Please note my aim in making this video is not to offend anybody but to inform.
There is a very dark side animals cafes, as some continue to profit whilst animal welfare continues to falter. As one whistleblower, a former owl cafe worker discloses, the conditions the owls endure are horrible, and customers are lied.
Below I have also listed some several shelters you can visit instead of supporting animal cafes.
Personally I have been to Cat Guardian in Otsuka and Smile cat in Nakameguro, which were both fantastic.
Video idea inspired by Tokidoki Traveller's video. Check out her channel:
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Some of the links may include affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission if you shop through the link. If so, thanks for supporting my channel!
Animal Rights Center Interview:
Good articles on animal cafes: https://globalnews.ca/news/3282953/owl-cafes-in-japan-draw-ire-of-animal-safety-activists/
ANIMAL SHELTERS IN TOKYO:
Smile Cat (Nakameguro)
Mon -Sat 12:00-19:00
Sundays/Public Holidays 13:00-19:00
Closed on Third Mondays of the month/ Public Holidays
Asakusa Neko-En (Asakusa)
Closed Tuesdays 11:00-21:00
http://nerimaeconeco.blog86.fc2.com/ (Japanese site only)
Otsuka Shelter (Otsuka)
Nishi Kokubunji Shelter (Fuchuu)
Weekends/public holidays 13:00-20:00
Neko Cafe Hakobuneko Hachioji (Hachioji)
Neko Cafe Hiroba (Higashimurayama)
Weekdays 14:00-20:00 Weekendas 13:00-19:00
Love & Happy (Minamidaira)
Closed Mondays & Tuesdays
Nyankuru Kanata (Kanata)
Weekends 12:00-20:00 Reservations necessary on Fridays
See Twitter for closings on weekdays
Neko no Ie (Kita Koenji)
Irregular openings, mostly Tuesdays, check blog
Neco Republic Tokyo Ikebukuro (Ikebukuro)
Closed on Thursdays
Open on Thursday if public holiday falls on a Thursday.
Neco Republic Tokyo NAKANO (Nakano)
Closed on Thursdays
Open on Thursday if public holiday falls on a Thursday.
Neco Republic Tokyo Ochanomizu (Ochanomizu)
Weekdays 15:00-20:00 Weekends 110:00-18:00
losed on Thursdays
Open on Thursday if public holiday falls on a Thursday.
Hogo Neko Cafe Machi Neko (Kamita)
Weekdays 14:00-20:00 Saturday 12-20:00 Sundays /public holidays 12:00-18:00
Closed Wednesdays & Friday
[Cats & Dogs]
Inu Neko Lua (Machida)
Open Everyday 10:00-19:00
Cats& Dogs Cafe
Closed Tuesdays and one monday of each month - check on blog
I was wondering if Ra.a.g.f in Harajuku is a non animal abusive pet shop? They do have bunnies that are super cute but I'm a bit skeptical about it when the lady took out the bunnies a bit roughly from the cage. It will be great if anyone can give me some advise before I go :)
Lets hope you did offend some people as they bloody well need some animal cruelty laws in this country! Anyway im glad you spoke about it as local japanese generally would not say anything and lets hope things can change in this country sooner than later. Im in Mejiro and theres a few owl cafes within 2km from where i live and also penquin cafe in ikebukuro..makes me sad
Cruel Animal cafes need to be stopped it's unfair for the animals they have feelings and brains too. I went to an owl cafe and they looked like they where stuffed because they weren't moving at all but they where real. They only moved when some child or someone came and picked them or annoyed them which happened alot. I decided I would spend the rest of my life trying to stop cruel Animal cafes. So far I have stopped about 10
Not an attempt to defend any shady practices - simply a correction! But, hedgehogs that you see kept as pets are technically considered domesticated - pet hedgehogs are bred specifically to be pets. Just FYI! Doesn't necessarily make any of what you said irrelevant - they are still nocturnal animals, and while they bond with their owners, it probably is still stressful for them to be around too many new people (especially when they're trying to sleep). Whether or not they *should* be domesticated and kept as pets, is another part of the story (in addition to the critique of their use in animal cafes).
There are seventeen different species of hedgehogs . The most commonly bred/domesticated are the African Pygmy and four-toed. However, dogs and cats have been domesticated dating back 15,000 years ago which is why they are considered a domesticated pet, hedgehogs are far more commonly found as a common rodent in Europe, Asia and Africa. Hedgehogs became a more popular pet in the 1980's. And they are a VERY UNCOMMON pet. I had a rescue hedgie myself, she had 2 prior homes. People don't know how to take care of them correctly and they can be a harmful little pet. My hedgie made me bleed from bites and her quills (they ball up as Erica said as a defence mechanism, and they also bite new objects/scents) . Not to mention they have sharp claws that need to be trimmed often just like a dog or cat. People see hedgehogs and think they're going to be like a hamster. They're bigger, more aggressive, and their quills DO HURT. They require and immense amount of delicacy when being handled. They also can go into hibernation if they get too cold, and they will die if that happens because they won't have collected food before doing so (as a squirrel would) Plus, same thing goes for the owls (when they are kept in cafes), they are underfed and under hydrated to avoid urine and stool. And most importantly they carry human disease risks. They can carry salmonella in their stool (poop with salmonella in it in a cafe is dangerous, but they under feed them anyway) they can also develop fungal spores in their quills, which can give a human ringworms. You always need to wash your hands after handling a hedgehog due to this, so again having them in a cafe is dangerous to humans. And just the general stress of being in such an environment. All in all, a hedgehog cafe is dangerous for both hedgie and human.
