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Neko Cafe Bellingham: A Paradise for Cats and Cat Lovers

neko cafe bellingham

Neko Cat Cafe is a fun and unique space that brings cats and humans together. Inspired by the Cat Cafe culture in Japan, Neko is a sanctuary for cats and humans to kick back and relax. Enjoy a drink and some snacks as you play and cuddle with kitties from Whatcom Human Society. Neko gives hard to place cats a place to find their forever home at this modern and stylish lounge!

NEKO Cafe Bellingham- Admission Info


1130 Cornwall
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 656-6217

Menu: nekocatcafe.com

Phone: (360) 656-6217

MON – THURS: 12pm – 6pm
FRI: 12am – 8pm
SAT: 10am – 8pm
SUN: 10am – 6pm

Time needed: About an hour

neko cat cafe neon sign

What is a Japanese cat cafe?

Cat cafes are a type of coffee shop where patrons can play with cats that roam freely around the establishment.

The popularity of cat cafes in Japan is attributed to many apartments forbidding pets, and to cats providing relaxing companionship in what may otherwise be a stressful and lonesome urban life. Other forms of pet rental, such as rabbit cafes, are also common in Japan

I recently took my six year old daughter, Chloe on a trip to Bellingham’s only cat cafe, NEKO. Chloe is obsessed with cats and has been begging me to take her there ever since she the cafe opened.

When you enter NEKO you will check in at the front desk. Reservations are recommended especially on the weekends and during peak times. When you check in you can order drinks and snacks and then you will be lead from the lobby into the cat lounge.

The cafe is very stylishly decorated and has a mid-century-mod vibe. There’s plenty of places to sit and relax as you play and snuggle with some of the many cats.

During our visit there were about 27 cats roaming around, playing and snoozing. Some of the cats are permanent residents and some are up for adoption.

cats playing at NEKO

Are cat cafes cruel?

No! NEKO has partnered with Whatcom Humane Society to rescue cats from Whatcom County and beyond. They provide a sanctuary where they are free to roam and meet the human of their dreams! The cats look healthy and well cared for.

I was pleasantly surprised that there was no “cat smell” at the cafe even with so many cats on site. The establishment was extremely clean and well kept. The cats will come up and snuggle with you and there is an area with lots of toys for the ones who want to play.

Throughout the lounge there are cat beds set up at the windows and there are shelves and play areas set up. You can pet and play with the cats but they ask that you don’t pick them up and hold them. If you are sitting down and the cats climb on you and want to snuggle that is totally okay.

NEKO also has branded clothing for sale as well as cat toys and other fun accessories like cat ear hair bands and enamel pins.

FAQ about NEKO Cafe

Are kids allowed at NEKO?

Yes, my 7 year old was in heaven and loved her visit. children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Children 13 and over are welcome to visit without an adult. There must be one adult for every two children under 10 years old in the cat room.

How do you adopt a cat from NEKO?

If you fall in love with a kitty at NEKO you can let one of the staff members (cat bouncers) know. They will help you fill out an application and get you connected with Whatcom Humane Society. The process usually takes about 2-4 weeks. They do not do same-day adoptions.

How much does it cost to visit NEKO?

A 45 minute visit to the cat room is $11 for all ages admission. For students, seniors and military the cost is $8.80 with valid ID.

Can you work/ study at NEKO?

Yes, you can use the facility for 2 hours and 45 minutes for $25 to work and study with the cats!

Have you visited a cat cafe before? Let me know about your experience in the comments!

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