The History and Evolution of the Cat Cafe

Have you ever heard of something called The Cat Cafe? Perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard anything about it whatsoever. Maybe you’ve heard the name mentioned a time or two before, but you’re still not really sure what it is. As luck would have it, it’s one of the more interesting establishments that you’re likely to walk into. The Cat Cafe, just as its name implies, is a cafe where you can go in and have coffee while enjoying the company of cats. You might think of it as something similar to petting a therapy dog, only in this case, it’s a cat.

The very first Cat Cafe opened in Taiwan back in 1998. Since that time, several similar establishments have opened in various places around the world. You shouldn’t necessarily think of these as a chain quite as much as a single business that was surprisingly popular. Other people around the globe noticed this popularity and decided to take advantage of it by opening their own similar establishments. Today, there are businesses like this all around the globe. In fact, they exist in Asia, Europe, Canada and the United States, as well as Australia. All in all, there are approximately 80 of these cafes in Japan alone. When all of the other businesses of this type across the globe are added in, there are literally hundreds of these types of facilities in existence.

The very idea sounds simple enough. Open a facility where people can come in and play with some cats while they relax and enjoy a cup of coffee. The reality of the situation is actually much more complex. These facilities, regardless of the exact location, are carefully regulated. In most cases, they have to adopt strict regulations from the governing facility in whatever country they have been opened in. These organizations are designed to ensure the welfare of the cats and to guarantee that no harm comes to them because of that particular business.

There are two main benefits to opening a cat cafe. From the human perspective, it provides a much needed opportunity to relax for a few minutes in an environment that is unlike virtually anything else you’re likely to encounter. It’s proven that petting an animal can improve a person’s overall physical and mental health, helping to stave off depression and reduce blood pressure. Therefore, people that spend enough time in these types of facilities can become more relaxed and start to enjoy some tangible benefits as a result of being there.

In addition, the cats are typically adopted from animal shelters in the area. More often than not, these cats are placed for adoption, allowing the business to become the perfect place to advertise their availability to someone that’s willing to give them a forever home. In some other instances, cats that are deemed too skittish to adopt out end up at the Cat Cafe where they can become more accustomed to being around people. More often than not, cats that have been there for a respectable amount of time learn to trust people enough that they can eventually be adopted out. Therefore, the Cat Cafe is a way of allowing people to have access to animals more easily and it gives the animals themselves an opportunity to become adopted, not to mention taking some pressure off of local shelters.

Most cat cafes work in much the same way. In order to gain access to the facility, you pay a small cover fee and then you can come in and spend time with the cats. Great care is usually taken to ensure that cats aren’t disturbed by people that are unruly or disrespectful, that they aren’t played with roughly by children, and that they’re not disturbed while they’re trying to sleep. In fact, most cat cafes have several different cats that they can rotate so that if one becomes too stressed they’re allowed to go to a back area where they have more privacy.

There is no doubt that people are starting to recognize how beneficial animals can be when it comes to various types of situations. More and more frequently, people are starting to see therapy dogs show up in hospitals, schools and even at airports. The same is true for cat cafes. In fact, some of these facilities are even beginning to add additional animals so that their customers have more variety. Imagine what it would be like to go to a building where you can simply sit down and play with animals for as long as you wish. This is a great opportunity for people to get away from it all for a while or even for someone that’s considering pet ownership to get some basic experience with animals for a short while.

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