Could cat cafés be coming soon to Vancouver?
A few years ago when I visited Tokyo, one thing I wanted to do on my trip was visit a cat café. To be clear, a cat café is not a restaurant that serves cats! It’s a restaurant that allows customers to play with cats while they enjoy a beverage or light snack.
On my last day in Japan, I checked out Cat Magic, a quaint cat café located in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. There are a few things one should know about visiting a cat café: most charge by the hour, so you’ll pay for your beverage and snack and then pay for the amount of time you play with the cats; customers are required to wash their hands before touching the cats in order to prevent the spread of germs; and customers are not allowed to bother sleeping cats, no matter how cute the kitten napping in the corner may be. All in all, it’s a pretty relaxing experience, and I can see why cat cafés are popular with locals and visitors alike in a city as bustling as Tokyo.
Austria is the latest country to open a cat café. After three years of negotiations with city officials, a cat café named Café Neko (which means “cat café” in Japanese) opened in Vienna last week. There are currently five cats, all rescued from animal shelters, available for customer interaction at Café Neko.
Perhaps because cats are such popular household pets in North America, cat cafés wouldn’t be as profitable in a city like Vancouver—but how awesome would it be to pet some cats while enjoying your daily coffee? Would you want to see a cat café open in the Lower Mainland?
You can follow Michelle da Silva on Twitter at twitter.com/michdas.