Visiting a Cat café in Nice, France

cats in cat cafe in Nice, France

You can skip the intro about my cats and go straight to the second paragraph about the cat café

I have always wanted to have a pet. Preferably a dog. I’ve had budgies when I was a kid but you can’t really cuddle with a bird, can you? But then when I was 15 my parents finally conceded to my plea for a pet and we got a cat. He was just a kitten when we got him from my mum’s friend and he was a mix breed between a Siamese (or a Birman?) and some unknown ordinary cat breed. I named him after a dog from the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton: Timmy. He had the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen and he’d been my best companion for 11 years until he sadly passed away. I thought I’d never get another cat in my life.

However, when I moved in with my future husband I managed to convince him to get a cat even though he was a self-proclaimed dog-person (having never owned any pet but a hedgehog previously). We adopted our cat Munchkin (my husband named him after a board game) from an animal organization and he’s been bringing us joy and happiness (and occasional dead bird and lizards) ever since we got him as a 2.5 month old ginger-white kitten.

my cat sleeping in his bed
my cat sleeping in his bed

I’m a crazy cat lady and naturally when I recently read about a cat café in Nice I knew I just had to visit it on my next business trip to Nice. Last Friday I had some free time after my work obligations and I went to look for the cat caféLa Ronronnerie. It’s not situated in the usual tourist part of Nice but it’s not difficult to find it. It’s in the street Rue Lepante 4. And you can easily reach it from the high street Avenue Jean Medecin. It’s not far away. There’s a school near the cat café actually. I looked at the café from across the street and then walked over and entered. However, the waiter told me they were full and that I might want to come back in 20 minutes or so when he expects to have some free seats. Of course, I wanted to see the cats so I walked around for a bit and then decided to have lunch somewhere near and to return afterwards to the cat café. I had a lovely lunch and returned to the cat café La Ronronnerie after 2 pm and this time I was lucky:there was place for me.

cat cafe in Nice, France

First impressions: There was a big sign in French with rules at the entrance. The café looked comfortable and simple and there were different cat toys and cat paths on the walls. I saw one black cat sitting lazily in an armchair and another one snuggled in a cat basket next to a bunch of people. Everyone was talking and enjoying their drinks/meals seemingly unfazed by the presence of the cats.

I sat down and looked around to find the other cats. In the meantime a waiter approached me with the menu and I ordered a speculoos cheesecake. There were hand sanitizers at every table and I first thought that they were there to clean your hands after you’ve stroked the cats. But no, no! You have to use the hand sanitizers before you can touch the cats. You can’t move them from the chairs or wake them up or pick them up or feed them or really even touch them if they don’t first approach you. All of these and more was written on the menu and on the backside there were photos of 5 cats who live in this cat café.

They are not stray cats like in some other cat cafes. They’ve got purebreds in La Ronronnerie. I was a bit annoyed with all of those rules and I felt shy so I just surreptitiously took a couple of photos of the cats. I had imagined I’d play and cuddle with the cats, but it didn’t happen. Everyone else seemed blissfully ignorant of the cats apart from two ladies sitting close to me who also occasionally took some photos of the cats. Only when I was ready to leave did I dare to stroke two cats.

So what cats are in this cat café in Nice? An elegant black cat was sitting in an armchair next to my table and then I saw another one approaching the big window next to my place. It was a Sphynx cat. I’ve never seen a cat without hair in real life. I found its look a bit disconcerting; poor cat without the glossy coat to keep it warm in the winter. Then I saw two other cats in another corner of the café:one big cat with gorgeous long hair and another one which looked like some wild cat. I’ve never seen such a cat breed, it had spots like some leopard or some other Big Cat. There was also a cat that looked a bit disheveled.

They were all utterly adorable. When I paid the bill, I told the waiter how calm the cats were and that they are really gorgeous. When I was leaving I spotted the cat photos with their names at the entrance (how did I miss it upon entering?). So the cats are: Atys the Oriental, Edguard the Spynx, Léon the American Curl, Evoli the Selkirk Rex and Jaya the Bengal.

Final impressions: The speculoos cheesecake (4.50 euros) was delicious and the cats are utterly gorgeous. They were mostly sleeping but it was a sunny afternoon and it was just the right time for a cat nap. Maybe If I had come later I would have seen them in their more active mode (the café is only open from 11.30 till 6 pm). I expected to be able to cuddle the cats but when I saw all the rules I didn’t really dare apart from a few quick strokes on my way out. All in all, I spent an enjoyable half an hour with the cats but I guess I would have felt more at ease if I was with a friend because then I wouldn’t feel so odd for taking photos and for wanting to cuddle the cats.

