Cat lover? Check.
Coffee lover? Check.
Then it’s time you checked out a cat café.
What is a Cat Café?
A cat café is a type of themed café where patrons can enjoy a cup of coffee and some quality time with a kitty or two. The first cat café (called Cat Flower Garden) opened in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1998. Not only did the café become popular among the residents of Taipei, but it also became something of a tourist destination. The Cat Flower Garden in Taipei inspired the current cat café trend that has blossomed in Japan in recent years.
Neko no Jikan (Cat’s Time) was opened in Osaka, Japan, in 2004 and serves almost as a combination of café and pet rental service. Patrons pay a cover fee (usually charged hourly) to spend time with an assortment of cats. This concept has become particularly popular in heavily populated cities like Osaka where people live in small apartments and condominiums that do not allow pets. By visiting cat cafés, patrons can spend time with pets without actually having a pet of their own.
What to Expect from a Cat Café
When you step into a cat café, you may not realize at first that it is anything other than an ordinary café. Many cat cafés are divided into two sections – one section for food and beverage preparation where you can place your order and another section where you can interact with an assortment of cats. This section is often designed as an elaborate play area for the cats, offering a variety of beds, cat trees, and scratching posts as well as a cat-only area where the felines can go if they are tired of human interaction.
Now that cat cafés have reached the mainstream, they are starting to pop up in countries all over the world. The first cat café in Canada, Le Café des Chats, was opened in August of 2014 followed by the Café Chat L’Heureux in September of the same year. Both of these cafés feature cats that were adopted from local shelters. In the United States, the Cat Town Café was opened in Oakland, CA, in October of 2014. This café is something of a cross between a traditional coffee shop and a pet adoption center. In June of 2015, the Crumbs and Whiskers café opened in the DC area. This café collaborates with the local Humane Society chapter to provide boarding space for as many as 25 cats at a time.
A cat café is a unique concept that particularly appeals to animal lovers. The great thing about a cat café is that you can interact and play with cats on a regular basis without having to commit to becoming a pet parent. Cat cafés provide many benefits for the cats as well, especially when the café is partnered with an adoption center or rescue organization. The shelter environment can be extremely stressful for cats, but a cat café allows them to become comfortable in their environment, and gives potential adopters the chance to interact with a kitty before adopting him.Cat cafés may not be available in every city just yet, but they are certainly becoming more and more popular. Now, what happened to my saucer of milk?