As you probably know by now, Anthony and I love Hoi An. It’s our favorite place in Vietnam, and even on our third visit, the charm still holds up. Hoi An may be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in activities. Whether you like the beach, shopping, food, history, culture…Hoi An literally has it all. One of our top priorities during travel is visiting establishments working towards the greater good of animals, such as LAW on Koh Lanta. Luckily, Hoi An has a similar place, and today Anthony and I took my little sister to an amazing little spot known as Jack’s Cat Cafe.
Cat cafes and dog cafes have become quite popular all over Asia, but Jack’s isn’t just a place to go cuddle cute animals. It is also one of Vietnam’s leaders in animal welfare and education. Jack’s is the brain child of Emma and Phong, a couple whose love for animals seems to know no bounds. It all started when their beloved adopted street kitty, Jack, disappeared. An unfortunate victim of Vietnam’s brutal cat meat trade. After Jack’s disappearance, Emma and Phong continued to adopt street kitties who seemed to be drawn to their home, and as their glaring grew, so did their need for a larger space. Thus, Jack’s Cat Cafe was born.
Jack’s is a beautiful outdoor cafe in Hoi An where up to 75 cats, and two very cute dogs, roam the garden and grounds. The cats are kept safe by a tall fence that completely surrounds the garden, and Jack’s doesn’t advertise its location in order to keep thieves away. Visitors can order drinks and vegan fare while enjoying the company of these frisky felines.
We have spent several hours there both times we visited, and could easily spend all day if we had the time. The cats are very used to people, but they’re still cats so everything is on their terms. Some nap, some cuddle, and some are just interested in gnawing on your backpack or playing with your shoelaces. It is wonderful to see all these beautiful cats living a safe, healthy life after their humble stray beginnings.
While the cafe itself is a great example of what Emma and Phong do, the truly important side of their work is educating locals to respect and love cats. Unfortunately, the treatment of cats and dogs in Vietnam can still be very bad. Many people don’t view them as pets and instead see them as vermin or, even worse, as money makers to be sold to the local meat trade.
This view is certainly changing within the country as more and more Vietnamese are exposed to pet culture, however, there is still a very long way to go. Establishments like Emma and Phong’s are making a huge difference throughout Southeast Asia to better the lives of animals, and as long as I travel, I will continue to visit and support places like this.
To read more about Jack’s Cat Cafe and their partner company, Vietnam Cat Welfare, you can follow this link here. They rely on the help of volunteers and donations, so if you’re interested in doing either, their website contains all of the information necessary.
If you happen to be in Hoi An, and would like to visit Jack’s, make sure to fill out a booking form on their website. The cafe is open from 11 am to 3 pm, Tuesday to Saturday. There is an entrance fee of 100,000 VND (about $4 USD), which gets you a complimentary drink, and goes directly towards the welfare of the kitties.
Jack’s Cat Cafe, a must do in Hoi An!