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article imageHave a drink, pet a cat in Japan's 'Cat Cafe'

By Stephanie Medeiros     Jun 29, 2010 in Lifestyle
Osaka - Cats Time Cafe lets patrons play with and feed cats in a cafe setting, as most of the population in higher density cities of Japan live in apartments that don't allow residents to keep cats.
This trend might seem weird to Westerners, but a 'cat cafe' is a welcomed business for people cramped in apartment complexes and need a moment to relax and maybe even play with a fluffy cat. One popular cafe, dubbed Cats Time Cafe, charges its patrons the equivalent of 9.00 dollars to spend one hour with the cats. However, cat fanatics can pay the 16.00 dollar equivalent 'entrance' charge for unlimited time as well as a complimentary drink.
It has been proven that animals, even cats, have a calming effect on the human psyche. After a long day of work and enduring stressful situations, the company of a pet can immediately lower that stress factor and help people feel more at ease. The owner of Cats Time Cafe quoted in the CNN video report that this was a major factor for her to open the cafe as well as her obvious love for the felines.
Cats Time Cafe can be found in Osaka with two different locations. Patrons can lounge around in a home setting and read or mingle with one another, and the cats, in a laid back social atmosphere. The entire cafe is furnished for the cats what with scratching posts with cubbyholes for them to nap in. The cats move around as they please and sleep where they want to--whether that is in someone's lap or not.
Themed coffee shops in Japan are nothing new as other ones can be found with animal themes; dogs, bunnies and birds include a few. However, some shops might completely forgo the animals and just highlight a cultural trend within Japan.
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