A racoon grabs someone's arm as it tries to reach for food

Animal Cafe in Shanghai

We love animals a lot and wherever we go, we will look for somewhere to see animals. For this place, we bet even the locals would be surprised about it.

How did we find this place? Thanks to me; I know Chinese and spend hours looking for animal related activities. She found out about an animal cafe on a Chinese app. There was only a small amount of information about it in Chinese on that one app, and absolutely nothing written in English about it anywhere on the internet. But of course, we had to check it out and we are excited to tell you about this “secret” place.

So many different animals

Outside the cafe, we could already look inside the circular windows and see two very cute alpacas. We rang the buzzer and the staff were very passionate to welcome us in.

A brown and a white alpaca look at the camera

They walked us though the cafe, bypassing all variety of of animal and took us upstairs to store our belongings and wash our hands. Then we went back down to see the animals. They were not all out at once, otherwise there would be chaos, but you could see most of them in their cage / hutch / tank / room.

When you let the staff know which one you want to play or pose with, they will get it for you, providing it will be have no problems with the animals that are already out. If the animal is not allowed out at that moment, they will kindly find you when they bring it out. Ben loves chinchillas, but we had to wait before we could play with it.

If you love alpacas, then go to take photos and feed them first, because they are only there for a short time. The staff will take them for a walk, which you can join with, but you will not see them again after that. Alpaca is one of my favourite animals; they have big eyes and soft hair. You can touch them and feed them. If you’re lucky, you can take a wonderful selfie with them.

A chinchilla sits on a man's head

Whilst we were feeding the alpacas, something touched Ben’s head; it’s was chinchilla! The staff put a chinchilla on his head, and then on mine! Luckily, the chinchilla didn’t see our hair as grass. It just chilled and we took so many cool photos with it.

There are lots of animals and you can see all the visitors holding different animals in their hands. A little piggy kept running around the cafe and we were excited to hold it after we finally caught it. We expected it would be very soft, but in fact, it’s hard with spiky hair and you must hold it with it’s 4 little feet touching something, otherwise it will let out a little squeal.

A fluffy rabbit sits on a table

We walked to a large table, had a seat and played with the rabbits and guinea pigs. They were just sitting and walking around without anyone observing them. One of the rabbits was just so fluffy. We must have spent more that 10 minutes trying to find its eyes.

When we were looking around, the staff gave something to us and just told us to hold under its arms and gently swing the bottom half. It was a ferret! And the swinging motion was relaxing for the ferret and made it feel comfortable. We were soon the centre of attention, as everyone slowly became intrigued by this little creature and wanted to hold it.

A lady holds a ferret at an animal cafe

We don’t know why the staff there liked to put animals on our head, maybe because Ben’s hair looked like a nest, but next up was a flying squirrel. It was so tiny and quick, climbing up and down and jumping between us. We only managed to take one photo between us where it wasn’t moving, but it was so much fun and we couldn’t stop laughing.

Flying squirrel rests on a man's shoulder at an Animal Cafe in Shanghai

Seeing so many animals, knowing they are all well trained and will not bite, made us very relaxed there. We even held some animals that we had never even thought about touching before. I was holding a little snake and a big lizard! It felt like I will not be scared of anything anymore.

A woman looks at a small snake that is resting on her hand at an animal cafe in Shanghai
A large yellow lizard rests on a someone's arm at an animal cafe in Shanghai

With all the excitement of seeing and playing with the animals, it was difficult to remember this place is actually a cafe. The staff were helpful to remind us that we can have a drink.

I’m not sure if it is because we were very thirsty or just wanted to start playing with the animals again, but those drinks went down very quickly. There were lots of animals there. We don’t even know what some of them are called and it was our first time to see or touch most of them.

A rodent is held in someone's palms as it eats a carrot

Time flew so quickly there and it was soon approaching the last 30 minutes. The staff said they will show us the last animal; a special animal. Everyone gathered in a circle and suddenly a raccoon came in and immediately started looking for food.

We never thought about seeing one so close. And then the staff gave us some food to feed it. It was just so excited to get all the food from everyone and feeding it is the only way to get its attention. We touched its palms and were surprisingly soft. This animal did have a little bit of an attitude though, and nobody can hold it besides its owner.

A domesticated racoon eats food out of someone's palm

Before you leave, remember to take your belongings and wash your hands! We believe no matter your age is, you will love this place!

Logistics

Name of the cafe: 藦茜花园宠物主题咖啡厅&轰趴馆

Address: 国順東路800号西樓2樓218b

Contact / WeChat: +86 131 6619 0615

It costs ¥88 per person, which includes 2 hours with the animals and a soft drink. They have 4 sessions per day, each with a limited number of visitors, around 12.

You must make a reservation and pay a deposit via We Chat. If you are unable to do it, then just ask the front desk at your hotel for some help.

The address is only in Chinese and you can use Baidu Maps to help you find it. The cafe is on level 2 of a building. We had a bit of trouble finding the entrance to the building because it doesn’t look like a main entrance, more of a back entrance. If you get a bit lost like us, just show someone nearby the address and they can point you in the right direction.

The closest Metro stations are Huangxing Park (黄兴公园) on Line 8 or Guoquan Road (国权路) on Line 10.

A small hedgehog sticks its tongue out