That's because the promise of a well-done cat cafe is a wonderful thing. If done properly, they can promote adoption, give cats a break from shelter cages, and give people who can't adopt the opportunity to get a cat fix. Interactions with animals are often good for humans, and at least in the case of petting dogs (no one has studied the effects of petting cats yet), can reduce blood pressure and increases oxytocin levels (the "love hormone").
But they need to be done right. No cat café has secured a final U.S. location or yet opened. So while things are still in the formative stages, how can these establishments set up for success - and also create spaces that we can feel good about visiting? While I'm assuming that cat cafes will provide plenty of enrichment, scratching options, and vertical territory for their cats, here are a few basic rules to help make them a great new development for cats -- and us:
1.Cats should not be expected to "perform"
Cat cafes should be promoted as low-key, almost library-like environs to relax and be around cats. Cats prefer to call the shots when it comes to interactions with people. Cats need the ability to get away from human interaction if they want to, even if that means disappointing customers or limiting the number of human visitors at any one time.