northern area of Manila where a long strip of pop culture (themed) cafes reside. If you want to visit them and contribute to their worthy cause, you have to book reservations online first. The reason behind this is the management wanted to control the number of guests coming in to ensure that the cats don’t get too overwhelmed or stressed. Once there, the staff will instruct you to wash your hands before you enter the play area to avoid contaminating the kitties. To ensure a safe environment for the cats, they put up other house rules beside the dainty wooden door surrounded by hundreds of post-its with feedback from past guests.
Inside the kitty play and sleeping area, the staff will welcome you to confirm your reservation and ask you to pay the standard fee. Rest assured that your money is in good hands for they use half of the earnings to care for the cats, while you get to use what’s left for drinks and food. On your right side while facing the counter, you will notice a family photo of the cats currently living at the cafe and photos of previous kitties who used to live there with precious hoomans who adopted them.
The cozy cafe offers different pastries including cupcakes, chocolate bars and flavored cookies. Their beverages vary from coffee, iced tea to flavored Italian soda. To top it off, they even sell adorable kitty collectibles, such as cat eye frames, cat ears and anything cat-themed.
Meeting the Darling Kitties
We got to Cat Cafe Manila in the afternoon when most cats were asleep. You are allowed to look at them, but the cafe forbids guests to wake them up. They were nestled inside their own comfy cribs and some even slept in their climbing area near the ceiling. Luckily, a few of them were awake and we got to play with them using the cafe’s kitty toys. One more rule that you have to remember is that you aren’t allowed to carry the cats or put them on your lap no matter how tempting it is. Unless you’re as lucky as my best friend who had Batsu the kitty willingly cozy up on her lap. On the off chance that most of the cats are asleep, you can play with the cat themed board games to pass the time.
Contrary to most animal sanctuaries who disregard the well-being of animals for profit, this particular cafe certainly lives up to its name. The place did not only offer a sanctuary for cats, but it also provides hoomans a calming environment after a stressful work or schoolweek.
Cat Cafe Manila
2/F 189 Maginhawa St. cor. Makadios St., Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
Open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 12 to 10 PM
How to get to Cat Cafe Manila:
From North or South Bound EDSA via bus:
- Ride the bus passing Quezon Avenue then drop off at Quezon Avenue MRT station.
- Near the said MRT station, take a jeepney going to UP Diliman. Just notify the driver to drop you off at Philcoa (Landmark: Mini Stop).
- Once there, walk to the tricycle terminal and ride the red-colored trike. Advise the driver to take you to Maginhawa St. corner Makadios St.
From North or South Bound EDSA via MRT:
- Take the MRT then drop off at Quezon Avenue MRT station.
- Near the said station, ride a jeepney heading to UP Diliman. Tell the driver to drop you off at Philcoa (Landmark: Mini Stop).
- Once there, walk to the tricycle terminal and ride the red trike. Notify the driver to take you to Maginhawa St. corner Makadios St.
- The cafe does allow walk-ins, but only on off peak hours and days. To make sure that you have a slot, better book online for free.
- Visit during off peak hours and days to have the kitty to yourselves.
- Don’t worry about your outfit for you will have to take off your shoes at the kitty premises and wear the slippers provided there.