Have you ever been to a cat café? Check out my category Cats for more cats’ posts!:)

Let’s be social Twitter / Facebook / Bloglovin’ / Google+

This post is also available for offline reading and free download as a travel article app. If you choose to upgrade (to get GPS navigation) I’ll receive a small commission. Thank You! To get the app click here

Advertisements

74 thoughts on “Visiting a Cat café in Nice, France

  1. Pingback: 2016 on the Red Phone Box travels – the Red Phone Box travels

  2. Pingback: My 1 year of travel blogging – the Red Phone Box travels

  3. Pingback: How do YOU stay SAFE when you TRAVEL? – the Red Phone Box travels

  4. Ha ha. Cat cafes make me laugh – my cats are such lunatics that I get out of the house to escape them! (I really do love them both but like to pretend I don’t). I have two dogs too, so a very full house.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I thought this sounded a fabulous idea until I got to the bit about the rules and then it all seemed to go a bit sour (puss). I always want to cuddle or at least stroke a cat and to not be able to (unless it approached me) would be like sitting me in front of the pudding counter but not allowing me to have anything to eat. In a way I can understand that the cats might get over petted in the same way that I always think animals in petting zoos where you can buy food ad lib must get over-fed but, in the case of La Ronronnerie it doesn’t feel right to me. My opinion only though and I do love the name – The Purrery 🙂
    Dropping by from both #AnimalTales and #AllABoutFrance

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Tanja,
    I’ve never been to a cat cafe, but do have a 13 year old cat. Thank you for sharing you experience with us. It sounds really interesting, but a bit restricted? Sanitizing your hands before you touch the cats – I’m not sure how my 13 year old moggie would think of that! Love the pictures of your own cat, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the idea of a cat cafe and I’d heard about the one in London. It’s a pity the rules were a bit offputting – I can see the need to protect the cats, but on the other hand surely people come to be able to handle them a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there are several cat cafes in London:) I didn’t visit any on my recent trip because they charge for the entrance and you need to book so… 🙂 thanks for reading!

      Like

  8. There’s a cat cafe in Dubai also with too many rules, no children, no touching cats, etc etc. I’ve not been as I saw a few posts from people saying it was smelly, the owner doesn’t want you to touch the cats and they wandered over the table.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. nessjibberjabberuk

    I think I would find it hard to leave that cafe! I’m always stopping in the street to stroke cats. I can’t say I’m a fan of hairless cats though.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I used to not like cats at all. I didn’t hate them or anything like that, just preferred dogs. But ever since we got Boots (she’s about three now) for my daughter, I wouldn’t exchange her for anything in the world 🙂 Your cat looks so adorable and would love to visit that cat cafe too next time we’re in Paris 🙂 #AnimalTales

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Urska @ Slovenian Girl Abroad

    I’ve been to cat cafe in Tokyo and they had similarly strict rules. If you’re cat lady, like we are, it is a bit annoying. 🙂 But on the other hand, they have to protect the cats. Just imagine poor felines if every single visitor would try to cuddle them or even carry them. It would be so stressful.
    #MondayEscapes

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Urska @ Slovenian Girl Abroad

        Believe me I know. 😉 In Tokyo, they were offering cat snacks to purchase. Only when we bought it, we got cat’s attention. Did in Nice have something similar?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. no. the cats were mostly sleeping, but everyone else didn’t pay any attention to the cats, and when I walked around to take some photos I got suspicious looks from the waiter:(

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Loved reading about this, Tanya! That sphinx cat is really creepy though… I’ve always fancied going to a cat café and so surprised to hear it’s not full of children all cuddling the cats. Hilarious that the hand sanitiser is for before touching the cats rather than afterwards!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess not all cat cafes are the same, but then again cats aren’t toys and we really shouldn’t bother them too much! 🙂 But no one else was really cuddling them so I felt a bit at unease.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I love that final photo with the cat’s reflection. I had so many reactions to your post! Have you seen a video that’s floating around that shows some non-cat people who agree to keep a cat for a week? They, of course, end up being cat people.
    My daughter is so excited because a cat cafe is opening up here in Columbus, Ohio, but I’m sure she’d rather visit one in Nice, France. I wonder if more common cat breeds would be more likely to cuddle. I know that as I sit here at my computer, my tuxedo cat is nipping at my calves to get me to pet him.
    I post a weekly meme on Mondays called Dreaming of France. I’d love it if you’d play along. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

