Opened in August 2014, Catmosphere cat café in Chiang Mai is home to more than a dozen cats (at least 17 at the time of writing) and a growing number of contented customers. The idea of cat cafés may have come originally from Taiwan and Japan, but with the Thai love of the narak and the kitsch, it should be no surprise that the concept is finding increasing popularity in Thailand.
To infinity and beyond
Catmosphere describes itself as “the world’s first space-themed cat café”. The quirky space concept extends to the ‘cat crew’ which have been given names such as Apollo, Buzz, Obi Wan and Yoda. A poster of the Catmosphere cats greets customers at the outside entrance to the building. There are no guarantees which of the ‘catstronauts’ you will see during your visit with some sleeping out of sight in cubby-holes, but there are enough of the cat crew on hand to ensure you have a close encounter of the furry kind.
Know the rules
Customers are politely asked to observe the rules of the cat café. When you arrive, you are required to wash your hands in the outdoor sink. You then need to swap your outdoor shoes with the slippers provided before being allowed to enter via the glass sliding door. Customers are then provided with hand sanitizer before they can take a seat at the low tables and interact with the cats. Children are welcome, but visitors of all ages are asked to respect the cats who, after all, are the star attraction of the venue. Don’t pick up a sleeping cat and if a customer does aggravate a cat which then scratches it’s a case of som nam naa!
Food and drink
The cats might be the main attraction of the café, but the Thai customers would soon stop coming if the food and drink on offer wasn’t up to scratch. With a home-made bakery, coffee from local farmers and a good selection of hot and cold drinks and snacks, Catmosphere scores very well on quality. Prices are slightly higher than some other coffee shops in town, but still reasonable.
Catmosphere is a café set up for cats where the humans are the guests. Whilst that might be the main appeal, the number of local people there, including the inevitable Thai students taking selfies, is a good sign that the food and drink on offer is good quality. Highly recommended if you’re a cat lover or just curious to experience something new. If you’re a dog lover in Chiang Mai, head on over to Mixology where there are currently four resident dogs making the place homely.
This is what happens when a dog walks past outside Catmosphere!
Catmosphere cat café does limit the number of people inside and there may be times when customers have to wait outside to be seated. I recently visited with family on a midweek afternoon (around 3pm) and there were only a few other customers in there. We all enjoyed a relaxing afternoon with tasty drinks and great company from the Catmosphere cats.
Catmosphere cat café is open Tuesday-Sunday (closed Mondays) from 10.00-20.00.
See Catmosphere website for full details.
How to get to Catmosphere
Catmosphere cat café is located on Huay Kaew Road to the north-west of Chiang Mai old town. Take a songthaew or tuk-tuk heading in the direction of Chiang Mai Zoo, but you need to stop before you reach the zoo. Get off when you see Punna Residence condo on your left and the prominent shrine in front of the condo building (pictured above). You’ll see a number of shop units to the side and should easily spot the distinctive Catmosphere sign on one of those units.