More and more major cities around the world are opening so-called cat cafés, including in Germany. The idea originally comes from Japan, where there have been cafes where cats have been kept for years. The point is that guests can spend time with the plush paws and play with the animals. However, it begs the question of what life is like for cats in captivity and how they really feel about constant human contact.
Are cat cafes a pleasure for humans and cats – or do they encourage animal suffering?
For people who like cats, visiting a cafe in the purring company is probably a nice idea. Especially animal lovers who do not live with an animal or miss their cats when they are out, visiting a cat cafe offers an opportunity to continue to have contact with animals.
When dealing with this issue, however, one should consider what life is like for cats in such cafes.
In some cases, cat cafes could certainly be compared to zoos or petting zoos – especially if they house cats that were bred and purchased from breeders. In some countries, cats are considered particularly “cute” if they exhibit certain characteristics associated with the breed – making them extremely profitable for cat cafes. In many cases, however, it is the so-called torture breeding with health problems. Torturously bred cats include, for example, the Persian cat, which suffers from respiratory problems due to its short snout, or the Scottish Fold, which stands out due to its folded ears and sometimes suffers from painful joints throughout its body. Zoe.
Some cafes keep a particularly large number of cats, so that many visitors have the opportunity to meet cats. If the sensitive animals then however Opportunities for retreat are absentthis might be great for you stress they abuse and lead to quarrels among themselves. Sometimes cats lead a miserable life and have no way out of the unwanted situation.
In addition, it can be problematic if the interior of the cafe and the toys provided for the animals are not adapted to the needs of cats, but rather to the interests of humans. This can lead to stress in the animals, and in the worst case even injuries. Especially when traveling abroad, cat lovers cannot always count on the fact that animal welfare is protected by effective animal welfare laws and that veterinary authorities ensure compliance.
in the best case However, cat cafes offer one contribution to animal welfaretaking in homeless cats and keeping them in species-appropriate conditions. This gives the animals regular access to food and, if necessary, medical care. In addition, free-roaming cats can be sterilized in this way, which can prevent uncontrolled breeding of animals and thus reduce the suffering of homeless cats.
Visitors to cat cafes should, if possible, receive important information on this matter directly at the cafe.
Pet Friendly Cat Cafe: What to look out for?
- retreat options: Cats should voluntarily seek contact with guests and be able to retire to rooms that guests do not have access to at all times.
- Healthy and well cared for cats: Cats must healthy, I’m not afraidspayed and chipped.
- Equipment suitable for cats: Furniture, decoration and plants must be adapted to the needs of the animals. And in the common rooms of the cafe, animals need places to climb and lie that only they can reach, so that they can avoid housemates and visitors.
- Security measures: Safety locks and similar devices should be used to ensure that no animal can escape at an inadvertent moment.
- No breeding torture or purchased cats: Find out in advance where the cats in the cafe come from – at best, the animals are rescued or adopted from animal shelters. In such cases, cat cafes can provide them with a loving home, closeness to people and nurturing interactions.
- Vegan dishes and drinks: If the owners of cat cafes have the welfare of all animals in mind, they make sure that their culinary offering is vegan. This is how they take care of the production of their food and drinks no animals suffer – for example for milk, eggs and meat.
It is always advisable to find out more about the cat cafe in question before visiting. Also, take a close look at the premises and if in doubt, ask if you get the impression that animal welfare is not the priority there.
Would you like to adopt a cat at home? What you need to know about adoption
If you are serious about adopting an animal companion and taking responsibility for the animal for life, local animal shelters and animal welfare organizations should be your first port of call. Countless animals are waiting there for a second chance at life and a new home.