Ive gone to a couple cat cafes in the US and they all had rules such as no picking them up or poking them. 2 of them had pictures of warning signs of cat behavior when they were uncomfortable. All of them had little cat doors that went to a back room people couldn't access if they needed there alone time and all of the cats were very friendly. All of them also claimed to be fostering cats and they were all up for adoption. Also there was always a person monitoring the customers in case people didn't listen. I haven't gone back to one since Ive become a vegetarian but I definitely wont go back after watching this video because I wouldn't want to add fuel to flame. Also I definitely agree with the animal shelter alternative. I volunteer at a no kill shelter currently and its so fun for both the animals and I.
I've recently watched a video about an "amusement park" in Japan called "Tsukuba Wanwan Land". Is this a similar concept to these awful cat cafes? They have both dogs and cats and from what I can see they're not available to adopt? Although I'm unsure because I cannot read Japanese and their website is only in Japanese. It's difficult for me to see these sorts of places and think they're "cute" or "sweet" if these poor animals are suffering.
Thank you for addressing this. I'd been wondering about it ever since I first started seeing various Japan vloggers share videos.
Is anyone doing anything about it? Are there animal rights groups in Japan trying to close any of the places down?
Something else I've been wondering about is the cat island(s... I think). None of the cats ever look... healthy. Fur is dirty or matted, they have eye/nose discharge... and I'm sure inbreeding is a problem as well. Do they do anything to help humanely control the cat population, or is it generally hands-off? Would definitely like to hear more on the less cute side of the cat islands.
Thank you very much for making this video! i hate that japan have this view of animals like if they are dolls. for many japanese people is normal, they don't understand, they can say only kawaii! i want to ask you an advice. there is this pet shop in shinjuku near jumbo, and this little cats are in this very little cages, for all the time of their life until someone buy them. this cages are very very little, they can't move , they can do only one little step and the cat litter is made with paper. i start to cry in front of the pet shop when i saw this, but no one, there, really cared! i was so angry. what can i do?? i want to do something, to me is illegal, but some people told me that is not illegal and ask me to avoid to go to the police to complain about this fact because i could be in trouble for diffamation. i can't accept this... my heart is broken. what can i do to try to protest? have you any advice? thank you very much
Stupid. Don't waste your time with protest. You go report them to the authority. Whats with people like you. First thing they think of is protest. What good will that do to the animals. Complain, report to animal protection agencies. I know they have it in Japan but I don't have any contacts. Look it up if you are really serious about it.
Thanks for sharing this! I once went to a cat cafe in Japan and it freaked me out too. Like they were drugged out or something. Then I went to a cat cafe in my home country because my friends told me the owner was a friend of his parents and I just wanted to see the difference between countries and we got all kinds of rules before they let us in. Like no poking the cats or touching them in weird ways besides gently petting. Not chase them or try to pick them. They told us if the cats want to interact they will come to you. There weren't that many cats either. I believe there were just 10/12 cats and they were all up for adoption too! They had a book with their pictures and personal details so you could read about them and adopt if you wanted to.
Yesss thank you for making this!!! It is such an unnatural environment for animals that should be in the wild. The popularity of cat cafes in the UK is rising and luckily the one close to me is focused on rescuing and have a very successful rehoming programme. However I can still imagine that having so many territorial animals in one place is likely to cause them stress. I have three cats and looking after them is a ton of work so I cannot even imagine what its like to have 20-30 cats in one area at once.
Thanks so much for this video. I completely agree and wish people would look a little further and realise that these cafes may be incredibly cute for the humans but is completely unfair and cruel for the animals.
Animals are not toys, theyre not here for our entertainment, they deserve to be free and wild as nature intended, safe from humans. Everytime I see someone post their visit to an animal cafe the animals look very unhappy or miserable. The owls cafes look just awful, I hope people will start to be more compassionate and chose to visit sanctuaries and shelters instead, keeping animals well being and rights in mind..
I feel bad for the animals at these cafes as well.
I traveled to Japan earlier this year in March 2017.
While in Tokyo, I stayed at the "Owl Hostel" for 2 weeks.
There was an Owl at the window display of the hostel.
At first, I thought it was fake. But then I saw its head move, and its leg was chained up, so it couldn't fly away.
I felt so bad for the owl.
The owl was chained up there 24/7, and it never moved.
I'm really against wild animals being kept in captivity, especially for human entertainment.
