Cat cafés have become popular throughout Japan, the country where this business model is most widespread. In Japan these cafés are called neko cafés (“neko” means “cat”) and were conceived as a café where you can have a drink surrounded by felines in a very relaxed and comfortable setting.
These cafés have become popular in major Japanese cities, since having pets there is not common due to the small houses and the long work hours spent outside the home. The lifestyle we have in Spain is very different, although it is more and more like that of the Japanese. Cat cafés have a very different meaning and purpose in our country, although cat lovers equally enjoy these unique spaces.
Little by little, various European countries are seeing new cat cafés, where we cats act as hosts, ready and willing to be petted and cuddled by our daily guests. Would you like to know how they actually work?
What are cat cafés?
Like I said, a cat café is a place where you can go have a drink, paying either per admission or per drink depending on the business model, and enjoy your beverage in a setting that is perfectly adapted to cats.
The café can have various areas where cats spend the day and where guests can interact with cats, or simply spend hang out in a relaxing setting surrounded by felines doing what we cats tend to do: sleeping, grooming, purring, being petted and even asking visitors for food and treats.
Basically, it is like going to a café but with a much more special setting, where the peace and quiet that we cats like so much reigns. To that end guests are asked not to bother the cats or force us to do anything that we do not feel like doing at the moment.
Cat Cafés in Japan and Europe
While the neko café concept in Japan has a more lucrative purpose, as they are merely cafés where you can go to have a drink, in the West the first cat cafés were conceived with a different purpose. Outside of Japan, cat cafés do not have beautiful cats of rare breeds, but work more like a shelter that takes charge of taking cats off the street so they can have a better life and be adopted by a visitor who falls in love with them.
This way cats that are available for adoption are more visible to potential adoptive families. If there is love at first sight and one of the cats finds a family, there will be space to take in another abandoned cat.
Benefits for cats and humans
So cat cafés are not just a place to spend the day, having a drink surrounded by cats, playing with them and even reading in peace and quiet. In addition to all that (and more) cat cafés serve as a shelter for stray cats.
If you are looking for a new companion, cat cafés are an excellent way to get to know different cats and see which one fits you best. Furthermore, you will have the assistance of the employees (or the volunteers), who can offer you advice on which cat to adopt and how to care for him.
Find a cat café! You are sure to have a nice time and maybe you will even find your perfect house mate.