“We are a family of cat lovers,” Sam Ramos says. “We have more than 40 cats.” She adds. Together with her older sister Loida they put up Miao Cat café in Quezon City, last February 14, 2015, inspired by cat cafes in Taiwan and Japan. The first cat café opened in Taiwan in 1998, according to Sam. “Calico cat café is famous in Tokyo and there are more than 100 cat cafes in Japan,” she says.

“Originally, our email address is Meow and from there we thought of naming our cat cafe Miao which is Chinese for meow,” the masscom graduate of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) narrates. “After posting it on Facebook, we got more than 2, 000 likes in just two days at maraming nag-share.”

One notices the cat café is spic and span. You have to take off your shoes and visitors have to wear slippers. Shades of Japan? Cats of various breeds including puspin (pusang Pinoy) roam the carpeted floors. You can spot a Scottish Fold Highland from Ukraine, Persian and Shorthairs. But no Siamese cat around.

On the average their cat café has 40 customers on weekdays and over a hundred on weekends. Sam, quite creative and witty named the catthemed corner — ‘Ku-things’. You can find T-shirts, books, mugs, and decors all cat-inspired — cathingamajigs.“But my sister did the interior design,” Sam points out. The hanging bulb like aquarium with fighting fish is a novelty.

The café offers sandwiches, pasta, pastries, coffee, tea, and juice. Cat lovers have to pay P300 as entrance fee with complimentary food and drink. “In Japan you have to pay an entrance fee and food is not included,” Sam says. For two hours you can play with your feline friends. They limit the visit to two hours only so the cats can rest and for the staff to tidy up the place.

As a parting shot, Sam says “We want people to have this experience of dining with the cats. Ironically, cats help in de-stressing although they don’t follow rules. They have their own life and feel like they are the masters of the house.

As a parting shot, Sam says “We want people to have this experience of dining with the cats. Ironically, cats help in de-stressing although they don’t follow rules. They have their own life and feel like they are the masters of the house.

Catnapping at cat café anyone?

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s July 2015 issue.