Cat cafes are most closely associated with Japan, and it's true, Tokyo is currently home to at least 39 of them. However, did you know that the first cat cafe in the world opened its doors in Taiwan in 1998?
Since then, the growth of cat cafes has exploded in popularity in many Asian countries as a result of modern urban dwellers seeking to connect with animals they may not be allowed to keep in their small apartments, and as a way to help deal with the stress and loneliness of city life. (Though, of course, it doesn't hurt that they're really cute and fun, too!)
More than just a meal experience, patrons often frequent these novelty cafes as a form of "supervised indoor pet rental."
Sadly, I haven't yet had the opportunity to visit a cat cafe, but one of my readers, Sandy (Mom to two gorgeous kitties, Monsieur and Milo A.K.A. M&M), recently paid a visit to "Cat's Place," a cat cafe in Hong Kong, where she lives. I asked her if she'd be willing to share her experience with us, and she happily obliged!
The speech bubble on the top says "Eating now, let's play later," and this is where the cats help themselves to some nom nom. However the cat behind is like "I want to play now!"