The first cat cafe opened its doors in Osaka, Japan in 2004. Since then, their popularity has grown and now these feline-friendly establishments are all the rage in Tokyo.
What exactly is a cat cafe? It’s a comfortable coffee shop where customers pay by the hour (usually $8-$10 USD) to sip tea or coffee and visit with the resident felines. Cafes post different rules; some won’t allow customers to disturb sleeping kitties, and some prohibit picking the cats up to hold them. Most permit customers to pet the cats, but only if the kitty is willing to receive the attention. Most cafes do not allow children and there is a strict no-tail-pulling rule.
Cat cafes must obtain a special license and adhere to strict regulations to ensure the cats’ safety, as well as cleanliness of the establishment. Customers must sanitize their hands before touching the cats and remove their shoes upon entering the cafe. Currently around 50 cat cafes are open for business in Tokyo, with more than 70 more in outlying areas. Calico, a very popular cafe in Tokyo, is extremely busy and even suggests customers make reservations on the weekends.
Can’t make it to Japan any time soon? How about a virtual visit to a cat cafe?