Cat cafes had its humble beginnings in Taiwan in 1998. The rationale is to let the customers enjoy their favorite coffee or beverage while spending quality time with cats. It was in Japan that these cat cafes became popular. Japanese tourists were instrumental in introducing cat cafes to the world.
In 2004, Osaka had the first Japanese cat cafe. Since then cat cafes have been famous among Japanese cat lovers. In Tokyo alone, there are about 39 feline cafes. In the whole country, Japan houses about 150 cat cafes.
Pet ownership among city dwellers is not allowed in Japan. Cat cafes have become a good option for Japanese cat lovers to interact with their favorite pets. They also treat this activity as a form of relaxation away from their busy daily lifestyle.
Japanese executives enjoy mingling with cats. It is their way of relieving stress and forgetting about work for a while.
Global cat cafes
The concept of cat cafes has spread worldwide. Some of these are in Korea, Spain, Austria, Germany, and Hungary. Other popular cat cafes are also found in France, United States, and the United Kingdom.
In 2014, cat cafes began appearing in North America. First launched in Montreal, Canada it soon spread to Oakland, CA, New York, and San Diego.
Cat Town Cafe
Cat fanatics Adam Myatt and Ann Dunn opened Cat Town Cafe in Oakland, California. This cafe was a crossover between an adoption center and a coffee shop. Most Americans like going to the cat cafes to hang out, have a drink, and play with the cats.
Cat cafe visitors can choose to walk in or make a reservation before visiting. They can even order their drinks and food ahead of time. They can go to the play area where they can meet and spend quality time with half to a dozen cats all at the same time.
Cat cafes, like Cat Town Cafe, are good places to find pet lovers who are willing to adopt cats. All cats are available for adoption. Many of them come from local shelters. They are in the cat cafes to entertain cat lovers and to find visitors willing to give them permanent homes.
What to expect at a cat cafe
When you first arrive you can order your food and drinks. Your order is also your ticket to visit the cat playpen. If you don’t buy anything, you have to pay a minimal fee to enter the play area.
If there are few visitors, there is no waiting time to visit the cat playpen. During peak hours, you have to wait for your turn outside the cafe and wait for the marshal to call you. This prevents overcrowding in the playpen.
The cat playpen is usually cleared of visitors every 15 minutes. This gives the cats enough time to wind down without any customers in the room.
If you plan to adopt a feline from the cat cafe, you need to set an appointment. You can send an email to the cafe’s personnel to coordinate this. You can bring your adopted cat home after working hours. This is designed to make the transition to a new home smoother.
Cat cafes seek to provide the best cat experience for their pets and visitors. The pets’ welfare in cat cafes is a priority. Cafe visitors should be aware of several rules when interacting with the cats.
You have to respect the animals. Be sensitive to the cats’ body language. When petting the cats, always be gentle. Pay attention to signs of irritation or discomfort. Know how they move their tails and their ears. These signals are essential in communicating and interacting with them.
Children age six and above can enter the cat cafe. All patrons should sanitize their hands before and after entering the cafe. They are also requested to change into a clean pair of shoes before going to the cats’ playpen.
Cats hate loud noises. Tone down your voice when entering the playpen. Cats are adorable but they will appreciate your presence more if you are quiet and relaxed. Taking pictures is fine but refrain from using bright flashes. A sudden flash may scare or disturb the cats.
Most cat cafes have zero tolerance for anyone who causes distress to the pets. If you don’t follow the basic rules you will be asked to leave the playpen. The company of felines in the cat cafes is an enjoyable and fun activity. It can relieve your stress and anxiety.
Illnesses can spread quickly in this kind of environment. All precautionary measures are provided to ensure that the kitties remain healthy and fit. Hand sanitizers are always available for the visitors.
Cat cafes do not allow outside dogs or cats to be brought in the playpen. With these cafes having adoptable pets, stressed cats find it hard to mingle with other cats. Interacting with strange people can be stressful enough. They cannot and should not need to share their space with strange animals as well.
Refrain from bringing food, toys, or treats to the pets in the cat cafes. Pets are already well fed in their playpen so they do not need other toys or treats. Do not feed the cats human food. Always supervise little children when coming near the cats. Do not allow them to pull the cats’ tail, hold the pets, or shout at them.
Do you love being around cats but cannot have a pet where you live? Do you your kids enjoy playing with cats but someone in the house is allergic? Would you enjoy having a pet but cannot take on the responsibility? Do you want a chance to get to know a cat before making the decision to adopt it? Do you find spending an occasional lunch hour with pets healing?
Then a visit to a local cat cafe is perfect for you. Give it a try. Have you visited a cat cafe somewhere in the world ? – Share your experience with us.