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Youth Talk.

Bahrain has opened a cat cafe and my heart is happy. My first visit to such a store was in Malaysia a couple years ago and to this day I think it a brilliant idea!

A cat cafe is a space that allows cat lovers to interact with kitties while they enjoy a cuppa with some places even providing comic books and board games and as you can imagine, it makes for a lovely experience.

I was a bit surprised to find out that the very first one was opened in Taipei, Taiwan in 1998, and not Japan where there now exists over a hundred cat cafes.

Japanese tourists in Taiwan exported the concept to their home country where it now enjoys wide appeal.

Japan is what I associate first with cat cafes, and its popularity there is credited not to the fact that strict pet ownership laws exist for most apartment buildings but because of the need for stress relief that cats are so adept at bringing.

I refuse to believe one can stay in a bad mood for long in the presence of a cat, unless your reason for being in a bad mood is a cat!

Today cat cafes can be found in every corner of the globe with more than a dozen in the UK, several in South Korea and now, finally, one in Bahrain!

Most cat cafes have rules about not picking up the felines, washing your hands before petting them, as well turning off your camera flash when taking pictures, and any good cat cafe will respect a cat's need for alone time. Moreover, some of them, particularly the ones found in North America, also work as adoption centres where wannabe pet owners can spend time with their potential fur friend.

For me, a cat cafe is a genius idea that combines the things I like best -- cats, cappuccino and a coffee shop -- and I cannot wait to head over to Catopia Cafe in Adliya to meet their four-legged friends.

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Mar 13, 2019
Words:357
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