Harry Hedgehog Cafe in Japan

Animal Cafés to Travel to when Life goes back to normal

Right now, we’re all trapped inside keeping ourselves safe and protected. If you’re like me, you’re probably looking at cute animal pictures all day wishing to cuddle them. But there’s also animal cafés to browse around and check out.

Where the idea of animal cafes started


Where did the idea of animal cafes come from anyway? The very first concept was for cats. It was a little café in Taiwan in 1998 called “Cat Flower Garden.” It was created for those whose homes didn’t allow pets, who loved animals and gave folks a safe space to enjoy furry friends. It became a tourist attraction and pulled in a lot of tourists from Japan.

Cat café and animal cafes didn’t become as popular as they are until Japan started their own in 2005. Japan also expanded to more than just cat cafes. They have bunnies, hedgehogs, reptiles, dogs, and who knows what else. Within the last five years, they have even become popular here in America as well, though it’s mainly just cat cafes here.

Animal Cafés to Travel to when Life goes back to normal

Kawaii Kitty Cafe

illustration of the Kawaii Kitty Cafe logo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Kawaii Kitty Café logo / Illustration credit: https://www.facebook.com/kawaiikittycafe/

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Starting right here in my hometown of Philadelphia, is Kawaii Kitty Café! This sweet little café is tucked away in the Fabric District of famous South Street Philly. They’ve teamed up with Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) to house a handful of adoptable cats at a time. To enjoy time with the kitties reservations are preferred and the cost goes to necessities for the cats to stay happy and healthy. They have one hour or half hours visits. All the café treats you can order and enjoy while hanging with the kitties are just as the name implies, kawaii.

Harry Hedgehog Café

Hedgehogs from the Harry Hedge Cafe in Japan
Hedgehogs from the Harry Hedge Cafe / Credit: https://harinezumi-cafe.com/

Location: Five locations across Japan

Over in Japan this café brand has several locations where you can enjoy some caffeinated beverages while admiring some adorable hedgehogs. They have half hour sessions where you get to enjoy the cuteness of these little prairie dog cousins. They will allow you to hold them as well while wearing optional protective gloves. These little sweethearts are also available to bring home and they will provide you with all the necessary learning materials and supplies for purchase.

Thanks Nature Café

Location: Seoul, South Korea

This shop owner is an avid sheep fan who decided he wanted to rescue some farm animals and show people that livestock can be pets too. Located in Seoul, South Korea, this café houses two sheep. You do not have to pay a fee to hang out with these two baaaabes. Their pen is located inside the café where you can enjoy a waffle, or rice bowl along with some tea, coffee, or a few other refreshing drinks.  You may feed and pet the sheep as well, but of course with permission first.

The Dog Café

The Dog Cafe in Los Angeles logo
Credit: https://www.thedogcafela.com/

Location: Los Angeles, California

Over on the west coast in Los Angeles, California resides a home away from home for some puppers. A fee applies to enjoy their company for an hour while you have some light snacks and a latte. And if you fall in love with a pupper where an hour of time isn’t enough, all of the doggos at The Dog Café are adoptable. This is also the first Dogs only café to open in America. It acts more as a shelter than it does a café, but most definitely by untraditional standards. There are no kennels in sight, the dogs are welcome to roam around to the guests.

Usagi Café Mimi

Location: Ikebukuro, Tokyo

This café is sure to make you “hoppy” with anticipation. That’s right, this is a bunny café! Hour long reservations give you the gift of being cuddled by over 20 free range bunnies while enjoying a yummy lunch. Located in Ikebukuro, Tokyo this sweet café has also recently added an Otter room as well. You have the option of one full hour in one room or for an additional cost splitting up your time to be in each room for a half hour. These sweet little fluffs are playful and cuddly.

Zoo Café

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Not sure what animal to choose from to dine with? At Zoo Café you don’t have to! This wonderful café carries 20 different species and provides 25 different coffee blends. From reptiles to birds, to our regular furry friends, Zoo Café located in Budapest, Hungary really holds up to its name. Reservations are highly recommended. This is a full dining experience, so your meal is your entry to see and interact with the animals. Trained animal caretakers are there to bring and teach you about some of their exotic animals at Zoo Café. They also do birthday parties! 

If you like any that you’ve seen, please feel free to donate to any of these cafes. None have been able to open their doors due to the pandemic and need help taking care of their animal friends.

Have you ever gone to an animal cafe? Share your experience in the comments, I’d love to hear them!

Read more of Melissa Joy’s articles.

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Featured image credit: https://harinezumi-cafe.com/

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