Can you imagine not being gently nudged awake by a dog snout or cat tongue reminding you that it’s breakfast time? Living with an animal is mandatory for many of us; but some animal lovers aren’t able to have a pet because of their living situation, long work hours, family members with allergies, and other tragic reasons. In an effort to keep those people from stocking up on anti-depressants, the first cat café opened in 1998 Taipei, Taiwan.

The cafe was a pace for people to visit after work and unwind while being amused by kitty antics. Cat Flower Café was wildly popular and quickly became a tourist attraction. In 2005 a cat cafe opened in Toyko, Japan. A decade later there are dozens of cat cafes in Tokyo because 20-something and 30-something workers live in small apartments that don’t allow pets. Young adults who need a feline fix are thrilled to be able to decompress and commune with cats.

Cat cafes are staggeringly popular and have opened around the globe in Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the UK, New Zealand, Dubai, Canada, and Mexico! Many cats are adopted through these cafes. These relaxing environments are purrfect for people who need quality cat time and fantastic for felines in need of homes.

Which brings us to dog cafes. Cat cafes may have pre-existed dog cafes because cats are small and can glide gracefully around the room. They are also calm and quiet since they sleep so much. In addition, the mere accessibility of a litter box makes cats lower maintenance than dogs. Though indisputably, a non-pee-pee-pad using dog’s need to go outdoors for relief is a minuscule price to pay for living with a canine!)

America’s first dog café, called Dog Café, had their soft opening in Los Angeles, CA in December 2015 after a rigorous fundraising campaign.  Food is served in a separate area from the dogs — so no worries about begging. Local animal shelters bring their friendliest pooches to make the acquaintance of visitors (who pay a cover charge). Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are recommended to ensure the dog-to-human ratio is somewhat even. Animal lovers congregate with other pooch-o-philes, and canines are adopted.

Before The Dog Café LA opened their permanent residence, they hosted pop up (or pup up) events locally. These have become popular in the last several years in different regions. The concept is that cozy venues other than shelters result in more relaxed animals, eliminating hysterical barking and jumping — and the atmosphere is happy and festive rather than stressful. This relatively new way to meet potential new pets has revolutionized the adoption process.

Unfortunately, an attempt to open a dog cafe in Manhattan did not reach it’s Indiegogo goal of $70,000 in 2015. The organizers are searching for other finance options.

There are dog cafes in Korea, England, and Japan.  Japan is famous for its eclectic animal-themed cafés including those featuring owls, birds, reptiles, goats, and rabbits. The dog and cat cafes are the only ones that adopt out their residents.

Dog and cat cafes are wonderful for increasing pet adoptions. Companion animal adoptions benefit from the social, casual, and comfortable café ambience. Hopefully this trend with continue and dog and cat cafes will  open in many more cities and towns.