Since the first cat café was opened in Taiwan in 1998 and since its development they are popping up everywhere from Europe to Australia and even the USA. They give a hang out for cat lover to have a coffee and a pat (could anything be better). Considering cat cafes are literally taking over the world, with new cafes popping up everywhere so I decided to take a sneak peak at my local cat café and explore what makes these local attractions so elusive (despite sometimes having a feisty feline try to steal a sip of your late).
Firstly, you can expect to pay a cover charge. Generally the cover charge at a cat café is to cover their staff as well as the ongoing vet and healthcare of the cats. Personally, I can deal with a few dollars of cover charge if I know it’s going to a good cause.
Generally all the cats are from adoption centers and if you ask, the cats may even be up for adoption. This is the best attribute to the cat café business. Do you have the change to drink coffee with a cat, you can also get an idea and a feel for a cat you might be interested in adopting in a relaxed and calm atmosphere. Frequently, when you are looking to adopt a cat they might be at a shelter or in a rescue center. Because of financial restrictions, often these shelters are forced to do the best they can with very limited financial resources. But the luxury of meeting a cat in a café enables the cat to be in a calm and less anxious state. Due to them interacting with a range of people they are generally well socialized too. Sadly, in a rescue center the cat may be far more anxious than they would normally behave. Because of this more anxiety prone cats become less likely to be adopted despite them often having a far better personality when not in an anxiety prone environment. Also considering a café is made to be homely, the cat is more likely to behave like they would at home which gives you a far better understanding of the cats personality.
Cat cafes also help to cure homesickness during periods of long travel or combat anxiety in people in high stress workplaces. Obviously studies conclude what we already know, that cats can help people with a range of mental and physical health problems. So its logical that if you cannot commit to having a cat, then why not enjoy the benefits and help a good cause by simply buying a few coffees and paying a minimal cover charge. Enjoying a good pat with a cat has been shown to minimize cortisol levels (cortisol is the stress hormone) that can help people combat stress and minimize inflammation. Additionally, it has been estimated that cat companionship can help children with autism as well as increase dopamine (our happy hormone). Increasing our dopamine has been explained as providing us with a “high” or euphoric feeling which helps increase brain blood flow and improve our memory.
Cat cafes are not only a great place to enjoy a coffee but they also are helping to improve the quality of life for both ourselves as well as the cats that live in them. By simply supporting these businesses you are helping to keep us cat-lovers happy and to increase the number of cats being adopted. Additionally, cat cafes are also a safe place for former cat-foes to develop some special bonds that can convert even the most devoted of dog-people.