Dori Edwards, Global Animal
LONDON — Entrepreneur and cat lover Lauren Pears is currently raising money to open the metropolis’ first cat cafe. The idea for this animal lover’s paradise first came to fruition five years ago in Japan.
In the world’s third most populous city, many apartment renters are not allowed animal companions in their home. Seeing the demand for unrequited feline love, Cats’ Time Cafe owner Yoko Yoshida founded the establishment to provide cat enthusiasts with a place of fuzzy refuge.
For approximately nine dollars an hour, Cats’ Time Cafe visitors can enjoy an hour of coffee or tea alongside 21 healthy and friendly cats. Pedigree breeds from Persian to Siamese, the cat staff sleep and relax wherever they wish while patrons pet them or simply enjoy their company.
One of the cafe’s most devoted patrons, Michiko Ota, pays a little extra for the option of unlimited time with the felines. A metal factory worker, she spends three to four hours a day with her furry friends. She says that playing with and observing the cats”makes (her) feel relaxed and comfortable.” At the cafe, she “can touch and feel warm fur instead of cold metal.”
Another cat fancier says that “just looking at the cats is fun,” and that the “time passes slowly there.”According to Time Magazine, “watching cats stroll around helps (one visitor) forget the worries of his job.”
Pears’ idea is to partner with a local, London animal shelter and rescue 10-15 cats for her British cafe. These cats will undergo socialization at the Mayhew shelter and then be introduced to their new, loving lifestyle. She told the Star “It’s more about a relaxing place to go to than about designer cats. There is a lot of medical research into the benefits of animal therapy.”
She is currently fundraising through Indiegogo and working to bring the business to her hometown. We appreciate how she is fostering the love between animal and human. Some of us cannot afford to have a companion for multiple reasons and this gives those unfortunate persons an opportunity to still experience the connection with their four-legged fellows.
Watch the video of Japan’s trending cafe and see the positive impact the cats have on their visitors.