Animal-rights groups say Asian cat cafes, where in-house cats lounge with cafe patrons, are exploitative and subject the animals to undue stress. As such, regulations on cat cafes are coming down the pipeline soon, according to an AFP story in Malaysia’s Sun Daily. With support from the animal-rights community, the Japanese environment ministry drew up an ordinance banning cats’ display after 8 p.m.
I admit, this was high on my list for a someday trip to Japan. I make light of my husband’s maybe-allergy to cats, but what if it’s deemed bad enough that we can’t have one? Enter CAT CAFE for all my lounging and petting needs. When I’m on vacation. In Japan. Or, as I learned from this photo, South Korea as well.
Still, I think the more adorable the operation, the more closely it should be scrutinized. I wrote recently about exploitation of the adorable, but that focused on the exotics we see, want, and unfortunately create a market for. Do cat cafes count? What do you think?
Photo by ceruleansky on Flickr. Per the caption, it was taken at a cat cafe in the Seohyeon area of South Korea.