4 Cat Cafes to Check out in Shenzhen

By Bryan Grogan, May 14, 2019

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China was one of the first countries in the world to domesticate cats. According to a study by French public organization Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, as cited in a 2016 National Geographic article, 5,000-year-old cat bones were discovered at agricultural sites in the PRC. 

Fast forward to modern-day China and domesticated felines have practically become social media stars. Young urbanites regularly document the lives of cute cats on their WeChat Moments, while cat cafes are suddenly booming in major Chinese cities. 

We took a tour of Shenzhen’s cat cafe scene to see what these feline-focused establishments have to offer:

Catopia 猫咪生活馆

Image by Bryan Grogan/That’s

This Huanggang-based venue is home to a whopping 32 cats. Helpfully, cats are categorized in terms of friendliness for visitors, with each of the animals adorned with a color-coded collar. Green-collared cats are allegedly the friendliest, while red-collared cats are the least friendly (and probably most avoidable). 

The owner, Hebe, previously owned another cat cafe in Shangmeilin that was unfortunately forced to close its doors after the landlord raised her rent. Following that closure, Hebe moved her legion of cats to Shanghai, before settling back in Shenzhen near the end of 2018. 

Image by Bryan Grogan/That’s

Catopia is a very new opening, so the menu is quite limited at the moment, featuring a selection of desserts, coffee, tea and juices. In the future, Hebe plans to add more substantial food offerings, such as sandwiches and wraps, to the menu.

See listing for Catopia.

Meow Garden 妙想花园

Image by Bryan Grogan/That’s

In the heart of bustling Chegongmiao, this small cat cafe is situated above a number of banks and offices and directly next door to a Wall Street English training center. According to workers at the shop, Meow Garden also has another venue at Gangxia, although their Chegongmiao outlet opened first, in 2016. 

Here, cats are cordoned off in their own special glass-walled room, which allows visitors to watch the playful kitties while eating or drinking without the fear of choking on a furball. We threw back a latte (RMB29), washed our hands and changed shoes before stepping into the room. 

Image by Bryan Grogan/That’s

Unfortunately for us, it was late in the evening when we arrived and the cats were just about nodding off after what we presume was a long day of dealing with cloying visitors. We can say, however, that the seven little tuckers housed at Meow Garden were friendly, despite their sleepiness. 

See listing for Meow Garden.

Mao Xiao Zhu Mao Kafei 猫小主猫咖啡

Image by Bryan Grogan/That’s

Located on the 14th floor of a residential building behind the Venice Raytour Hotel, Mao Xiao Zhu Mao Kafei (or ‘Cat Master Coffee Shop’ in English) is a brilliantly designed space, with large windows and a balcony looking out onto the lights of Window of the World below. 

Founded more than two years ago, this outlet was among the first wave of early cat cafes in Shenzhen and the owner chose to open the shop due to his intense love of cats, which he has harbored from a young age. 

Image by Bryan Grogan/That’s

Visitors to Mao Xiao Zhu Mao Kafei can enjoy coffee, fruit tea and ice cream, as well as noodles and snacks, and the felines that call the cafe home are energetic and friendly. Of note: children under the age of 10 are not allowed to enter the cafe.

See listing for Mao Xiao Zhu Mao Kafei.

Mao Duo Duo Zhuti Kafei Ba 猫哆哆主题咖啡吧

Image by Bryan Grogan/That’s

Luckily, we arrived at this two-floor cat cafe on a weekday evening, as staffers there told us that the weekends are consistently busy and guests are usually required to make prior bookings at the Shangmeilin-based venue. 

The cafe’s employees are friendly and the cats are curious, as demonstrated when three or four of the furry fellas wandered over to peer inside our bags and sniff around the rim of our lemonade (RMB36). 

Image by Bryan Grogan/That’s

While a tad difficult to find (it’s located on the 10th floor of a residential building), this shop rewards visitors with a drink list that ranges from wine to fruit juice and a selection of typical cafe bites, including pasta, salads and wings, among other items. To avoid the cat-loving crowds, we recommend visiting on a weekday evening.

See listing for Mao Duo Duo Zhuti Kafei Ba. 

For more F&B news, guides and features, click here. For more helpful guides to living in Shenzhen, click here.

[Cover image by Bryan Grogan/That’s]

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