Bad News for a Japanese Cat Café

By Mike Pomranz |

© Trolley Dodger/Corbis

No one said running a cat café is easy. It’s like operating a restaurant at which part of your staff lives at the restaurant. And not only do you have to properly care for that staff, you also have to make sure their fur doesn’t end up in the espresso machine.

Still, despite the added challenges, Japan has apparently never had an issue with any of the country’s many cat cafés providing proper accommodations for their felines – until recently. Last week, the government had to shut down a cat café in Tokyo for a long list of violations of the Animal Protection and Control Law that left officials concerned about the health of the establishment’s cats. According to Rocket News 24, this incident marks the first time a cat café has ever been shut down for this reason.

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The café, called Neko no Te, has been ordered to stay closed until at least May 20 while it tries to fix the infractions which included a lack of hygiene and nutrition standards. “This week people from the animal welfare center visited us,” the café wrote on its blog. “To improve this cafe, every week someone from the animal welfare center comes, and each time they tell us what we’ve improved on, point out things we’re still not doing well, and give us advice on what to do before they come again the following week.” Neko no Te says they plan to detail all the improvements on its website moving forward.

In the meantime, let’s hope all those hardworking kitties are getting a much deserved break, drinking meowgaritas on a beach somewhere. Or maybe they’re looking for work elsewhere. Is there a cat equivalent of LinkedIn?