Being the first of its kind, a cat café will open in York, and a number of cat lovers are excited to dine and cuddle with cats. Plans regarding the cat café have been submitted to York City Council. The former Baytree Interiors shop at 46 Goodramgate will house the first cat café in the city centre.
Opening three floors
The first cat café in York will be a three-storey café, with the ground and first floors used for customers, whilst the top floor will be the ‘rest room’ for the cats to relax or play on balancing poles. The cat café will replicate the successful cat café business model that exists in cities around the world. With the growing popularity of themed cafés, the new cat café is likely to gain the attention not only of the locals but the tourists as well.
Cat café as an intimate experience
The cat café is only open to twenty-two customers at a time to cuddle with the cats. This is to ensure that the cats’ welfare and the quality of the experience are maintained. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.
To maintain the cats’ safety, the entrance lobby will be added with an extra door as well as a partition. The cat café is expected to serve coffee, tea, and cakes for cat enthusiasts who will be lucky to secure a place.
Cat café as a service to good health and well-being
Other cat cafés in other cities such as London, Leeds, and Newcastle are deemed to be ‘incredibly successful.’
The owners of the York cat café say that the cafe will be beneficial to the health of the customers and improve their overall well-being. According to research, spending fifteen to twenty minutes petting cats can decrease blood pressure as well as improve a person’s mood. Additionally, another study has found that cat parents are 40 per cent less likely to experience a heart attack.
Is it a safe environment for cats?
Whilst it may be quite true amongst the most affectionate cat breeds in the world, some would prefer living a solitary life. It is believed that it is a matter of picking the right cat in the café amongst other felines. Know that cats are adept in hiding signs of being stressed. One of them is ‘fake sleeping’ which, as the term implies, they appear in a relaxed state when in actuality they are being extra alert in the environment.
Generally, the ideal environment for cats would be an outdoor space where they are free to roam and explore their natural behaviours. ‘Cat cafes are not a suitable environment for cats because they are in a confined space with a revolving population of people,’ added Nicky Trevorrow from the Cats Protection. To ensure the welfare and protection of the feline occupants, the City of York Council suggests to only allow twenty-two customers at one time, with rules and regulations to follow.
Andy Sparkes from the International Cat Care said that setting the ideal indoor environment may be hard to set, but it is not impossible. ‘While cats are solitary animals, domestic cats have evolved and many are able to live in groups quite happily,’ he added. On the other hand, the RSPCA encourages cat lovers to volunteer at a local shelter than making a brief visit to a cat café.
Cat cafés around the world
The first cat café started in Taiwan in 1998, but the concept of cat cafés has long been popular in Japan. Nowadays, we may see a number of it across Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America. It is a cat lover’s haven to enjoy a good cup of coffee and cake, and be surrounded by cats.
The following are some of the must-visit cafés populated by cats. It is important to note that they have stern rules for customers to ensure the general health and welfare of the feline occupants.
- Café Dogs & Cats – Taipei, Taiwan The world’s first-ever cat café is none other than the Café Dogs & Cats in Taipei. And yes, this café is called Dogs & Cats because they also have one golden retriever that gets along with everybody. Felines featured are all rescued pet animals.
- Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium Opened on the 1st of March 2014, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is a successful cat café in London, England. They require a booking before a visit to secure a good spot. Read here to view their house rules.
- Temari no Ouchi – Tokyo, Japan Temari no Ouchi is one of the many cat cafés in Tokyo. In fact, other cafés feature distinct characteristics of felines such as black cats, fat cats, and more. Click here to know what to expect.
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