Everyone knows what a cafe is, it’s those places you go to get a small snack and something to drink like coffee or tea or something like that ( I have heard of some cafes that serve alcohol too, but I’m not 100% sure on that one). It’s the type of place where in movies and books the romance scene happens or where the spies tend to meet or where writers go to relax and write their bestselling novels. Just writing about it makes it sound relaxing and some of them are, as long as they are not too crowded or near a high traffic area. But you know what? There is always a way to make something better if you use your imagination, and that is exactly what some cafe owners have done by turning their regular cafes into cat cafes.
As the name suggests, a cat cafe is a theme cafe where the main attraction is cats. These little feline friends for the most part are allowed to move around freely within the cafe and patrons are allowed to watch and play with them. There are rules however, which you have to follow. For example you cannot wake up a sleeping cat, you cannot pick up a cat, you are not allowed to feed the cats food other than what is provided by the cafe, you can’t use flash photography, etc. You are told the rules when you enter the cafe. In order to visit a cat café, patrons need to pay a cover fee and are billed by the hour. In a way you could look at cat cafes like a supervised pet rental. You can book in advance but it isn’t strictly necessary, as long as there is space they will let you in. To give you a better idea of what a cat cafe looks like, just check out these videos.
Here’s a short one.
And here’s a longer one.
The world’s first cat cafe (according to wikipedia opened in Tapei, Taiwan back in in 1998 and was called “Cat Flower Garden.” It later became a big tourist attraction, especially for tourists from Japan. Then in 2004 Japan’s first cat cafe opened in Osaka, it goes by the name “Neko no Jikan.” From there the entire concept of a cat cafe really took off, with more and more of them opening up all across Japan.
Because of their boom in popularity in Japan, cat cafes started opening up all over the world, across Asia, across Europe, in the U.K., even in North America. They are not everywhere so not everyone can just go around the corner, find a cat cafe and go in if they feel like it, but they are there and if you have the means and the opportunity you should go check it out at least once, I know I would if I could.
For those of you that are worried about the wellbeing of the cats, rest assured that the cafe staff takes very good care of their kitties, some cafes take the cats from shelters and put them up for adoption for their customers. Some of them like the cafe in Manchester even have cat related activities like cat yoga that the patrons can attend.
I mentioned in one of my previous posts where I talk about cat videos (put link here) how cats can be relaxing so think of this as an upgrade from cat videos.
Now obviously, if you don’t like cats or if you are allergic then this is not for you but there are plenty of other ways you can de-stress and relax, these cat cafes are just one of them. But if you are a cat person or just like cats, and you can and want to visit a cat cafe, then try to find out where the nearest one is and try it out for yourself. Have fun with the kitties and let them work their magic as you feel that stress ebb away.