Cat Cafés have been sprouting all over Metro Manila and a brand new one is about to take root on Katipunan Ave, Quezon City. Owner Ms. Cha Laxamana graciously invites What’s a Geek to take a sneak peek through the doors of Uchi no Neko, or the Cat House. Uchi no Neko aims to provide a cozy, spacious, cat-filled experience where students and professionals can relax and de-stress.
Uchi no Neko is located above Sango! The Burger Master, right next to National Bookstore, Katipunan Branch. After going down a non-descript alleyway and up a set of stairs, visitors enter one of the largest cat cafés around. With a seating capacity of 44 people, Uchi no Neko is spacious and bright, lit up by large windows and white walls. Cat-themed motif cover the walls and furniture. Thirty cats call Uchi no Neko their home, although only fifteen of them are ever present at a time. They are rotated every 3 hours to allow each of them time to cat-nap.
The design choice is not just for humans either. Miss Cha’s associate, Architect Ally, explains that several “cat conditions” were considered for theircafé. Cats love the sunlight provided by large windows. Ledges on the wall allow them to move freely without human interference. An cat-exclusive outdoor area houses their litter box and nutritional plants for their consumption, like Aloe Vera. Soundproofing and different textured floors add to their comfort. It’s easy to see that great love and care is given to the cats of Uchi no Neko.
When guests become hungry, a whole selection of food is available. Conceptualized by Chef Marvin and Chef Mark from the Center of Culinary Arts (CCA), all of the food is fittingly cat-themed. Japanese bento boxes are the featured speciality, with several of them formed into adorable cat shapes. The beef teriyaki and the vegan chili are a must try. Other ála carte menu items are also available, like cheese tempura and spam chips. Refreshing drinks, such as Gummi Bear Juice and the Fruit Mint Slush, can quench visitors’ thirst. Coffee with cat-themed latte art round out their offerings.
A comfortable and cozycafé isn’t the only thing that Uchi no Neko provides. The second floor of the cafe houses the Ala Carte section, for those who want a short respite from all the cat cuddliness. The roomy Ala Carte section can fit thirty occupants and doubles as an event venue. The upper area also contains a swanky cat hotel, where cats can stay when their owners are away. Each room is well ventilated and kept in 24/7 air conditioning. The spacious, aluminum interiors can house up to three cats from the same household.
Over acafé latte, Miss Cha explained that after working with animal shelters and welfare for five years, she wanted to continue her advocacy for felines in a different direction. Ms. Cha and her partners brainstormed the idea since 2013. She jokingly mentioned that her frustrations with Neko Atsume, a popular Japanese iOS and Android game about cats, is what drove her to setting up her own cat cafe. She said that if the cats won’t come to her in the game, she’ll set up her own house for cats in the real world. Even the name itself was inspired by her own home, which was an almost literal house of cats.
Despite being a late entrant into the cat café scene, Miss Cha believes that Uchi no Neko can thrive. She wants to extend her personal advocacy for cats to the larger community. Uchi no Neko provides adoption services for rescued cats. In fact, all the cafe cats are rescued cats, many of whom were victims of grave animal abuse. There are purebred cats and street cats, or as Miss Cha lovingly refers to as “PusPins,” Pusang Pinoy. Each cat is spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and socially adjusted.
Miss Cha is part of a growing animal rescue and adoption community and they take it very seriously. She wants to help facilitate the adoption process as smoothly as possible. After all, every cat and every family are different. Several factors must be considered such as first-time ownership, single/multi-pet environments, children, lifestyle pace, et cetera. Uchi no Neko also provides after-adoption services for owners who might need support for the new cats in their lives. Cat ownership should not be taken lightly. They require the kind of care and attention that a person would give their own child. The first of hopefully several adoptions are going to held during their grand opening day at 4PM September 5, 2015.
Even before their official opening, Uchi no Neko holds several plans in the future. Miss Cha hopes to travel to Taiwan, Japan, and Thailand, countries with large cat cafe communities, to gather more inspiration for her own fledgling business. The cat café and the ala carte section are open to be the venue of several events, such as birthday parties, art galleries, pet seminars and more. Pet accessories and merchandise, as well as cat-themed art and furniture are going to be made available for sale. Every purchase of these items supports a cat-related cause, whether it is a spay-neuter program or a cat ownership seminar.
“If you want the ultimate cat experience; If you want good food, good ambience, and you want to help out an advocacy that rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes neglected and abused cats, you can find that all in one place, Uchi no Neko.” – Cha Laxamana
The adorable and affectionate cats of Uchi no Neko are waiting for you to visit and maybe even to take them home with you! And if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of Momo the Cat, Uchi no Neko’s huggable mascot. See you there!
Uchi no Neko holds a cover charge of P300 for a stay of 2 hours, inclusive of one drink, one bento box meal, and one dessert. The Ala Carte section requires a single item purchase for use. Uchi no Neko is open 10AM-10PM, Tuesday until Sunday. First Come, First Serve. The Cat Hotel is charged on a nightly basis, determined by length of stay. Owners must provide their own food and beddings. Uchi no Neko’s official opening will be at 6PM September 5, 2015. Find Uchi no Neko at https://www.facebook.com/cathousecafeph? Contact Uchi no Neko at [email protected] or at 09272149374.