    Like

  14. Well, this was an odd experience! I’d have expected to stroke the cats too! What’s the point of a cat cafe if you can’t really touch the cats or interact with them in any way? Just to drink a coffee in environment with cats? Are all cat cafes like that, I wonder? I haven’t been to a cat cafe but then again I’m allergic to many cats (not all of them apparently; particularly allergic to long-hairs) so I’d probably avoid it. It’s a shame I’m allergic to cats because I love them so much! I used to have two adopted stray in different periods of my life and it was okay with them because they lived in the garden, not inside the house. Sigh… I need a dog who’ll be like a cat LOL (Not allergic to dogs)

    P.S. Happy to see you’re a fan of Enid Blyton’s books too! I grew up with the Famous Five 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Love cats! I’m a crazy cat lady, but have never even heard of cat cafes. There is the cat park in Rome – heaps of cats but it smells a bit. I shared a house with someone who brought a Devon Rex cat with her. Almost hairless and very strange looking, but I think the best natured cat I have known. Nice story 🙂

    Like

  16. Hi Tanja, Thanks for the report on this place. I’ve been meaning to go for quite some time. It is a bit disappointing that you can’t pet the cats though. Like you, I would have thought otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess you can pet them, but they kind of kept to themselves and didn’t really approach people and when I saw all the rules, I was just too shy to do much:)

      Like

  17. This cat cafe has such exotic breeds of cats! I think Sphynx cats are fascinating. They look so… odd. Bengal cats are really cool as well. My boyfriend’s father used to have a cat (I don’t know if you’d consider it Bengal – it was apparently only one generation removed from wild cats), and it liked to jump on high surfaces a lot. Sadly, one day it jumped out of the window, which was 18 floors up and, I think, left open by mistake. After hearing that story I’m quite wary of keeping such cats as pets.

    I’ve been to cat cafes in Bangkok and Singapore (I think they originated in Japan), and my experience was very similar to yours. They have strict rules about not picking up the cats and so on. Fair enough, I guess. The cats in those cafes I visited were generally quite aloof and didn’t approach the humans, although you could interest them in some toys if you were lucky.

    The place with the friendliest cats I’ve ever been to was a cat shelter near Sacramento, California. The cats there were amazingly friendly and affectionate – the minute I sat down on a bench, they all started coming towards me and soon I ended up with at least 3 on my lap and a lot more surrounding me, on the bench or on the ground. They probably value human companionship a lot more since they have a lot less of it – the shelter had like 3 staff for a ton of cats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think the first cat cafe opened in Japan and then in London:) I guess cats in shelter do need more affection, poor souls. thanks for reading:)

      Like

  18. Love the fact your husband had a pet hedgehog! I didn’t really like cats until my wife persuaded me to get one – we now have a ginger longhair called Foxy. I’ve been to cat cafes in Munich, Bratislava and Nottingham but get a bit frustrated with all the rules and the lazy cats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh, I bet he/she is a cutie:) I’d like to try another cat cafe but I mean, I’ve got a cat at home which I can cuddle:) but he does prefer my husband..

      Like

      1. hmm..then she likes your wife more:) mine likes spending time with me but he spends more time in my husband’s lap than in mine:)

        Like

  19. I had heard that there was a cat cafe in Paris, but I didn’t know that there was one down in Nice. As I write this comment, I have my cat sitting on my lap trying to lick me. 😀 I think that it’s strange too that there are so many rules about touching the cats. Maybe if they were regular cats rather than pedigrees, the rules would be more relaxed. It seems a shame that can’t cuddle them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 I think you can actually touch them but I was slightly deterred from it after I saw all the rules. I did stroke quickly two cats, but I had hoped to cuddle a lot.

      Like

  20. This is fascinating Tanja, I’ve heard of this café but never been tempted to go there because I’m allergic to cats! However it’s interesting to hear that you have to leave the cats alone and use hand sanitiser before touching them. I always thought you be able to cuddle them too, I don’t really see the point otherwise. The one with fur is totally freaky and (to me) utterly unappealing – I certainly wouldn’t want to cuddle it, but ironically I probably wouldn’t be allergic to it, as it has no fur. Thanks for linking this up to #AllAboutFrance, I’m glad I know this ins and outs of this place now so I can advise guests in the gite (and friends!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks:) Yes, I think you’d be fine with the no fur cat if you have allergies. All the cats are really lovely and maybe I was just too shy to try to cuddle them:)

      Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s