info21online.com News/contacts on Adventure and Travel visits the remarkable Island of Cats on the Japanese Island of Aoshima/and World Cat Cafe's
Tokyo has many Cat Cafes in the center and busiest areas of the City, Other Cities around the World with Cat Cafes are the US and the UK. Singapore, Canada, France and Hungary, Vienna and Russia and China, Berlin and Madrid and Australia.
However the very first Cat Cafe as it came to be known was in Taiwan. the Cat Flower Garden in Taipei in Taiwan opened in 1998. Cats used to come in from the street and mingle with the patrons of the Cafe and from there the Cat Flower Garden in Taipei became a keen destination for tourists.
In 2005, Japan opened its first Cat Cafe with the name (Neko no mise) Shop of Cats. The popularity was such that 79 Cat Cafes were opened in Japan during 2005 and 2010, in only a 5 year time span.
Japan with it's ban of keeping pets in the apartments and condiminiums especially around the City area, like many other parts of the World, leaves so many people without the comfort of a cat or a dog or bird and the Cat Cafes supply that need.
It has been proven that by interacting with a cat watching and stroking these beautiful creatures that it has the incredible ability of lowering blood pressure and also reduces tension and stress and anxiety.
From Meow in the Lower East Side of New York City back to the largest Cat Cafe in Tokyo called the Calico, cats are in demand.
The Calico for instance is one of the very top class Cat Cafe's. When entering you step into the high speed lift to the 6th floor. On entering the 6th floor Reception area patrons leave their luggage such as purses and bags and jackets in a locker. Patrons remove their shoes and put on supplied slippers, they then wash their hands and apply a hand sanitizer then go in to visit the Cats.
Litter boxes for the cats to use are under the stairs in a row and of course kept scrupiously clean. The main cat room and Cafe area below are on the next floor. The Calico has about 40 cats that work the floor, cats that do not get on are put on different shifts, and there are up to 20 different breeds of cat at one time.
Standard fee for one hour and includes 'all you can drink' beverages would be 1000 yen (AU$12.50) , Calico would of course be more expensive because of the overheads. Part of the money goes to taking care of stray cats.
Cats in the Cafe's are kept spotlessly clean have their own bed and food and receive a lot of strokes and cuddles. Many of these cats have previously been strays and so these Cat Cafes provide companionship both for the Cats and for the Humans.
Some of the Cat Cafe's go one step further and adopt some of the cats out. It is not a first in first served basis though. Patrons must be interviewed and prove they are suitable owners before they are allowed to take the cats home with them.
Australia's first cat cafe was opened in Melbourne in July 2014 and is called 'Cat Cafe'.
Located at 375 Queen Street, Melbourne 3000.
The 'Cat Cafe' is close to the train and tram public transport system and also next door to the Queen Victoria Market.
Opening hours are from Sunday to Wednesday from 10am to 7pm
and Thursday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm.
Phone no. is (03) 9642 8540
Sydney's cat Cafe named 'Catmosphere' will be opening in Sydney in July 2015.
With a space atmosphere, cat shaped cookies and coffee, access to a rotating system of cats to pour affection on, plus instagram the charge for all this is $AU 20.00.
Cats will be provided by Animal Rescue Organizations such as Inner City Strays and
the cats will have their own access to a 'No Humans" zone where the cats can go and rest from Human affection!
'A Cat Cafe is a theme cafe where the attraction is cats that can be watched and played with. Patrons pay a cover fee, generally hourly and thus cat cafes can be seen as a form of supervised indoor pet rental.' ( As per Wikipedia source )
Island of Cats
Each unit comprises of a kitchen and bathing facilities and toilet. The main attraction on the Island are the cats and as such, as yet, does not have any tourist facilities such as restaurants and has only a few shops and public conveniences.
In 2011, Tashirojima escaped the severe brunt of a tsunami by being lucky enough to be located behind a peninsular. Buildings located near both of the Islands ports were damaged and the Island partially flooded but the peninsular prevented the Island from being severely damaged.
Within a year the majority of the after effects of the tsunami had disappeared.
Cats in Tashirojima now number several hundred and were originally brought over as a pest control on the Island's silkworm farms. Cats now outnumber humans by 4 to 1.
In total eleven Islands of Cats have come to light so far.
Aoshima is not the only cat Island. Tashirojima is a small and rural Island off the Coast of Central Ishinomaki City in the Miyagi Prefecture. The ferry takes one hour from the mainland to reach Tashirojima stopping at Odomari Port, a small village in the North. The Ferry then continues on to the larger village in the South named Nitoda Port.
Walking trails and narrow roads through the forest make access possible between the two villages. On Tashirojima Island, also known as Manga Island, on the Southern tip provides a camping resort to rest and relax.
Reservations are best made at least 2 weeks prior and the resort is only open from April until October.
Artwork, displayed by famous Manga artists are displayed at the camping resort, hence the name Manga Island, several cottages at the resort are built in the shape of a cat.
In Southern Japan lies the remote Island of Aoshima, a mile long, (1.6 kilometers) people started migrating here 380 years ago, establishing a fishing village and community. During World War 11 many people escaped to Aoshima from the mainland and over time people brought the cats over to deal with the ongoing problem of mice and the effect on the fisherman's boats and supplies.
In 1945 the population on the Island of Aoshima was around 900 however in 1960 only 600 people remained and gradually with fewer and fewer jobs available, its inhabitants returned to the mainland to look for work, leaving the cats behind.
In 1976 the one and only primary school closed down and 24 years later the cat population had grown and the human population had dwindled. With humans numbering only around 50 the cat population outnumber the humans about 6 to 1. About 20 humans remain now on the Island with about a quarter of these being fisherman and the remaining few are retirees.
The Island of Cats now has a population of more than 120 cats living free on their Island that is free of cars and free of bikes. Many of the abandoned houses provide the cats with shelter and sleeping accommodation, The residents on this Island including the Cat Witch that feeds them consider them lucky. A growing number of tourists are arriving on the 30 minute ferry ride off the Coast of Ehime Prefecture and as long as tourists take their rubbish back over to the Mainland with them no problems are caused and they are happy with the visiting tourists and the cats get affection and a cuddle. Pet dogs are not allowed!
Island of Cats