Tokyo Allows Cat Cafes to Remain Open Until 10:00PM

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    There have been quite a few stories recently about a new Tokyo city ordinance that bans businesses from displaying animals after 8:00PM. Some pet stores operated well into the night, and many people complained about what they saw as cruelty to animals.

    The ordinance would also apply to cat cafes, where people can drink coffee in a room full of cats:

    Cat cafe manager Shinji Yoshida says he will also be snared by the law and will have to close in the evenings — his busiest time.

    Yoshida’s cat cafe in Ikebukuro, a busy commercial and commuter hub in Tokyo, keeps 13 cats in a carpeted room where they have the freedom to jump around and climb all over the large fake tree.

    “It is a huge blow to us cat cafes, and it’s nothing to do with protecting cats’ health,” said Yoshida, 32.

    “As you see, cats can walk and play freely. I ask customers not to touch them if they are sleeping. At night, we dim the room light,” he said. “And cats can rest during daylight.”

    After some careful consideration, Tokyo has decided to make a special exception for cat cafes, allowing them to remain open until 10:00PM:

    Many cat cafes operate until about 10:00PM anyway, so the compromise should be able to prevent harm to the businesses while allowing the cats plenty night-time naps.

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