Youth Talk

March 13 - 19, 2019

Gulf Weekly Youth Talk

Bahrain has opened a cat café and my heart is happy. My first visit to such a store was in Malaysia a couple years ago and to this day I think it a brilliant idea!

A cat café is a space that allows cat lovers to interact with kitties while they enjoy a cuppa with some places even providing comic books and board games and as you can imagine, it makes for a lovely experience.

I was a bit surprised to find out that the very first one was opened in Taipei, Taiwan in 1998, and not Japan where there now exists over a hundred cat cafés.

Japanese tourists in Taiwan exported the concept to their home country where it now enjoys wide appeal.

Japan is what I associate first with cat cafes, and its popularity there is credited not to the fact that strict pet ownership laws exist for most apartment buildings but because of the need for stress relief that cats are so adept at bringing. 

I refuse to believe one can stay in a bad mood for long in the presence of a cat, unless your reason for being in a bad mood is a cat!

Today cat cafés can be found in every corner of the globe with more than a dozen in the UK, several in South Korea and now, finally, one in Bahrain!

Most cat cafés have rules about not picking up the felines, washing your hands before petting them, as well turning off your camera flash when taking pictures, and any good cat café will respect a cat’s need for alone time.  Moreover, some of them, particularly the ones found in North America, also work as adoption centres where wannabe pet owners can spend time with their potential fur friend.

For me, a cat café is a genius idea that combines the things I like best – cats, cappuccino and a coffee shop – and I cannot wait to head over to Catopia Café in Adliya to meet their four-legged friends.

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