Updated: 07/14/2022 – 21:42
BETA employee explains
Are cat cafes really suitable for pets – or just for humans to enjoy?
Cat cafes are on the rise: More and more people are enjoying cuddling their plush pets between hot drinks and cake. But are the facilities really pet friendly? BETA employee explains.
Cat cafes are wildly hip! The trend in Japan wants people to be able to contact pets who don’t have the opportunity to do so in their apartment – or who don’t want to around the clock. First of all, it’s totally legit – and understandable. After all, cats usually do well in such an establishment, they can move freely and be looked after. On the other hand, they are not asked if they want to cuddle or prefer to be left alone. And is it really animal friendly when things are going on in a cafe with many cats and as many guests as a dove?
PETA employee: This is what animal-friendly cat cafes look like
Monique Moll is an animal welfare expert at the animal rights organization PETA Germany. The animal rights activist spoke to BILD der FRAU about animal welfare in cat cafes.
BILD der WOMAN: What do you think is the biggest problem with most cat cafes?
Young Monica: Cat cafes aren’t always designed in favor of cats. Animals are often misused as visitor magnets, which is often associated with great stress for cats. In many cafes, there are not enough sanctuaries for cats. On the one hand, these enable cats to avoid each other to avoid conflicts, and on the other hand to be able to withdraw from visitors.
There is also often a lack of proper furnishings in the café, which must be adapted to the needs of the cats – this includes, for example, lounging and climbing facilities that are not accessible to visitors. Cat cafes can be a great way for homeless cats to be in a safe place and also get medical care. However, many cat cafes are only concerned with the commercial factor. They buy a lot of kittens that look especially cute, but because of their short heads, for example, they belong to tormented breeds and therefore suffer all their lives. Ideally, the cats in the cafes come from an animal shelter or animal care and thus get a great opportunity.
Read here which tormented animals have to suffer in order to be beautiful and useful to people.
Isn’t there also a problem with hygiene in a place with food and drink if there are several cats in the house at the same time?
Of course, cat cafes should also pay special attention to the hygiene and health of the animals. Cats should be checked regularly by a vet and given the vaccinations, medical treatments and dewormers they need. Litter boxes should not be in the visitors’ area and of course not near the food. Pregnant women in particular should not come into contact with animal feces because of the potential for transmission of toxoplasmosis from cats to humans. Cafés should always remain clean and should also convey this impression. To protect people and animals.
A first look reveals a lot about the quality of the cat cafe
Do cats like it when they are constantly petted by other people? Or is it the kind of thing?
Not all cats like to be petted. So the cafes should definitely provide retreat opportunities for the animals that are not accessible to visitors. Cats that enjoy socializing with people love to be in their environment and also seek physical contact. Some cats may prefer to play, but having the right cat toys in the cafe is a great way to keep those animals happy, too.
Most importantly, the needs of cats must be respected at all times. No cat should be harassed or forced to do anything against its will. Employees should always be aware of this. The cat cafe is based on the mutual respect between human and animal, which must always be preserved.
How can visitors tell if the cats in a particular coffee shop are doing well?
Often a first look reveals a lot: cats must have enough places to retreat that visitors cannot reach, they must appear healthy, not be anxious, have a well-groomed coat and generally make a decent impression. Animals must also be cut up and castrated. Although this is not usually recognizable to visitors at first glance, it should be possible to ask the staff and prove it.
If the above factors are not met the requirements of a good cat cafe, it should not be backed by a visit and money. If you have any doubts about the health of the animals, feel free to report the café to the authorities and ask for a proper veterinary examination.
→ PETA Deutschland eV is the largest animal rights organization in Germany. Its goal is to help each animal lead a better life. To achieve this, PETA is committed to exposing cruelty to animals, educating the public, and promoting an informed and respectful lifestyle.
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