Does Central New York Really Need Another Cat Cafe?
Pawsitivitea is opening soon in the Syracuse suburb of DeWitt. Get it? Positivity. Except, it's Cats and Tea and Coffee--all together in one. The idea is valid, but the practice has been troubled.
It's the second cat cafe planned for the Syracuse area, and it's slated to open by the end of 2019. The concept is simple: It's a space dedicated to enjoy a warm or iced beverage in the company of cats. The dining room and cat lounge area are separated. It will serve as as a satellite location of the Central New York SPCA, and offer adoption services for cat/coffee lovers.
There has been criticism of these types of cafes.
As of 2018, there were 255 feline-friendly cafes in 37 different countries. And these partnerships between non-profit animal rescues and for-profit cafes have had a history of problems. Usually there is a disconnect between the number of cats and the cafe's ability to provide round-the-clock care.
One such cat cafe in Toronto failed, because the cafe had a minimum purchase policy for anyone who wanted to see the cats, and the venue was overrun with curious non-customers.
Some serious feline welfare abuses have been reported.
In England, for instance, one cat cafe was given a lowly hygiene rating of one star. The complaints went beyond bad odors and neglected cats. In 2016, one cat cafe in Tokyo made headlines after inspectors found their 62 free-roaming cats were living in a 300-square-foot cafe. Some unneutered cats were breeding, and most of the felines were sick.