Lattes and leashes in Bangkok’s pet-centric craze

The pet cafe craze has meant that in Bangkok you can relax over a coffee with the cutest of furry friends.

Cat sitting on a red pillow inside the cafe
  • Simon N. Ostheimer
  • September 2018

Like most Asian crazes, the concept of pet cafes began in Japan and it all started with cat cafes, where patrons paid to share a space with free-range felines. Initially, the idea was that spending time with the moggies would help relax stressed-out office workers, but then the trend took on a life of its own, spawning cafes that housed dogs, rabbits, birds, goats, and even hedgehogs and snakes. Now Bangkok opens in new window has also gotten in on the act, with a range of cafes where you can get easy downtime with some of the cutest furry friends.

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Caturday Cat Café

You might think there are only that many cute cat photos one can stomach, but when it comes to a media presence, Caturday is leaps and bounds ahead of the crowd, with more than 45,000 Facebook opens in new window fans and 87,000 on Instagram opens in new window. It’s not hard to see why when you visit: the friendly cats are very curious about the guests, who sit on floor cushions at low-level tables while the 20 or so felines stroll around, and up and down the climbing ‘catwalk’ pathways hanging from the ceiling. You aren’t allowed to pick the cats up but you’re welcome to engage them with the many toys strewn around the café.

While there are meals to choose from, most guests seem to go for the cakes on offer – try the rainbow crepe (THB 138/SGD 5.60), a kaleidoscope of colour draped in strawberry sauce.

115 Phayathai Rd, Ratchathewi, Bangkok; +66 2 656 5247

The Barkyard BKK

For Bangkok’s dog owners, there’s no better place to take your pet than this pocket park just off chic Sukhumvit 26, a shady tree-lined avenue hoe to cool cafes and craft beer bars. The Barkyard has a grassy lawn aptly named Central Bark, where four-legged friends run around, enjoy a dip in a dog-only saltwater swimming pool, check into the pet hotel and indulge in some grooming services. An onsite shop sells high-end canine accessories and clothing, while Kiosk Café serves up tasty treats for owners. If you are a tourist, pick up a souvenir for your fur kid back home.

65 Sukhumvit Soi 26, Klongtoey, Bangkok; +66 84 874 2777

Rabbito Café

Unless you’re familiar with the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from cult movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, bunnies will forever be cute little carrot-munching creatures. At Rabbito Café opens in new window on the eastern edge of Bangkok, it’s possible to get up close and personal with them. The herd of rabbits, which includes bunnies rescued from abusive homes, freely roam the space and you’re even allowed to carry and cuddle them. On occasion, the owner has some of her trained bunnies demonstrate jumping tricks. Rabbito also serves a range of food, including a cutesy chocolate brownie (THB 69/SGD 2.80) that comes with a dollop of whipped cream adorned with chocolate ‘ears’. If you have a floppy-eared companion back home, pick up some of the homemade rabbit food as a treat.

29-29/1 Sukhumvit Soi 101/1, Phra Khanong; +66 84 919 1551

And now for a…unicorn Café

You know that Bangkok is the centre of the animal-café universe when it has a café dedicated to unicorns. While the animals here are (sadly) not real, upon entering you’re transported to an alternate rainbow-hue universe that must be the very definition of kawaii. Huge wall murals of majestic unicorns watch over an impossibly cutesy, bubblegum-palette interior, where giddy patrons take endless selfies with toy unicorns large and small. If that’s not enough, you can even put on a unicorn onesie and live out your childhood dreams. Everything on the menu has a unicorn theme, including burgers with French fry ‘horns’, rainbow-coloured spaghetti carbonara, and a yummy pink and blue frappe.

Unicorn Café, 44/1 Sathorn Soi 8, Bang Rak; +66 86 397 9262