This is the second time I’ve visited China in the past year. Last autumn I enjoyed snuggling the affectionate kitties at Chengdu’s Peekaboo Cat Cafe, so I decided to see what Beijing has to offer too.
It’s a little tricky to find cat cafes in China as they love cat pictures and Hello Kitty, even when it has nothing to do with the business inside. Fortunately, L’infusion is pretty easy to find.
This French-themed cafe is relaxing and has a wide selection of coffee (I still prefer tea).
There were three cats when I arrived and all were content to indulge in an afternoon nap.
Some people judge a cat cafe by how many cats there are but I actually think three is just about right for this intimate space. Luckily, I had them all to myself, as I was the only customer for the two hours I stayed.
In places like Asia (and, I suppose, everywhere really) you want to know that the cafe owners actually care for the cats and aren’t just using them to draw in gullible feline lovers. I was a bit concerned that one of the kitties had matted fur and seemed to be drooling. He did seem happy still but I think he could use some grooming and a vet check up. I’d like to have asked but English is pretty limited here.
Upstairs is a cozy, bright space that would be nice for passing the evening while reading a book or playing a bit of guitar. And snuggling kitties, of course.
I really enjoyed my time at L’infusion. It’s a charming space with nice relaxing music and sleepy, cuddly cats. I do hope they make sure the cats are all healthy.
How to find it
Metro Station: Lama Temple
Address: 53 Wudaoying Hutong
(Note that Google Maps thinks the name of the cafe is “Muming”. Google is very unreliable in China).
This is just a few doors east of a restaurant called “Veggie Table” and north of the Confucius Temple.
Speaking of the Confucius Temple, it makes a great cultural visit after cuddling some cats. I visited the more famous Lama Temple on my last visit to Beijing, so this quieter place of learning and reflection seemed a good choice.
Confucius philosophy, in a nutshell, teaches respect and loyalty to parents, elders, and authority figures. It still has a deep influence on Chinese and Korean culture (more on that soon!).
Maoxiaoyuan Cat Yard
There are a number of cat cafes in the area, all easily within walking distance, so I decided to see if I could find them all. When I got to Maoxiaoyuan Cat Yard, I wasn’t entirely sure it was actually a cat cafe.
Inside, there definitely are cats – lots of them.
Compared to L’infusion, Cat Yard is pretty busy. It feels more like a Chinese restaurant with cats.
All the cats are unfixed males, which seems like a bad idea to me.
With so many to choose from, it was pretty easy to find a cuddle buddy.
Upstairs is a bright, cheery room with lots of windows.
There’s even an outdoor catio for some fresh air and a taste of freedom.
One particularly spunky young cat invited me to a game of kill-the-string. I thought he might get his claws out but he was very gentle.
I’m not sure the vibe of Cat Yard suites my tastes but the cats all seem healthy and happy, if a bit crowded.
How to find it
Address: 14 Beixiawazi Hutong
This is a short walk from L’infusion and the Confucius Temple.
Since I was in the area, I decided to stroll through the Hutongs, with their fun shops and restaurants. On my last visit to Beijing seven years ago, the Hutongs were twisting, mysterious alleys, often filled with drying laundry and offensive odors. Now, they’ve been cleaned up. Some are even tourist attractions.
Love Happiness Cat Cafe
Love Happiness Cat Cafe is right on the main street and you’ll recognize it by all the people gathered at the window, taking selfies with the cute cats inside. I had to wait 5 minutes to get this photo with no people in it.
Inside is a clean, crisp space with comfy chairs, although you may need to share yours with a cat.
I found a few willing snuggle partners, all happy just to have some attention as they snoozed.
I was happy to see the cats getting some grooming too. I felt as if the owners really care about their cats, even if ear cleaning day didn’t seem like a favourite among the feline population.
There’s a good range of food and drinks on offer. I had a tasty berry salad and a lemonade. One precocious cat also thought he would have some lemonade.
I wish I could have stayed longer and one particular cat tried to make me by holding my backpack hostage.
Address: Gulou East just east of the north end of Luogu South Hutong
There are, reportedly, many more cat cafes in Beijing but I think there’s a pretty high turnover rate. Of the above three, I’d most recommended L’infusion for its relaxing atmosphere and Love Happiness for its plethora of well looked after cuddly cats.