Last updated: 22 June 2020. Unfortunately, Purrfect Cat Cafe Penang is now permanently closed, which I found out when I came to update this post. There are several dog cafes in Penang which you can go to, and I also definitely recommend a visit to the Penang Snake Temple if you are in Penang and wondering what to do. Otherwise, please enjoy reading about my experiences but do know that this business is now closed!
As I sip my caramel latte and begin to write this post, I feel soft fur tickling my feet. A tail flicks and touches the screen of my tablet. Over the background music, I hear the odd meow.
Nope, I’m not cat-sitting for a new Malay friend. I’m sat in Purrfect Cat Cafe Penang, the first of its kind in Penang. It’s actually my third or fourth time in as many days here, and I’m definitely going to be a little sad when I leave Penang and this lovely little cafe!
As soon as I arrived in George Town, Penang, and walked past this place on my first day I the city, I knew immediately that if I only did one thing in Penang, it had to be this.
Purrfect Cat Cafe Penang would be my first ever experience visiting a cat cafe (I’ve since been to cat cafes in Bangkok, Krakow, Prague and Ostrava!), and as a raging cat lady, I couldn’t turn down an opportunity like this!
Purrfect Cat Cafe Penang – A Review
On my first morning in Penang, I woke up and informed my new friend Joe that we were going to be getting breakfast at Purrfect Cat Cafe. Luckily for me, he is a cat person and agreed without any persuasion, especially seeing as the cafe is right in the heart of George Town, just a two-minute walk from our hostel, Tipsy Tiger Party Hostel.
Sidenote: I definitely recommend staying at Tipsy Tiger if you’re backpacking in Southeast Asia. It has a great location, free breakfast and is super easy to make friends, with parties being held in the bar area every evening!
Purrfect Cat Cate Penang is split into two sections: the ground floor shop and the upstairs cafe. You enter via the shop, where you can find all kinds of pussy paraphernalia including t-shirts, keyrings, journals and even knickers (or panties if you’re from the States)!
While not exactly cheap, everything is reasonably priced and you are sure to find the perfect gift for a cat lover in here, so it’s definitely worth having a wander round before you head upstairs!
To get to the actual cat cafe itself, an entrance fee of 13RM is required, which includes a free bottled drink, essentially giving you your money back.
After paying the fee, Joe and I took off our shoes and washed our hands before ascending the stairs to the cafe. The lady at the till gave us a quick briefing of the rules (don’t feed the cats, don’t disturb sleeping cats etc.), and then we were off!
The cafe itself is airy and bright, with Japanese-style low tables and floor seating, with lots of kitty cushions and pictures on the walls. There is a book with the pictures of each cat, along with its name and an overview of its history and personality. One side of the cafe is for eating, and the other is where you will find all of the cat’s toys, beds etc. Usually, the sliding partition in the middle is left open so the pussies are free to wander, but when somebody orders food, it is closed to allow people to enjoy their meals in peace.
As soon as we entered the cafe, we were greeted by about 6 excited young Bengals with beautiful leopard-print coats and amber eyes. While the Bengals were the most energetic of the bunch, there were lots of other furry felines lying around, including an orange Person (named Orange!) that had been shaved everywhere apart from his head and little booties, and some cats with inside-out ears that I later found out are called American Curls (is it just me that finds these cats super weird?!).
As we hadn’t eaten yet, we decided to order some food. Purrfect Cat Cafe Penang only serves snacks, so I opted for chicken nuggets with chilli sauce and he went for the same, plus fries.
As we sipped our drinks, we played with some of the Bengals, which were so animated and friendly! As was expected, most of the older cats lounged around, occasionally flicking their tails or stretching out their backs – until our food arrived that is!
Marble, an American Short Hair that had made a point of ignoring our attempts at friendship, suddenly wanted to be our BFF as she clambered all over us in a bid to get at the chicken!
As cute as it was having 9 cats climbing on me, it was impossible to eat and so after a few minutes of watching us struggle, the waitress shooed the kitties away and shut the door to prevent them from getting to us again.
However, as soon as we finished eating we resumed playing with the Bengals. I was particularly amused by one that kept running around in a human-sized hamster wheel, and by the fluffy white booties on the otherwise bald Persian, Orange.
The combination of junk food, fast Wi-Fi, friendly staff, cute decor and abundance of furry felines made a great impression on me, hence returning again and again before I left Penang.