Grab a Latte and Relax at the Cat Cafe
Picture your favorite coffee house where you sip your favorite drink while watching the steam rise from the glass. People are coming in and out ordering lattes to go or to stay. Friends meet you there and you have a quick chat about how you are doing. Well, now picture that but with cats sitting on chairs, sofas, tables, etc.
How could someone not love this kind of cafe?!
These cafés were invented to calm the stresses of the working woman. And this stress affects a good amount of Japanese women. In a 2007 survey, 41.3% admitted that the majority of their stress came from work. So, after a long, hard day at the office, women can stop in, order a decaf mocha latte (or whatever they prefer) and cuddle up to a friendly kitty of their choice to de-stress for the day.
If cuddling isn't the right therapy for that day, customers can also choose to play around with the cats. They can either use the cat toys provided at the cafe or bring their own!
One satisfied customer expresses how she feels about this place, "I love cats, but I can't have one at home because I live in a small apartment. I started coming here because I really missed having fun with cats and touching them."
But these women aren't the only ones that benefit from this, most of the cats would be homeless without the cafes help. In a way the cafe serves as a shelter for them.
There is much debate over whether these cafés are animal rights friendly. Some animal rights activists are up in arms about these types of businesses.They believe all that it's too much stimulation for these cats to be constantly pet and played with all day. Because of their concern, a law has come into effect for all businesses that display animal. This law states that these companies should close by 8pm. There's a little problem with closing this early for the cat café - most of its customers commute to work and won't make it into the cafe until after 8pm.
Customers WANT the cafe to stay open late. "If I close this cafe at 8:00 pm, I'll see red ink," said the owner.
The saleswomen say the cats are treated very well and never seem overstimulated. Most of the cats sleep during the day since all their customers are at work. When it hits a certain time at night, the lights are also dimmed. This way the cats can have a sense of night and being done for the day.
So should it be closed down at 8pm or does it really matter if the cats are able to relax during the day? Honestly, I'm not 100% sure what my answer would be.
I will leave you with the words of a wise woman: "After a long day at work, I just want to stroke cats and relax.” -saleswoman Akiko Harada.
UPDATE: Cat Cafes Have Expanded to Vienna! Click HERE to read more and check out pictures of that location.
PSFK, AFP/File, Toru Yamanaka