Wednesday 10 May 2023

For cats, cat cafés are like an innocent human being banged up in prison and beaten up

Ben the Vet on TikTok has an interesting take on cat cafés. He thinks they are unsuitable for cats. He seems to disagree with the entire concept. I think he'd get rid of them if he had the power to do so. The point he is making is that in cat cafés, a rather large number of cats are confined to a rather small space and this creates pressure on them territorially.

At a fundamental level domestic cats have the character of the African wildcat which is solitary. Domestic cats have learned to be social creatures over the nine thousand years of domestication but their solitariness is ever present and beyond a certain point being confined with many other cats can put too much pressure on some of them.

They become stressed and a fight can break out as seen in the video. This is why I disagree with multi-cat homes. Normally people who want to own many cats and keep then locked in their home are pretty insensitive to their cats' needs.

RELATED: Are cat cafés ethical?

For me they are ego-centric. They want a lot of cats for personal reasons. How the cats feel is secondary. It should be the other way around.

I think Ben has exaggerated the problem a bit with his analogy but it's an interesting one and it got me thinking which is why, I think, he said it.

And he mentions cystitis being caused exclusively by stress. He's suggesting that cats in cat cafes are going to be predisposed to contracting cystitis. And possibly get a bite and cat bites can be serious because of the bacterial infection injected under the skin. They wound will need to be washed out and the puss removed and the cat put on a course of antibiotics.

Squabbling cats at a cat cafe. Screenshot.


  1. Most of the cats in cat cafes would otherwise be in cages in shelters. I do think the cat caregivers need to be very familiar with the cats, and only have a small number in the cafe at a time, those who get along. When I visited one in Honolulu, there were only about 8 cats out for the public. I was so glad to have time with them, after my own cat died.

    When I worked in a shelter, we had group time in a large room with about 10 cats who got along. If there was any problem, those cats were put back in their cages.

    Being in a cage is also stressful for cats, and we had "cat cuddling" time twice a day where each cat received one on one time with a "cat cuddler". I was one of those people who gave love and cuddles to individual cats.

    It helped to move me out of depression, and also gave potential adopters a view of each cat's personality, habits and needs. It was my favorite volunteer job!

    1. Good comment and appreciated. Good points. I think the vet's point of view is a little extreme and I think you'd agree,


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