All you crazy cat people, sharers of kitten videos and lovers of cheezburgers… I have great mews (sorry, I couldn’t help myself): cat cafes have finally left their homeland of Japan and are spreading around the world! That’s right, soon you’ll never have to be without a feline friend, no matter how far you wander! I know, kitty! I’m excited too! From San Francisco to Singapore, it seems a new cat-friendly establishment is opening up every month, to the joy of animal lovers everywhere! This month I had the pleasure of visiting London’s addition to the feline frenzy: Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. And, yes, it was just as amazing as it sounds. Sipping Earl Grey and slathering clotted cream on a scone while surrounded by snoozing kitties is my idea of the best afternoon EVER… and it got even better when they woke up from their cat naps! There are 11 cats in residence at Lady Dinah’s, and it is the job of a few “cat minders” to keep them happy, healthy and entertained. This is pretty much my dream job. The excitement began when one charming woman tried to get Mue, the mother of seven of the cats, to do her daily exercises with a cardboard box and some fishing line. I’m sure doing a workout with ten people filming you is no one’s idea of fun, but after a lot of coaxing mama obliged with some adorable playtime. A cat emerges from under a chair. It’s a pretty intimidating sight, even if you aren’t 10 inches tall. After that her babies started to come down from their high perches, out from behind couches and roll out of their hammocks to see what entertainment (and treats… and catnip) we silly humans had to offer. And don’t worry, animal lovers! There are strict rules in place to make sure our feline friends are kept happy and healthy. Rules such as “no waking up the cats”, “no feeding of non-cat food” and “no children under the age of 8″. Although after witnessing two children run amok in the cafe, I would recommend bumping that up to 16. But whatever. Besides the kids, the overall atmosphere was very calm. One woman read quietly on her Kindle, a young couple sat in the corner munching sandwiches and occasionally snapping photos of the three cats sleeping beside them, and still others sat patiently with arms outstretched hoping to get a pet in. If I lived in London, I would probably come here once a month week to get a dose of calm… and feed my inner crazy cat lady, of course! Luckily, I don’t have to stay in one place to get my fix. There’s a very well-reviewed cat cafe in Budapest (where I’m living for the next month) that I plan on visiting ASAP, and there’s one about to open in one of my usual haunts: San Francisco! A quick search shows cat cafes open or opening in all of the following hot spots (and judging by the fact that Lady Dinah’s books up months in advance, I’m guessing this list will only grow): Bangkok: Purr Cat Cafe Club Berlin: Pee Pees Katzencafé Budapest: Cat Cafe Budapest Copenhagen: Café Miao Denver: Denver Cat Company Dubai: Dubai Cat Cafe Japan: There are a lot of them Korea: a nationwide chain called Cat Attic London: Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium Los Angeles: Catfe Madrid: La Gatoteca Melbourne: Cat Cafe Melbourne Montreal: Café Chat L’Heureux Munich: Cafe Katzentempel Paris: Le Café des Chats San Francisco: KitTea Singapore: Neko no Niwa & The Cat Cafe Torino: Neko Cat Cafe Vienna: Cafe Neko Of course, I highly encourage you to do your research before patronizing any of these establishments. On Lady Dinah’s website they say that “some cat cafes will calorie restrict their cats so that they are desperate to get treats from patrons.” While researching cafes for this post I came across one in Malaysia that seemed really terrible for the cats, with many sad reviews left on TripAdvisor. So make sure the cafe you’re looking into has some certifications or approval from a humane society (or at the very least a strictly enforced code of conduct for their visitors) before you make a booking! Happy travels cat lovers! Have you visited a cat cafe? Where and what was it like? Let’s add to the list!