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In Pictures: Killing time in Japan cat cafés
Lonely hearts pay for feline friendship during hour-long sessions in cat-filled coffee shops.
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2012 11:50

Osaka, Japan - Japanese love animals, but pets are often forbidden by landlords of the tiny flats where most people dwell.

The solution: cafés where pet-less patrons pay $11 an hour to hang out in a room full of felines.Cat cafés are proliferating in Japan, serving up friendship for the lonely and curious - albeit briefly.  

More than a dozen cats of all shapes, sizes, and colours populate the restaurants, as staff serve piping hot coffee and creamy cakes. Persians, Tabbies, and Siamese laze around, clean themselves, and eat cat food out of colourful bowls as patrons meet and greet them.

In Osaka, about 520 kilometres west of the capital Tokyo, the Cat Time café is one of 10 such establishments in the country’s third-most populous city.

Cat Time has 21 “cat staff”, working the room alongside two humans. Waitress Tamao Ishikawa trained as a veterinarian, and knows all too well each cat’s personal traits, which she shares with visitors. She works around dozing animals perched on display cases, countertops, and curled up next to coffee makers.

No common tabbies are employed here. Cat Time is staffed by an assortment of pedigree breeds including Exotic Shorthairs, Maine Coons, and American Curls. But the cat’s meow here is one-eyed BJ - short for Blackjack - a placid Ragdoll who attracts the most customer attention.

While the atmosphere is laid back, there are rules: no shoes, no shouting and no smoking. Guests must let sleeping cats lie, and any form of cat cruelty is strictly prohibited.

Cat cafés have also spread to Taiwan, South Korea and China.  

Japan is at the forefront of the pet rental industry. In Tokyo, there are more than 100 pet rental businesses. Customers can lease anything from a turtle to a parrot for an hour to a week. Dogs, however, are the most popular part-time pet.


Dave Tacon/Al Jazeera
'Cat Time' (Neko No Jikan) is  a cat cafe  that opened in 2004 as Osaka's first cat cafe where customers pay by the hour to enjoy the company of cats, Osaka, Kansai region, Japan.


Dave Tacon/Al Jazeera
Costumers have to pay at least  $11 an hour, to hang out in a room full of felines.


Dave Tacon/Al Jazeera
 Customers have one hour of "cat time" . Beverages and cakes are available.


Dave Tacon/Al Jazeera
 There are 21 cats residing at this cafe. Their favourite activity is to be relaxed. 


Dave Tacon/Al Jazeera
  The popularity of cat cafes in Japan can be attributed to apartment rules, where pets are often forbidden. 


Dave Tacon/Al Jazeera
 Cat time is one of many pet rental options. The city has at least 9 other establishments.


Dave Tacon/Al Jazeera
  There are  simple rules : not shouting, sleeping cats should not be disturbed, no smoking, and any misbehavior such as pulling tails is not tolerated.


Dave Tacon/Al Jazeera
Guests must remove their shoes before they can spend some quality time with the cats


Dave Tacon/Al Jazeera
Some cats pay attention to the newly arrived customers, while others keep sleeping. 


Dave Tacon/Al Jazeera
A group of young people playing and interacting with the cats. 


Dave Tacon/Al Jazeera
Miyako, 46, an office worker with "Adana Norio", one of the cat staff at Cat Time.


Dave Tacon/Al Jazeera
Misaki and Wakaba (both 16), two high school students, attempt to bond with Lizi - an anitsocial Persian at Cat Time, cat cafe .



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captions:
\(***)Cat Time\(***) (Neko No Jikan) is  a cat cafe  that opened in 2004 as Osaka\(***)s first cat cafe where customers pay by the hour to enjoy the company of cats, Osaka, Kansai region, Japan. ;*;Costumers have to pay at least  $11 an hour, to hang out in a room full of felines. ;*; Customers have one hour of "cat time" . Beverages and cakes are available.;*; There are 21 cats residing at this cafe. Their favourite activity is to be relaxed. ;*;  The popularity of cat cafes in Japan can be attributed to apartment rules, where pets are often forbidden.  ;*; Cat time is one of many pet rental options. The city has at least 9 other establishments. ;*;  There are  simple rules : not shouting, sleeping cats should not be disturbed, no smoking, and any misbehavior such as pulling tails is not tolerated. ;*;Guests must remove their shoes before they can spend some quality time with the cats;*;Some cats pay attention to the newly arrived customers, while others keep sleeping. ;*;A group of young people playing and interacting with the cats. ;*;Miyako, 46, an office worker with "Adana Norio", one of the cat staff at Cat Time. ;*;Misaki and Wakaba (both 16), two high school students, attempt to bond with Lizi - an anitsocial Persian at Cat Time, cat cafe . Daylife ID:
1350202147091
Photographer:
Dave Tacon;*;Dave Tacon;*;Dave Tacon;*;Dave Tacon;*;Dave Tacon;*;Dave Tacon;*;Dave Tacon;*;Dave Tacon;*;Dave Tacon;*;Dave Tacon;*;Dave Tacon;*;Dave Tacon
Image Source:
Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Cat Cafe http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-en-usAl Jazeerafeedback@daylife.com10Sun, 14 Oct 2012 08:09:07 GMTSun, 14 Oct 2012 09:42:28 GMT http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0avN8bq3FbdYM

