Imagine this: You're a pet lover traveling to Japan, Korea, or Taiwan. In the middle of your trip, you miss your pet so much, you have a desperate need to spend some soothing time with a four-legged companion. Don't fret, just make your way to one of the many Cat Cafés that are popping up in those countries.
Cat Cafés, as the name suggests, are places where you can sip a cup of coffee or tea while enjoying the purrfect company of the establishment's resident felines. These cafés have become amazingly popular in those countries for several reasons. First, many apartments in Asian cities are tight and tiny, and the residents don't have room to share with pets.
However, there's an even more fundamental reason why people love these establishments: The company of warm, furry, and loving companions is emotionally therapeutic. Time spent with dogs and cats helps relive stress and put you in a better frame of mind.
Where are the dog cafés?
When it comes to "pet cafés," cat lovers have an advantage over dog lovers. Cat cafés—which originally took root in Pacific Rim countries—are popping up around the world. However, there are only a handful of canine cafés to be found.
There are several reasons for the lopsided number of cat cafés vs. canine cafés:
- A café full of napping, purring cats is much quieter than a bunch of barking, jumping, excitable dogs. That means there are fewer complaints from the neighbors.
- Cats are happy to spend their days and nights indoors, but dogs need walks and outside time, which makes canine cafés more labor intensive.
- Generally speaking, cats are smaller than dogs, so you can fit more felines into the limited space of a typical café.
Despite the relative ease of maintaining a cat café vs. a canine café, dog-loving entrepreneurs love a challenge. As a result of their pioneering spirit, a handful of dog cafés can be found—but the majority of them are in Korea.
The BAU HOUSE in Seoul, Korea, opened its doors in 2001 and may be the world's first and oldest dog café.
The Sunnyne Pet Café, which opened in 2007, is also in Seoul. In addition to its resident dogs, you can also BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog).
The Dog Café is another Korean establishment. This one can be found in the southern city of Busan.
The Happiness of Hound will reportedly be opening its doors in 2014, which will make it London's very first dog café. And as far as we can see, the first in Europe.
As time goes by, we wouldn't be surprised if canine cafés become more popular. After all, there are no shortage of dogs, dog lovers, and dog-loving business people.