The Cafés That Will Have Feline Fans Purring

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The Cafés That Will Have Feline Fans Purring
Le café des chats, Paris

courtesy of Le Le café des chats

Cats have managed to purr their way into one of France’s most coveted social institutions – the café. Cat cafés have become an immensely popular addition to Paris’s café culture, over the past few years. The concept, which originally hails from Taiwan, allows patrons to enjoy their usual cup of tea or coffee with the added bonus of admiring and stroking the fluffy residents.

Purr Therapy

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, “purr therapy” refers to the therapeutic effects resulting from the purring of a cat. When a person strokes or pets it, a cat most often elicits a purr, the vibrations of which fall within a range of about 40-120 Hertz. These low-frequency vibrations have been linked to some pretty impressive health benefits including lowering blood pressure; promoting bone strength; healing muscles, tendons and ligament injuries; and providing stress relief. A recent study even indicated that cat owners have a 40% less risk of a heart attack. These apparent health benefits coupled with the overwhelming fondness humans have for our furry friends has seen purr therapy– and indeed cat cafés– quickly gain momentum.

A cat at Le café des chats

A cat at Le café des chats. Photo: Sarah Breathnach

Relaxing cats Le café des chats.

Relaxing cats Le café des chats. Photo: Sarah Breathnach

Where to get your Feline Fix

In 2013, Parisians witnessed the opening of France’s first ever cat café in the Marais (where else?). Le Café des Chats opened its doors on rue Michel Le Comte to a flurry of feline fanatics and has enjoyed what can only be described as inexhaustible popularity ever since. The phenomenal success of Le Café des Chats in the Marais prompted the launch of a second branch on rue Sedaine in the 11th arrondissement.

Le Café des Chats (Marais) is open from Tuesday to Sunday and serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. While these cafés are not new, both branches of Le Café des Chats are still in such high demand that we recommend booking, especially if you are planning a cat-related coffee over the weekend.

Le café des chats, Paris

“Yoga Cat,” photo courtesy of Le café des chats

Chat Mallows Café is the newest kid on the block opening just last year. Located in the 15th arrondissement on rue des Volontaires, the owners have opted for a more Asian approach to the concept creating a relaxing atmosphere where customers and cats can chill and interact. It is an intimate space with no more than, say, six tables. Those who do manage to nab a seat can enjoy a range of hot and cold drinks and cat-inspired snacks. Expect to pay a little more than usual for a café au lait or a cup of tea but keeping in mind the novel company provided – it is pretty good value.

It is no secret that urban living can be stressful and at times lonely. It is equally well known that pets are thought to provide their owners with relaxing companionship. In urban cities, however, where space is at a premium, city-dwellers are often prohibited from owning a pet. Cat cafés, therefore, may offer the purrfect solution.

Chat Mallows café

Some of the cat residents of Chat Mallows café. Photo via Chat Mallows café

Lead photo credit : A cat at Le café des chats. Photo: Sarah Breathnach

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Born in Dublin, Ireland, Sarah Breathnach is a Psychology graduate of Trinity College Dublin. Following the completion of her degree, she took the opportunity to move abroad and experience "La vie en France". Sarah is currently living and working in Paris, writing on the topics of life-style and culture.

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  • Patrick Burns
    2017-05-01 15:29:45
    Patrick Burns
    In 1995 my late mother and I, tourists from Minnesota, were unexpectedly joined for dinner in an Amsterdam restaurant by a local Dutch kitty whose presence added enormously to the evening's ambiance and created a life-long memory for us.


  • Sarah
    2016-05-09 09:58:14
    Yes, it is most definitely an important issue to raise awareness about Susan. Thank you for your comment!


  • Sher Leon
    2016-04-30 00:23:41
    Sher Leon
    Looking forward to visiting Paris later this year and having the opportunity to play with and cuddle a wonderful feline. We had two very beautiful Bermin Blue Pointers for 19 years and haven't a feline since but I love cats. thank you for your article


  • Sarah
    2016-04-29 13:02:38
    Thanks Dorothy I'm glad you enjoyed it !


  • Susie
    2016-04-28 23:22:51
    No wonder I love Paris. You can have all your favorites together at once.


  • Susan
    2016-04-28 19:30:28
    I also hope this will raise awareness to the cats that suffer cruelty and people will become more aware of what brilliant pets cat are. The more that is learnt about the cat the more I feel more people will realise what a wonderful animal they are....not that I,m bias of course :) Thank you for this lovely article and the photo's of the cats....


  • Dorothy
    2016-04-28 19:02:16
    Being a cat lover, this will be a must on my next visit. Thank you for the lovely article.


  • Sarah
    2016-04-25 20:36:21
    You are very welcome Cecile. I hope you enjoy your visit!


  • Cecile Kingswell-Roupec
    2016-04-18 18:50:46
    Cecile Kingswell-Roupec
    Thank you for this article Sarah, I am visiting Paris soon and will look out for le Café des Chats in the Marais. I love cats and think this is an excellent idea for cat lovers and coffee lovers.