A coffee and a Cat Please

A coffee and a Cat Please

Coffee, tea or meow? There are places where the dialogue goes a little something along those lines. If you want to relax with a cuppa and a kitten, there are café’s that cater to your needs.

Imagine a place you can go where everyone knows your scent and will nuzzle you for a cuddle, all while you sit in a comfortable sofa sipping a hot beverage and enjoying a snack. Welcome to a Cat Café.
Cat Cafés are popular in Asia, with their paws reaching into Europe in recent years, and there is even one planned for the USA.
What exactly is a cat café? A cat café provides a home for rescued cats and a happy social environment for customers and felines alike. The cats are free to roam and rest throughout the day while being petted, played with and fed. Some cafés offer adoption services to those who have found their furry soul mate during their visit.
The first cat café, called Cat Flower Garden, opened in Taiwan in 1998 and became an instant hit. The concept of mixing friendly cats with the cosy atmosphere of a coffeehouse inspired a host of imitators after hearing about the experiences of tourists visiting Taipei.
With over 160 cafés today, the concept started in Japan in the mid-2000’s to offer a solution to densely packed apartment dwellers whose landlords didn’t allow pets. People visit to unwind and de-stress, and in Japan the cafés have seen a plethora of first dates happen after couples play with the cats, overcoming any awkwardness.
The average stay is an hour and a half, but some real cat fanatics stay more than six hours and others come four to five times per week. Some regulars even take a sick day from work and stay all day. Their stress levels are so high that they need a full days’ worth of much needed time out, while seeking comfort and healing.
Russia’s first cat café, Cat’s Republic, opened in 2011 and has become a hit with both children and adults. Eight cats currently call Cat’s Republic their home, of which four were formerly “employed” as mousers at St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum. A nice retirement package for them!

In England Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in London has raised over 100,000 Pounds to become a reality via the crowd-funding website Indiegogo. Presently under construction, it will feature 20 cats rescued from the Mayhew Animal Home.

As per British health and pet regulations, the cafe will be split into three separate parts: one area for the cats, another where cats and customers can interact, and finally a cat-free space where food and drink will be served.

While procedures and pricing vary from country to country, common themes are: no dogs are allowed and never insist on any interaction the cat is not willing to engage in, for the “staff” at these cafés are free from obligations.
The prevailing theme is simply to come and relax, take off your shoes, slip on some specially provided cat slippers, and unwind with a snack and beverage. All while relaxing with a friendly cat whose life has improved considerably from the mean streets or crowded shelters.
Is Macau ready to join the ranks and offer a comfortable environment and unique experience for residents, while at the same time relieving the burden of over-crowding at Anima’s shelter? The international success of these cafes could be just what the residents and cats of Macau have been waiting for.

Interested entrepreneurs should contact IPIM for more information about opening a business in Macau.

Macao Trade and Investment
 Promotion Institute – SME Service Center
 Tel: (853) 2872 8212
 E-mail: smec@ipim.gov.mo
 Website: www.ipim.gov.mo/smec