Have You Heard about Cat Cafés?

"Testing my catnip tea!"

A Cat Café is not for cats to have a wonderful afternoon tea time – it is a café for human cat lovers to enjoy a relaxing space with cats.  What a wild idea!  I had heard about a Cat Café in Japan a couple years ago.  I had no idea this cat café phenomena swept all over Japan in past two years…  Today, I looked it up and found that there are over 20 cat café in Tokyo alone, and there are 76 all across Japan.

It was an American TV station which got this “scoop” when I watched it for the first time.   Now you can watch the UK version of this – click HERE.

I researched a bit online about cat cafés in Japan (my Japanese language skills became handy, finally).  There are some varieties among cat cafés.  Some cat cafés work with non-profit animal rescue organizations exclusively and take in sick or abandoned cats just like many animal shelters do here in U.S.  (Like!)  Others work with breeders, and not with rescue cats (Not a big fan!).  All of the cat cafés I checked online arrange adoptions.  Some are wheelchair-accessible and encourage elderlies and handicapped people to visit, focusing on felines’ therapeutic aspect.

The one I was surprised to find was a cat café run by a veterinary hospital and Little Cats (non-profit animal protective advocacy group) together.  With the collaboration of the two, this particular cat café, called Hakobuneko, achieves the greatest from both worlds!  Veterinarians provide all the vaccinations, surgeries, and medications necessary for stray cats, whereas Little Cats offer quality adoptions due to their dedication for the animals.  Hakobuneko cat café encourages both foster and adoption programs.  They charge a customer for $8 for 30 min. (with soft drinks) spending with the cats, and $3 for every 30 min. thereafter.

Assuming that cats are well taken care of and not stressed by the experience, any way to improve cat and human relations seems like a good idea to me!

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