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Café des Chats

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Illinois
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Café des Chats

A while back, someone posted a question on these boards about where a cat lover could go in Paris to spend some time with some kitties. There were many responses (including mine) which suggested that there are quite a few posters here who like cats.

I've been reading about this Cafe des Chats, which is scheduled to open in the Marais sometime this month. Apparently it's both a café and a salon du thé? http://www.lecafedeschats.fr/lecaf/

San Diego...
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11. Re: Café des Chats

Unfortunately, I don't read French. I agree that I don't know what to make of it yet either.

I can see myself sitting in a room with cats having a glass or wine or a beverage and just relaxing. The food part I'm not too sure about that. I can even see myself with a book or magazine and just having a kitty curl up next to me.

In any case, I'm still not sure. Mainly because of the cats themselves. I would just want to make sure they are well taken care of. I don't know about the cost of Vet care there but here it's very expensive. If the venture doesn't work or it's too expensive, etc. I'd worry about what would happen to the cats.

Val-de-Marne, France
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12. Re: Café des Chats

Based on what I have read, the young lady who opened the café really focuses on animal welfare (only experience will tell if it's sincere or communication strategy) and the place seems really nice and cozy and the team said the cats looked relaxed and happy. I assume she must be sincere otherwise shelters would not have agreed to the adoptions. She gave the cats time to adjust to the place first so they could make the territory their own, then guests have been progressively allowed. She has set strict rules about the place: not allowed to grab cats, you can only hold them on your lap if they come to your lap first, etc. Basic common sense for animal lovers but there are still too many people out there who think animals are toys. I wish her well and hope she will have no problem implementing her rules.

Paris, France
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13. Re: Café des Chats

It is an interesting concept, from a "feel-good" standpoint for both humans and animals. But there are a lot of things to consider, here - it's not a simple proposition to begin with, and this is France, which really complicates matters.

Technically, you are not allowed to hold or approach the cat, but would be allowed to pet it, if it jumped in your lap and "asked you to". There is concern that customers would attempt to feed the cats, which could be harmful. From an insurance standpoint, the cafe would be liable if someone were to be scratched - also, if someone abused a cat, charges would have to be filed...

Unfortunately, it's not a viable business proposition, since the idea behind it is to sit and linger - which most people would do, but without spending enough money for the place to make ends meet. This is the most disturbing thing to consider, since someone would then have to re-house - or euthanize - the 10 or 12 cats...

It's a terrible thing to think about.

New York City, New...
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14. Re: Café des Chats

I agree - there are many potential issues that can arise with this concept. I would not want to have a meal in a room full of cats - maybe a coffee or as someone else said, a glass of wine/drink. Just keeping up with removing fur/dander will be a huge chore - to say nothing of all the other things raised by others.

At first, I though - great: kitties get a reprieve and get to live but then, the other possible problems come to mind.

Some kids that haven't yet been around pets could end up hurting them without intending to do so.

Yeah - this idea is loaded with land mines. Hopefully, if she gets it running, she is able to maintain a good business because as someone said, it is expensive - not only for vet bills but food and litter.

Val-de-Marne, France
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15. Re: Café des Chats

I just received a message from one of the animal shelters / animal welfare groups that I support and they have visited the place and approve of it 100%.

San Diego...
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16. Re: Café des Chats

MrsFM - That's good to know! I hope all works well here. I'm glad that the cafe is being monitored in some way. I know it's just me but I frequently feel that cats are second class citizens to dogs and I always like to see them get their fair due. I love dogs, too. But, I have a special warm spot for cats.

I hope those in the know and follow this cafe will come back periodically and let us know how it's going.

Paris, France
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17. Re: Café des Chats

Good to know, Mrs FM! It's always tricky to be a first in a different legislation for such initiatives; AFAIR, the ones in Japan were not based out of shelter cats. They have other issues though, since the very stringent animal protection laws there require that they have a curfew at 20.00, which is precisely the kind of time the cats cafés were at their busiest: …time.com/2012/…

As for the economics of this, I also have my doubts: the way it works in Japan, as with most "themed" bars (or Internet cafés) is on hourly fees, so as to ensure a minimum spending.

Ireland
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18. Re: Café des Chats

I've been following their facebook page and I too like their association with the shelters. I wish them well and will hopefully be visiting!

Val-de-Marne, France
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19. Re: Café des Chats

Well, hopefully the lady has a good business plan. I am sure she has included vet care as part of her expected expenses. I think I will pay a visit some day for a cup of tea and make my own opinion.

To answer a previous question, in my experience, vet care is much cheaper here than in the US (at least compared to Boston) and if it wasn't off topic on a travel forum I could write a whole page about the wonderful dedicated vets I know in and around Paris.

Pennsylvania
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20. Re: Café des Chats

In my neighborhood we have something similar. The proceeds from the cafe goes to the kitties, and they visit on weekends, where they can meet potential parents. I wish all Animal Shelters well, and hope to visit the next time in Paris.