I am absolutely in love with this idea, and it is a shame we don’t have it here in Holland! If we did, I would visit it daily, and I’d be broke by now. So that makes it a good thing, on the other hand as well. So what are cat café’s?
A cat café is a theme-café whose attraction is cats that can be watched and played with. Costumers pay a cover fee, generally pet hour, and so cat cafés is a form of supervised indoor pet rental.
The world’s first cat café opened in Taiwan in 1998. The Taiwanese cat café which is in Taipei, became famous in Japan and began to attract Japanese tourists as well as Taiwanese visitors. In Japan, the first cat café opened in 2004 in Osaka.
Cat café’s are popular in Japan. And Tokyo alone already has at least 39 cat café’s. One of them is ‘Cat’s Store ‘(猫の店 Neko no Mise), which was opened in 2005 by Norimasa Hanada. The popularity of the cafés in Japan is attributed to many apartments forbidding pets because the apartment are so small. And to offer both cats and people a relaxing companionship in what may otherwise be stressful and lonesome. Japan also has other forms of pet-rental like rabbit cafe’s.
There are many cat cafés, and some cafés only have a specific breed, or specific colors. Like black cats only, rare breeds, ex-stray cats, etc. A Cat café must have a license and comply with the strict requirements and regulations of the Animal Treatment/Protection Law. Japanese cat cafés also have strict rules to ensure hygiene and animal welfare. In particular seeking to ensure that the cats are not disturbed by excessive and unwanted attention, such as by young children or when they are sleeping.
Another good thing is that many cat cafés are trying to raise awareness of cat welfare issues like abandoned and stray cats.
There is also one cat café that can be found in Europe, Austria, Vienna.
Cat Café Calico
One of the cat cafés in Tokyo is Calico, none of Calico’s cats are strays, but the cafe puts up posters for abandoned cats seeking homes. Pet dumping is a problem in Japan, government data showed that about 240,000 cats and 160,000 dogs without owners are gassed each year. The majority of visitors to Calico are working women and children, as the staff wants their visitors to forget about their jobs and relax.
The clean, odorless cafe — Calico has six air fresheners and the litter trays are out of sight — gets about 70 visitors a day during the week and 150 a day at weekends. Visitors to Calico pay 800 yen ($7) an hour or 2,000 yen for three hours in a big room where 14 well-brushed and shampooed cats hang out. After a thorough hand wash, the visitor can play with the cats, read comics or just relax.
The cat café phenomenon has in turn spawned countless blogs documenting the furry friends. Some cats even have their own profiles.
One that I found catsphotog.exblog.jp — it’s completely in Japanese.