A proposed cat café in Cardiff could have issues for animal welfare, according to leading animal charity.
Plans for a ‘cat café’ in Cardiff have been criticised by an animal welfare charity who are concerned it could cause stress to the animals.
The Feline Good Cat Café was announced last week – a place where people can enjoy a coffee surrounded by rescue animals, but the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) believes there could be welfare issues.
“Our main concerns include the potential stress caused by the introduction of new cats, the enforced proximity of so many cats and that some cats do not enjoy being handled by strangers and may find it potentially stressful,” says the RSPCA’s spokenperson Gillian Hillan.
“We would recommend people volunteering at their nearest rescue centre, if they can’t have a cat themselves.” You can volunteer at RSPCA centres in Newport and Cardiff.
But the people behind the scheme insist that it fills a real need. “Through living and working here I have realised the people of Wales are cat lovers, but not all of us are lucky enough to be able to have a cat at home, those in rented accommodation, students, or those with erratic working hours” said an anonymous representative of the Feline Good Cat Café.
“Feline Good Cat Café sets out to be Cardiff’s very first cafe, aiming to provide a happy and relaxed home for a group of rescued cats and a peaceful café environment for Welsh cat lovers.
“We’re going to be looking to the people of Cardiff to support them through an Indiegogo (crowd funding) campaign, and now we’re currently working on a few personal bits and pieces in the background to dedicate more time to the project.”
A cat café is a type of theme café whose attraction are cats that can be watched and played with, while people enjoy tea and coffee. Cat cafés already exist in the UK with a number of them in London, Newcastle and Edinburgh; and just like Cardiff, Manchester is also set to follow suite.
The next step for the cafe is to find a location to set up. “Our priorities are to find a place that is easily accessible to everybody and which will provide us with plenty of space for our humans and kitties to enjoy their time together.”
Qing Liao, an international student in Cardiff University and she has recently been to Edinburgh’s cat coffee. “It was an unforgettable experience. I found myself relaxed when playing with those cats… While actually, me myself is not a cat-lover, but I still would like to go and have a try because cats are always cute.”
“I think that’s nice. It’s going to be the paradise for those people who are both cat-lover and coffee-lover. And I believe it will make a big success in Cardiff, as it is the first one,” Qing says.