Sharing the Domestic Cat

Sharing the Domestic Cat

by Michael

In Japan they have cat café’s. They are called “neko”. They are coffee shops, where you can sit and chat, chill out and meet a cat!

The last bit is the different bit. They have Starbucks in Japan too. A lot of people like Starbucks but the idea of sitting in nice surroundings with all the usual trappings of a high quality café plus the domestic cat makes the neko a keen competitor to Starbucks.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The attraction of the cat café is that they have the calming input of the domestic cat. They provide a homely feel to the place. The café is more organic and less scientific and commercial. People need that kind of feeling which is why the domestic cat is very popular.

The cat café is a combination of coffee + cat..and chat.

You only see them in Japan it seems.

Some commentors have likened the cat café as a way for people who can’t keep a cat for whatever reason to still have contact with a cat, to meet a cat and satisfy the need to keep a cat.

It is a form of “cat time-share”. Some cats do time share. They wander from house to house. In respect of the cat café it is the person who is doing the time sharing.

What the presence of the cat café means is that there are less cats in relation to people because one cat will satisfy the needs of several people.

As these cats are well cared for it could be said that a similar scheme would help reduce the numbers of unwanted cats in the USA.

People who thought they wanted to “own” a cat could rent a cat instead by visiting a cat café. OK it is not strictly speaking renting but it is a form of renting or cat sharing for the time the person is in the café. It simply must translate to less abandonments. And less abandonments means less killing at shelters, which is something dear to my heart.

Even disregarding the lowering of cat relinquishments it would allow people who have never kept a cat to gain some understanding of the domestic cat and of their thoughts about the domestic cat – a kind of trial run. This too would help reduce can relinquishment as it would reduce the percentage of early relinquishments due to false expectations.

The impact of the cat café would be small in mighty USA but every little bit helps.

Can someone start up cat cafés in the USA please?

One last point: a cat café could employ the services of unwanted cats from shelters; another way to reduce the killing of cats at shelters.


Photo: Neka Jalala cat café – photo: Nuno Cardosa (Flickr)

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Sharing the Domestic Cat

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Feb 08, 2012
Not yet NEW
by: Rose

Good idea Micheal but I have to agree with the others that it wouldn’t be good news for cats in the USA until the day declawing is no longer an option there.

Feb 08, 2012
A nice idea but …………. NEW
by: Ruth

Barbara you beat me to it !
As soon as I read the idea about having Cat Cafes in the USA, my first thought was how long would it be before the cats had to be declawed incase someone treated one roughly and got a teeny weeny scratch.
Imagine the outcry ‘I’ll sue !!!’ especially if a child was scratched.
The ony way it might be a good idea to have Cat Cafes in the USA would be if declawed cats were rescued from Shelters, but then why are they in those Shelters ? Many of them for behavioural problems such as litter box avoidance or biting, but of course the person relinquishing them doesn’t often give the real reason. The old excuse ‘My child is suddenly allergic’ is the favourite. So a declawed cat rescued by a Cat Cafe most likely wouldn’t be suitable for a place where people are and take their children, if those problems arose.
Declawing is banned in Japan so there is no question about it there, the people there know cats have claws and I think that makes them respect them rather than abuse them.
Sorry Michael, a very nice idea but I don’t think it would work until the day declawing is banned in the USA.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 08, 2012
Great idea..untl NEW
by: Barbara

I think cat cafes are a great idea, I love it when we stumble across a pub or quaint place where animals aren’t seen as dirty and kept well away from eating areas, we were at a farm a couple of years ago where we sat at a picnic bench surrounded by free range hens sharing our lunch and it was wonderful. The idea of cat cafe’s in the USA is good and would be ideal to help home some of the millions of unwanted cats…BUT how long before some bright spark decided that the cafe cat should be declawed because of the dreaded “‘elf and safety”. I’m sorry but in my mind, perhaps unfairly, is the idea that no cat, even (or especially) one who works in a cafe, in the USA is safe from abuse until declawing is banned.

Barbara avatar

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