A brief history of cat cafés
Cat cafés have been around for almost 25 years now, and have brought feline lovers endless hours of joy. Open all over the world, there’s no better place to grab a tea or coffee and catch up with your friends than in a cat café.
This is the beginning of Food Tech Digest’s delve into the world of experience dining, and with the expansion of the kitty kingdom showing no signs of slowing down, we figured this is the best place to start. So without further ado, here’s a brief history of cat cafés and why you should be so interested in them.
The origins of the cat café
The first cat café opened its doors back in 1998 in Taiwan. Cat Flower Garden offered guests the chance to dine and drink with all kinds of cats playing and sleeping around them. Little did they know that this would revolutionise a great area of experience dining for cat lovers all over the world.
Soon enough, the cat café venture expanded out into Japan, where as of 2014 the Smithsonian recorded over 150 cat cafés opening up in the past 10 years.
Although the cafés are hugely popular in Japan and the rest of Asia, it took no time at all for establishments to open up in the rest of the world. Now, you can all over Europe, including the UK, as well as in North America.
What can you expect from cat cafés?
Typically, the average day out at a cat café can be quite expensive.
You’re paying for the experience foremost, so it’s very common that you’ll be paying about £7 an hour (depending on location) just to be in the café. Of course, you’ll be surrounded by cats, so it shouldn’t be all too surprising that you need to pay to be in the establishment. Any drinks or food items purchased are then added to your tab but tend to cost less than items from other cafés such as Starbucks or Costa.
Inside the café, you’ll find all sorts of shelves, nooks and crannies for cats to jump out of. Cat trees litter the place where cats can play or sleep. You can even find boxes full of toys around the café where guests can play and interact with the cats.
Depending on where you’re visiting, it could be worth noting that some establishments (especially in specific American states) separate the cats from the café. Instead, you can enjoy a nice cuppa before heading into a separate area full of cats.
Of course, no matter where you are, you can expect rules. The universal rules tend to be that you shouldn’t bother the cats while they’re asleep, you shouldn’t handle the cats roughly or with force, and no photographs should be taken with the flash turned on. For the safety of the cats, you should always check with your café for any other house rules they might have.
Spending time in a cat café can be therapeutic. It’s no wonder that having a relaxing drink around some of the loveliest creatures in the world is so popular. If you’re looking to try something a bit different, get yourself down to a cat café near you.
Enjoy this article? Why not check out our top 10 list of unique dining experiences. From themed restaurants to romantic experiences, there’s bound to be something that will catch your eye.
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