Japanese cafes where you pay to pet cats

“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”  — Terry Pratchett

In Japan, pets are the new kids. As the nation rapidly edge toward zero population growth (1950 fertility rate = 3.65; 2009 = 1.21), cat and dog obsession is reaching strange heights – even for the Japanese. The latest example is the increasing number of cat cafes. According to the GlobalPost, one magazine listed 39 such establishments, up from 1 just two years ago.

At one of these, Calico, “customers pay to sip tea and stroke one of the 20-odd resident cats, representing 17 different breeds.” An hour of doing a cat’s bidding costs about $9.

Customers at Calico are given a set of rules when they enter:

  • wear your cat-access pass around your neck at all times
  • no one under 5th grade may enter
  • cats too young to be held have scarves around their necks
  • do not hold or stroke a cat if it resists you
  • never wake a napping cat
  • bringing cat nip or cat food to the cafe is strictly forbidden.

Oddly, nothing about trying to bathe them.

3 thoughts on “Japanese cafes where you pay to pet cats

  1. Well, I guess if you live in a place where you can’t have pets…OK, it sounds nuts no matter how you look at it.

    We just adopted a dog from a wonderful privately run animal shelter. They entice volunteers to come and walk and/or play with the animals by pointing out that if they aren’t allowed pets where they are volunteering can be satisfying. Maybe they should start charging for the privilege?

  2. >>>can we just stop pretending that we’re in charge? Let’s start there.>>

    In charge of what?
    The cats help earn money for the cafe’s that gave them a home..
    No money=no afford to take in homeless cats.
    Seems like a win/win to me.

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