The Bangkok city center is made for everyone, whether that would be foreigners or locals, but taking care of a furry friend in a jam-packed city like Bangkok is a definite challenge. There are so many limitations, whether that would be from traveling with your pets, trying to find pet-friendly places or a nice cafe that welcomes your beloved pets, even shopping for their supplies can be a daunting task.
Asok Pethouse, a brand-new cafe, right in the middle of Asok, has been created to answer all of your pet-loving prayers! A Pet-Friendly cafe that serves healthy and clean food for both humans and furry friends. There are also adorable feline friends you can mingle with, a grooming zone for pet parents looking for a trim for their shaggy friend, or even a pet supplies section that is mostly imported products you can’t find anywhere else! Talk about a one-stop shop for pets! Let’s get to know them better in today’s Meet MyFriends! Episode.
MyFriend would like to take you all to meet Jova, the owner of Asok Pethouse, the pet cafe in the heart of Asok. Are you ready? Let’s take a look!
So, I’m Jova. Right now we are at Asok Pethouse. So, I am a Chinese-Australian doing business in Thailand. So, I came here six months ago. I always have a cat cafe in my mind, but nothing triggers me until I really arrived Thailand, at Bangkok. And I see a lot of street cats on the street. And there was one moment that really triggers me is I saw a cat die on the street, just beside the road. And there was a cockroach and rat just trying to eat the body. And it’s just heartbreaking. Like, that moment, I just feel like so heartbreaking. So, I have more cat cafes in my mind. So, I just really try to figure out if there are ways to really make this happen because I wanted a place for people can be with the cats. Before they adopt, they have a chance to be around them, to know their personality before bringing them home, really to love them.
So, it gets connected that I live around Asok area, and got connections, and things just come, and I got this place. And I go find… reach out to PAWS Bangkok. I went to the shelters. I can see they have a lot of pressure. They have a lot of cats, and there is some cats that they couldn’t even take because it’s all full. And I just have this idea, so I just need to make this happen. The cats in the shelter, basically, more or less, will be in a cage all the time because of not enough people to take care of them. They don’t have the opportunity to really socialize between each other.
So, I just want to create this place for the cats can live comfortably, socializing that they cannot get from the shelter. And also, there is a lot of people, a lot of customers that came. They want to be with cats. I got a few customers that just really want to sit here, seeing the cats and be around them. And that gives comfort to these customers as well. So, that’s really the concept behind it, is to provide this place to people.
So, at the same time, giving the cats a home, a playground for them to socialize, I also do a cafe. So, our cafe is more on a healthy life, like healthy food, healthy drink. So, we do cold-pressed juice, salads, a lot of simple cafe food, but at the same time, healthy. I just want people really come in to enjoy the place and be healthy as well at the same time.
Yes. So, we also do coffee. So, we do our local Thai bean coffee, dark roasted. And we also have signature dessert coffee, which is a tofu pudding and a tiramisu coffee. So this recipe, I’ve like tried it six different types of tofu to get this right. Just eating tofu all day is like, mmm, I have to combine it with coffee and make it right. So, yeah, definitely need to try. And also apple crumble. We have a dessert of apple crumble. Oh, really good. Really good. Like there is customers that really just come for apple crumble. And I have some customers that are actually allergic to cats. But they just want to look at the cats. And they just come here to get an apple crumble and come back again and again.
Okay. So, when I first come to Thailand, so I own two cats myself. I probably want to introduce. That’s Poker and Penny. One of them is there sitting there. That’s Penny. I adopted her in Australia from RSPCA. So it’s a shelter as well. And they are very fussy with food. So I was trying to get some, the usual food that I can buy from Australia that I could not find in Thailand. So I was trying to source more imported products from New Zealand and from Australia just because my cats like it. And I believe some cats will like it too.
And I used to work in a, also a pet friendly cafe. And I started to chat with the customers and they all told me it’s so hard to get supplies from Asok. They all have to go to Ekkamai or Thonglor to get supplies. So there we go. There is a shop opportunity and my cats have what they need as well. So why not? Yes, it’s a win-win. So yeah, so it will be more New Zealand or Australian products. And of course, there will be local products as well. But I, because I have, my goal is not to be like a supermarket pet shop. I only select the popular one and the premium, more of a premium quality ones that is good for the cats.