'Cat Time' (Neko No Jikan) is  a cat cafe  that opened in 2004 as Osaka's first cat cafe where customers pay by the hour to enjoy the company of cats, Osaka, Kansai region, Japan.

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:54:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0avN8bq3FbdYMDave TaconAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

'Cat Time' (Neko No Jikan) is  a cat cafe  that opened in 2004 as Osaka's first cat cafe where customers pay by the hour to enjoy the company of cats, Osaka, Kansai region, Japan.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0f9884v9endEQ

Costumers have to pay at least  $11 an hour, to hang out in a room full of felines.

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:54:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0f9884v9endEQDave TaconAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Costumers have to pay at least  $11 an hour, to hang out in a room full of felines.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0gTl0kwfBOgYR

 Customers have one hour of "cat time" . Beverages and cakes are available.


Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:53:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0gTl0kwfBOgYRDave TaconAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

 Customers have one hour of "cat time" . Beverages and cakes are available.


http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0bCl6S61tpc30

 There are 21 cats residing at this cafe. They specialise in "cat relaxation". 

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0bCl6S61tpc30Dave TaconAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

 There are 21 cats residing at this cafe. They specialise in "cat relaxation". 

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0eodeoc1Uda6j

  The popularity of cat cafes in Japan can be attributed to the apartment rules, in which many times pets are forbidden. 

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0eodeoc1Uda6jDave TaconAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

  The popularity of cat cafes in Japan can be attributed to the apartment rules, in which many times pets are forbidden. 

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0f6refgaNtby7

 Cat time is one of many pet rental options. The city has at least 9 other establishments.

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:54:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0f6refgaNtby7Dave TaconAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

 Cat time is one of many pet rental options. The city has at least 9 other establishments.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=06x29ep2NN7zb

  There are  simple rules : not shouting, sleeping cats should not be disturbed, no smoking, and any misbehavior such as pulling tails is not tolerated.

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=06x29ep2NN7zbDave TaconAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

  There are  simple rules : not shouting, sleeping cats should not be disturbed, no smoking, and any misbehavior such as pulling tails is not tolerated.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0dAHh1e3zv3KK

Guests must remove their shoes - a no common practice in a cafe, but a very common when it comes to home visits.-

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:54:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0dAHh1e3zv3KKDave TaconAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Guests must remove their shoes - a no common practice in a cafe, but a very common when it comes to home visits.-

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=010WeWgdX14zv

 Some cats stop and pays attention to the newly arrived customers, while others keep sleeping or simply ignoring their guests. 

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:54:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=010WeWgdX14zvDave TaconAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

 Some cats stop and pays attention to the newly arrived customers, while others keep sleeping or simply ignoring their guests. 

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0bfhb4DaOa1eI

 Group of young people playing and interacting with the cats. 

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:54:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=0bfhb4DaOa1eIDave TaconAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

 Group of young people playing and interacting with the cats. 

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=08Qi2IPbEldyc

Miyako, 46, an office worker with "Adana Norio", one of the cat staff at Cat Time.

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:54:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=08Qi2IPbEldycDave TaconAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Miyako, 46, an office worker with "Adana Norio", one of the cat staff at Cat Time.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=03nFeLK1q78RT

Misaki and Wakaba (both 16), two high school students attempt to bond with Lizi an anitsocial Persian at  Cat Time, cat cafe .

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:54:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Cat-Cafe-?image_id=03nFeLK1q78RTDave TaconAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Misaki and Wakaba (both 16), two high school students attempt to bond with Lizi an anitsocial Persian at  Cat Time, cat cafe .



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