Cat Café’s are cafés whose theme is the attraction of cats that can be played and admired. Clients part with what is called a cover fee which is billed hourly. This then can be also referred to as indoor pet rental with supervision.
The maiden cat café named “Cat Flower Garden,” was opened in Taipei, Taiwan back in 1998. The café then begun to attract tourist from all over the world especially Japan. This has consequently made the concept flourish in Japan even though its origin is in Taiwan. The first cat café in Japan, “Neko no Jikan” (Cat’s Time), opened its doors in 2004 in Osaka. The reason the concept was a success in Japan, is because of Japan’s land size and population. Many of its residence occupy in small apartments or condominiums where pets are allowed. Cat café then becomes the most popular place for companionship and comfort to the young working adults.
It has gone on to be popular in Japan with approximately 79 cat cafés opened in the country. In 2005, Tokyo opened its first cat café called “Neko no Mise” (Shop of Cats). Beyond Japan and Taiwan, cat cafés can be found in countries like Spain, Korea, United Kingdom, Austria, France, Germany, and Hungary. It moved to North America in 2014, firstly in Montreal Canada then Oakland. It has also hit New York and recently one was opened in San Diego.
Cat cafés main reason for being popular is that it provides the comfort and companionship of a kitty to those who can’t have pets in their homes or apartments. Cats and pets in general, have been known for health benefits like lowering blood pressure and also stress levels. Another key benefit is cost effectiveness as the patron or client doesn’t have to own a cat and incur the cost of maintaining it. The client just needs to come and pay a small fee or buy coffee and spend time with the cats.
Apart from benefits to the human being, cats being in the cat cafés also benefit as follows: The cafés foster the cats thus saving the lives of those cats. They also make it possible for cats that require special attention to receive it. Those cats that are adoptable and human friendly can be able to be fostered in the cafés while those that need much more attention and personalized observation can remain in the rescue homes. The cats get a chance to be able to familiarize them to an environment that could be similar to one they are likely to be adopted into. There is more interaction with people in the cafés making it get used to people. For the cafés that allow adoption of the cats, those looking to adopt will have a chance to spend some time with the cats and learn more about them. The staffs as well are able to know each cat’s personality to be able to match up with the right adopter. As much as Cat cafés are for profit business ventures, there is the ethical part of the business. The welfare of the cats needs to be a top priority as unhealthy and unhappy cats are bad for business and dangerous to the clients.