We’ve previously covered the phenomenon of the “cat café” in Japan, where about 100 of the feline friendly establishments have developed. Some of your comments reflected disbelief that such places exist. Well, Japan is another world, another culture, but now a close neighbor – Ontario, Canada – boasts its first cat café. Believe it or not.
Misty Harris reported on the café in the Vancouver Sun. It indeed does have kitty accompaniment to go with your coffee, but in contrast to the venue in Japan, here the cat play is free. It is hoped in fact that customers will become attached and take one of the kitties home, because these are cats that need adoption and there are plenty more where these came from. Adoption fees run from $15 to $75, but cover the shots and neutering. M
ost of the article describes the psychology behind the cat café – nothing is said about the coffee, except that it’s served along with juice, cookies and tarts. Apparently today’s culture has become very hands-offish and people spend far more time “cuddling” with iPhones and computer mice rather than anything that touches back. But as far as the coffee and other items served, these appear to be secondary as they are made offsite to accommodate health requirements and licensing. It sounds as if the café is more a cat adoption office which sells refreshments.
Cat cafes are even lauded as good for a visitor’s health. An expert is referenced who has stated that stroking animals has “been shown to lower cholesterol, calm people down, reduce blood pressure and foster a sense of connectedness.” Seems like a complementary match for coffee drinkers, as coffee at first temporarily raises blood pressure after drinking it and is also good for cholesterol levels and heart health. It also offers a sense of connectedness if consumed among fellow coffee lovers. So there you go. If the cat-centered café has reached Canada, can it be too long before we see them sprouting up all across the US? Brew on, cattily.