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Japan's Cat Cafes

By Edited May 9, 2015 1 5

Japanese Cat Cafes

Times are tough with the recession, and Japan, being one of the hardest hit by the economic situation, has all the right ideas. Imagine a cafe in which you can simply walk in, pay a small fee of $5 to $8 USD for an hour of typical cafe relaxation - but with a ton of cats lounging around with you. Japan can be a lonely, emotionally void place to live for some. Cat cafes are simply a relief to loneliness for some. Being in the company of twenty or so cats can work wonders for de-stressing. Owning pets can significantly increase your lifespan and quality of life, and I'd imagine spending an hour with them at your leisure could have similar effects [source].

Cat Cafe Coffee

Despite tough economic times, the Japanese still like to have fun. Japan's Cat Cafes are providing people quite a unique service - and they are popping up all over the place! At Ja La La Cafe in Tokyo (Akihabara district), you can rent out a selection of 12 professional cats. If cats aren't your fancy, you may have the option to rent out a cute bunny rabbit, or even a beetle. For some reason, these cat cafes are most appealing to single men in their 30's. This could be due to frequent business trips and having no time to buy their own pets to accomodate their busy lifestyles.

There are more than 150 licensed companies in Tokyo to rent/hire out animals of all varieties, dogs being the most popular. Basically, this is an awesome system for the companies that own these dogs - people pay money to walk them, play with them, and exercise them. It's truly a win-win-win situation, the company makes a small profit, the dogs are happy for the attention, and the people renting them out get a little slice of the feeling of owning a pet.

Kaori, a waitress, usually spends her sunday afternoons with a Labrador. She enjoys taking her rental companion for walks in the park, or snuggling in front of the TV in her apartment - "When I look into his eyes, I think he's my dog," She explains, "But when I take him back to the shop, he runs away from me and starts wagging his tail when he sees the next customer. That's when I know he's only a rental dog."

All of these creative new businesses usually have the same ideas in mind: happy customers, happy pets.

Comfy Kitty

Enjoy some delicious tea or coffee in the cafes, read a magazine, or simply relax and pet a cat in your lap. It's all possible here in Japan, so keep your eyes peeled for them if you ever travel to Japan!

Cat Cafe Lobby

Funny cats, funnier fights

Get off my pad

A busy cat cafe with more cats than people:

hotel for cats

Feel free to play with any or all of the cute felines:

gimme that



Jan 31, 2010 10:22am
This has to be one of the most interesting articles I've read in a long time. I have cats of my own, and if I travelled anywhere, I'd certainly choose to patronize places that were pet-friendly like the ones described here.
Oct 20, 2011 5:05pm
Love it! Sometimes I go to the animal shelter and hang out with the kitties when I'm feeling blue. It would be great if these cafes would team up with shelters to help boost adoption rates!
Jun 22, 2012 12:17pm
WOW--one of the most unique and interesting articles I've read for a long time--and fresh information for me! As a person who has worked with a great many animals and owner of 5 cats with a basic interest in psychology, this was a 7 star article for me. I'll be back for more!
Mar 19, 2013 12:49am
old article, but i've been to cat cafes in japan and they were a great experience.
Dec 1, 2014 9:32pm
Oh, I'd really love to visit a cat cafe (or any "animal" cafe). The cats are so cute!
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