Yeah, so I also provide grooming services. As there is, again, there is opportunity around this area. As also my cats sometimes need basic care, nail cut, paw cuts. And once in a while, they need a shower and grooming. Especially I have a Ragdoll which is the hair just pretty long. So I’ve go around different area of grooming and try that other service. And it was a little bit far away as well. So like this area didn’t have one that really convenient for the customers. And transport is a little bit hard taking your cats to go around everywhere. So I opened up this facility with grooming as well. And cat hotel, especially cat hotel because again there is a lot of expats living in this area. And sometimes they have to back home for a little bit. And they have the cats living here. So they will need someone to take care of them. Yeah, so I just provide this service as we are very, all of our staff are experienced in taking care in cats. So we basically know their personality, how to handle them, feed them. Yeah, so we have the experience here. And I have also staff 24 hours staying in this premises. So just to make the cat owners peace of mind. Just don’t have to be worried while they are away.
So yeah, opening a cat cafe, the first thing, the challenge you have to learn is how to separate them from a fight. At the same time you have to, like I have to teach all my staff how to protect themselves. Because cats, if they get angry, they could really bite you hard. So every staff, I have to train them. If they see something like that, how should they handle? Should not ever use the hand to grab them up. Just really separate them, using something to separate them. If not, they will just come and bite you. They can get aggressive. They have personalities. Everyone has personalities.
Yeah, so when I start this project, I go to PAWS Bangkok to visit them, to tell them about the project. They liked my idea as well. And because I’ve guaranteed them that I will be providing good care for the cats. Also, I should mention, every month we have a vet to come and check up all the cats. So it just happened two days ago. So the vet will come every month. We had discussions all over, like how do I do my safety measures, and how do I take care of the cats. And eventually, so now the first step, they are coming over every weekend to bring the kittens for adoptions. And so all the kittens are ready for adoption, already health checked, vaccinated, everything ready to go to a new home.
So in the future, we will have them here all the time so that people can come to really be with them more before they adopt them. So it’s really just to, I have this idea really just to release the pressure from shelters. And PAWS Bangkok was the first shelter that I know when I arrived to Thailand. And I know they do a lot of good things. They really take care of the cats. And they have their own really strict procedures and stuff like that. So I would really appreciate to be cooperating with them only. So that we’ll make, like build on the trust with each other. And so I know the cats will be safe here. At the same time, I know the cats from them are healthy to be here around with people.
Maybe our slogan. So we spoil our pet because they are family. So that’s our slogan. I just treat every one of them as my family. So we spend a lot of time taking care of them as every cat has a different personality.
And really, why would I really like cats? And why would I really want to have a cat cafe? It’s really a little story of me. Like 7 or 8 years ago when I was in Australia. I had a little mental breakdown. And that was the time that I first adopted Poker. So Poker is a Ragdoll cat. Having a cat at that moment was peaceful. It’s giving me another level of peaceful and calm. From that I was like really enjoyed the peacefulness of cats that can bring me.
So I believe cats can heal a lot of people. So I really want to create this place for other people as well to be around cats. And to have the peacefulness that I have because they are all family.
Asok Pethouse is just right in Asok near Terminal 21. So MRT Sukhumvit stations, BTS Asok stations. Go out from Terminal 21, Soi 19. It’s just 3 minutes walk from the station. So it’s very close. Breakfast, lunch, dessert, coffee. Everything you have and to be with cats.
MyFriend would like to thank Jova for welcoming us and not letting us get back to the office with an empty stomach! Filled with healthy and delicious menus, and super refreshing cold-press juices, we confirm the quality and taste of the food here at Asok Pethouse! If any of you are looking for a place that’s easily accessible in the city, don’t miss out on Asok Pethouse where you can spend quality time with your furry friends!
Asok Pethouse Sukhumvit 19 (a 3-5 walk from Terminal 21)
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