With the likes of Cat Cafe Neko no Niwa, The Company of Cats and Meomi Cat Cafe (the crazy cat lady in me has been to 2 out of 3), we had our doubts that The Cat Museum was merely semantics for another cat cafe. It also came at a time where news broke of how poorly treated the cats at Cuddles Cat Cafe were treated.
With that public stigma attached, it is no wonder a volunteer we spoke to during our media visit to The Cat Museum bristled slightly at the question of the difference between them and cat cafes. To clear the air, here are the main differences between The Cat Museum and cat cafes:
1) Visitors are not charged on a per-hour basis at The Cat Museum and can stay as long as they want;
2) All the “staff” at The Cat Museum are volunteers from the Cat Welfare Society (“CWS“);
3) It is only open on Fridays and the weekends so as not to tire the cats out; and
4) There are cats at The Cat Museum up for adoption (!)
At $9 per entry (and free for children ages 6 and below), we were surprised that a Sunday afternoon at 4.30pm saw a sizable crowd with many families waiting patiently for the doors to open (the cats take a cat nap from 3.30pm to 4.30pm).
Located at Purvis Street, The Cat Museum consists of 3 floors. The 2nd floor is the reception and the entry point. There are lockers to put your shoes and cat-related art pieces adorning the tables and walls. In fact, budding artists can contribute their art pieces which can then be bought by visitors!
When we visited, owner Jessica Seet also introduced a new member to the family – a 6 month old calico kitten who was clearly unafraid of the crowd and tirelessly entertained its adoring fans.
On the 3rd floor known as The Muses, the cats you’ll find roaming freely are up for adoption. These cats get to enjoy staying in a “home-decorated environment” to allow the cats to get used to typical homes in Singapore and interact with people. Jessica explained that this was a collaboration between the CWS and The Cat Museum for prospective adopters to get to know the cats in a relaxing environment instead of mere viewing behind cages.
CWS will allow these cats to stay at The Cat Museum for up to 3 months to get adopted into new and loving homes. So far, we were told that a couple of cats had successfully transitioned into new foster homes thanks to the programme. Breeds such as your local Singapura and even pure-bred Persian cats can be found and Jessica hopes to help 50 kitties find their fur-ever homes by National Day this year in conjunction with the SG50 celebrations!
Climbing up to the 4th floor known as the Mansion, this was the most exciting floor of the lot as we were told that there were 9 cats sauntering around. These 9 cats belong to Jessica and were accustomed to interaction with humans, so much so that they would lay unfazed with a slight swish of the tail while 5 adoring humans attempt to play, pet or cuddle them.
Jessica’s sense of humour is also evident from the cats’ names. From Georgie Clooney, Brad Pitt, Shakira, Angelina Jolie, and Prince Harry the mascot (pictured ab0ve) these cats are superstars in their own right.
Our only pet peeve (pun intended) was the number of people being allowed at one go at the 3rd floor. While volunteers exercise their discretion to ensure that the Mansion is not too crowded, we felt that the poor cats were terrorised by young children who were eager to play with them. The volunteers also had to remind the crowd to keep their volumes down so as not to scare the cats.
Jessica’s intention in allowing the public to visit her babies is to educate the public on how to care for the cats, and we hope that each and every visitor went away with that extra bit of knowledge!
To avoid the crowds, Jessica advised either coming down early noon and after 6pm on the weekends instead. The Cat Museum is great for families with young children, and anyone who wishes to know more about cats and to have a chance to pet docile and patient kitties.
Want to help?
Aside from the entrance fee, The Cat Museum is fully funded by Jessica. Additional donations can be dropped in the metal tins at the 2nd and 3rd floor and will go straight to CWS! Alternatively, you may wish to purchase the 2015 CWS calendars and stickers.
(Note: This was a media invite and we thank The Cat Museum volunteers and Jessica for being such warm and inviting hosts!)
Friday – 4.30pm to 7.30pm
Saturdays and Sundays – 12pm to 7pm (closed between 3.30pm to 4.30pm for kitty nap)
For reservations, call 6336 2133.
Address: 8 Purvis Street, #02-02, Singapore 188587