Cats plus coffee – it’s a good way to do business! What is the phenomenon of cat cafes?

Małgorzata Oberlan

The last storm around the Neko cafe in Torun did not cause any damage here. Just open a branch in the old city! The introduction of the age limit has caused controversy: now only children over the age of 10 enter the cat cafe. The reason for this was that some children tortured animals and their parents were irresponsible.

Limit angered those who kissed the door handle, and politely – as they convinced – came with the children. From Gdansk to Zielona Gora, cat cafes have such restrictions. Well, often harder.

The idea for “funny coffee” came to Europe from Taiwan. The first cat restaurant in Poland was in Krakow. Today – from Pomerania to the south of the country – there are many such enterprises. After the pandemic, new ones appear.

One of the secrets of the success of this business is the dependence on the cats of regular customers (not children in the first place). Large city singles who do not have pets in their homes are eager to return to drink coffee with the murmur of their beloved “themselves”. The fate of individual animals is often presented on social media – including diseases and deaths …

The network has potential! The second cat cafe in the city center

The first cat cafe opened in 2019 in the old town of Toru. To this day, this small, atmospheric place operates on Prosta Street. It is also home to Simba (Bengal cat), Hosse (eastern stenography), Danusi (men cone) and Lilly (British cat). Due to the change in the charter of the cafe, the lives of these four people have changed for the better since April 4. The youngest children are no longer allowed to enter the restaurant. This can include guests over the age of 10. The change has caused a real storm on the internet, in real life.

Where does the age limit for guests come from? -Some children just tormented our cats (I’m not afraid to use that word). They made noise, ran after them, pulled their tails, stabbed them with toys, “hunted” them with sticks we kept for animals in the cafe, squeezed them, lifted them, woke them up – Neko Alexandra from the cafe listed us. He noted that similar restrictions have been imposed on cat rooms in the capital and other cities.

Could parents not control their children? Unfortunately, some did not succeed. Others, on the contrary, did not try. They expected the cafe staff to intervene effectively. -Some parents looked at the cat cafe as a playground or zoo. They believed that having animals was a great solution: children would look after them and adults would take care of them drinking coffee and talking, said a restaurant employee.

The storm around the new rules has already swept Toruń and the Internet. This did not harm the Neko cafe at all. – Soon we will open a second place in the old city, on Chełmíska Street – says Ms. Karina, who runs a gastronomic and cat business.

Let’s add that the second place is wider. Cats waiting for guests there should feel comfortable. What about the guests? After the introduction of the age limit, those who think about peace no longer hide their satisfaction. – Many people used to leave us and say: “If you do not have children, we will return.” These people were concerned not only about the chaos, but also about the atmosphere of acceptance of the behavior they did not accept – Neko Cafe employees do not hide.

It all started in Taiwan more than twenty years ago …

Where did the idea of ​​cat cafes come from? The whole story began in 1998 in Taiwan. The so-called “cat flower garden” was the first place in the world where you could drink coffee with cats. The cafe soon became a local attraction visited by tourists from all over the world.

In fact, it wasn’t long before cat cafes began to appear on other continents – the United States, Canada and Australia. The idea spread in Europe. Cafes in Austria, France, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Hungary are filled with smaller and larger murmurs.

In 2015, the first such place was opened in the center of Krakow, Poland. The cafe in Krakow quickly made a fuss, and new ones opened in Warsaw, Wroclaw, Poznan, Gdansk, Lublin, Olsztyn, Bydgoszcz, Zielona Góra, or the aforementioned Torun.

2020-2022 was a difficult year for the entire catering industry. The pandemic wiped out many cafes in the city. Unlike pizzerias or restaurants, they could not save much by selling food or “delivery.” After all, most cat cafes have survived this difficult period and are now looking forward to the summer season. It will be the first real thing – everyone believes it – will pay for the losses.

This is a good business idea, but you need to know the rules. I really love cats!

Instrumental treatment of animals as a mascot that attracts customers in this work does not really work. “It simply came to our notice then. Thus, for example, the application of age restrictions for visitors, as well as other rules for the welfare of cats are really well received by cat lovers. It’s a pleasure to be here, says Honorota, who recently lived in Warsaw and has been an animal rights activist for years.

Entrepreneurs who run cat cafes know that this is not a standard job. First of all, it is important that the buildings are located on a quiet street (too much noise scares animals). Ideally, the cafe should have a room for cats only: beds, litter boxes, water and food containers, scratches and other accessories. Thus, only animals have access to open space. Experts also emphasize that the entrance to the cafe should be separated from the street by a vestibule to prevent the cat from leaving the building.

The second is to meet the requirements of the Department of Health and Safety and take into account more frequent inspections than other cafes. In cases where the potential risk of transmission of diseases and parasites is much higher than in ordinary buildings, extremely serious and frequent inspections can be expected.

Another problem is the promotion of buildings and the loyalty of regular customers. This is where social media has become irreplaceable. Not only coffee or cakes are advertised on the cafe’s Facebook profiles or Instagram accounts, but also whole stories from the lives of cats are presented in episodes. It so happened that until the end – the illness and death of a female cat from a certain cat cafe in the west of the country. Dozens of Internet users watched his fight against the disease. We have no doubt that we sincerely wish the animal well. “By the way,” but with strong emotions, he also connects more with the buildings.

Who is cat and coffee for? For singles, but also for lovers. For families, but also for singles with books

Many studies show that just watching movies about cats calms you down. And to be in his company!

Cat cafes therefore promote themselves as “slow” places – places where time slows down. They can be a good idea for a date, but they are also a family getaway on the weekends. They can attract big city singles who are busy on a daily basis, but want to stop and visit their “cat” in the cafe. Or they can simply be used to relax friends; especially when board games, books, weeklies are still available in the restaurant – this is a common solution.

In this context, the recent age restrictions applied to the small Neko Cafe in Torun are probably no longer surprising. Just like choosing a larger location for the second branch of this cat cafe in Copernicus. – Indeed, there are so many other places where you can go with small children that the age limit in our country should be understood, – Ms. Alexandra concludes from the restaurant in Torun.

WORTH KNOWING. The presence of a cat, serotonin and our health. Now his murmur works wonders!

* A study by Bloomington, Indiana University, shows how cats affect human health and well-being. They showed that even watching cat videos on the Internet arouses positive emotions in such people and increases their energy levels. Cats trigger serotonin, the hormone of happiness, in our bodies. These animals can help fight depression and separation anxiety. Their company makes us feel calm, comfortable and happy.

* The healing of a cat’s murmur, according to scientists, low frequency of this sound (25-150 Hz).Vibration in this range strengthens muscles, bones and joints, relieves pain, reduces swelling; eliminate shortness of breath, accelerate wound healing. But not only! They can also have a beneficial effect on our psyche.

* Low frequency, medium vibration also lowers stress and blood pressure, causing a positive glow in the prevention of your cat’s cardiovascular disease. This is confirmed by a study published in 2009 in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology. Scientists have noted this Cat owners are less likely to die from heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. (then: Fitmin.pl).

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