The Cat Time café, which opened in 2009 has 21 cats residing at the café and specialises in “cat relaxation”. Customers pay at least 850 yen ($9.80) just to step In the door and enjoy the pleasure of sipping their coffee and admiring the assortment of cats that make their way around the café. Customers have one hour of so called “cat time” to enjoy. The café has various beverages available as well as cakes and a limited number of cat treats. Cat toys can be hired in 10 minute blocks from 210 yen.
These types of café have been on the rise in Japan due to the tiny apartments which are extremely commonplace in large cities and pets are often forbidden by landlords.
Osaka currently has 10 such cafes and the new phenomenon has already spread to Tokyo and Seoul.
How does it all work?
Upon arrival at Cat Time Café, guests must remove their shoes, pay their money and then have their hands sprayed with hand cleaner. They are then free to enjoy their coffee and cake and to interact with the cats. There are a few simple rules such as no shouting, do not disturb any sleeping cats, no outside toys are to be brought in and no smoking is allowed.
The typical customer at Cat Time Café usually only stays for an hour and spend their time moving between various cats, occasionally stopping to pat one of the cats or to take a photo with their mobile phone. Most customers come to the café to relax and enjoy the assortment of cats.
Cat Time Café
8-8 4 Chome
This is my submission to the November 2011 J-Festa Dining in Japan