On the bright side, I live in the US and went to a cat café last week. Almost all cats are up for adoption and they screen the people who want to adopt. You're not allowed to pick them up, but you can pet them and some will sit on your lap. I played with them for an hour. 😻
i went to a cat cafe near Shibuya 101. The cats were stray cats that were adopted. It was very strict there, like you can't stand or you can't hold the cats. you can only sit the whole time and pet them gently. some cats are not even allowed to be touched. you can tell because of the color of their collar. we were even made to wash our hands before we touch them. I had a very different experience from you. The cats looked very well taken care of. The owner also cared to the point she can memorize all their names. You do have a point about the nocturnal animals though.
Simply put, Erica had a bad experience with the cat cafe she went to. That cafe is probably one of the few bad ones. I do agree Erica shouldn't generalize since it might hurt the cafes that are actually doing good.
Thank you for making a video about that. I always thought about going to an animal cafe if i went to Japan but now i changed my mind. When i saw videos and photos of people going to these cafes i thought it was weird for animals such as owls and hedgehogs to be all day in contact with strangers but i didn't think more than that.....I'm glad i found this video. I hope more people in Japan will know the truth.
Hi Erica, thank you for sharing. I was wondering if you know anything similar about the Zao Fox Village in Japan. My friends and I are visiting Japan soon and we were planning on visiting the Zao Fox Village too but we read a lot of controversy ratings of people who went there on Trip Advisor etc. We don't want to support a tourist attraction if it doesn't treat the animals well but the feedback you can read online is vague (some people loved it and some didn't).
Even when you don't poke a cat it will scratch the shit out of you! I love em' though.
Great information. I'd hate to go to an animal cafe and see the animals stressed out! There must be some out there that care for the animals well, at least I hope there are :(
i 100% agree that especially owl cafes are very, very cruel. but i have been to a nice cat cafe in berlin several times and it was just really fun with no regrets. the cats were lively and had a seperate space to freely go if they "had enough" of the cafe.
they all had names and could be adopted and the staff actively looked out for them and how people treated them.
Thank you for doing this informative video. I was planning to go to a hedgehog cafe in November and now have made plans to do something else. I do not believe in animal cruelty and had my doubts about animal cafes in general. Thank you again for this information!
I love that you talk use your channel to speak up for animals (: I totally agree that animal cafes can be so dodgy! I'm lucky there's only two in my city and they both only take in rescue cats and they're never sedated. One of them takes in cats that have disabilities and they don't allow children to go so the cats aren't under a lot of stress. I was unsure about them at first but both cafes have vegan staff who assure the animals are looked after very well. I definitely agree that going to an animal shelter is always a better option though!
Some animals are definitely not suited to Cafes, But some cats are just lazy like that, or they are picked because they are so chilled. Yes they are businesses, but a vet is a business, a shelter is a business. you can't judge them all so uniformly.
My friend owns a cat cafe here in Australia, They take in stray cats and others that can't be re-homed easily (require daily meds etc) and use the money from the business to give them care and treatment. And people can adopt the cats from the Cafe too. They are acting as an intermediary for the shelters to get the cats out there so people meet them and fall in love with them and adopt them. Absolutely some are just profiteering and don't put the animals first, but not all are like that.
thank you for the information, I will be visiting Japan in November, and I was searching for cat cafes that promoted adoption. This is exaclty what I was looking for. I will be making a travel guide video of Japan for my channel , and I'll make sure to share your links of animal shelters and cafes the promote adoptions for viewers to see! Cheers! :) BTW , this is my channel , it is in SPANISH though. :) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBM_7Wf74MkL_LJtQA1yR5A
:( im glad i saw this before my trip. there is a cat cafe near me in america but all the cats are available for adoption and it only really exists to help the animals out so i wasnt sure what to expect in japan. i'm saving lots of these links now so i know where to go. thank you
The timing is funny cause I was talking to my daughter about animals that lives during the night and during the day cause she had a worksheet on the subject and then I thought about owl cafe and felt bad for them. I went to nekobukuro with my children the cats are not sedated and they warn you that if you get hurt by them they will treat you but not compensate you. Also there scratches mark everywhere so you know they still have their "nails". What surprised me the most is how the cats all got along inside such a small space they ate out of the same bowl even when there was two bowls cuddles together. They were very curious of my baby but did not attack us or anything. I guess what I am trying to say is that I enjoyed being there the cats seemed to be well treated . I also know that there is a cat cafe made of rescue cats in Kawagoe. You can adopt them .
So true! When I went to Japan I saw so many Owl cafes but I didn't go, I am a vet and I love working with wildlife and owls and other exotic animals do NOT belong in cafes! I don't see how that is "cute" if it clearly is exploitation. I did go to a cat cafe, but I don't think I will go to any animal cafes anymore. It happens a lot in Asia, where they give them sedatives so that they can sleep all day and not show stress signs
I am so happy I found you through Taylor. I went to Japan in spring this year and I almost went to an owl cafe but I had my suspicions (I must admit I didn't do any research which was bad of me) and left it till the evening... by that time they had shut and now I'm glad I did not give them my money so they can be cruel to these poor creatures.
I love your videos! You always try to see things in a different and real focus. I have a video suggestion. Can you make a video about how to reduce or avoid garbage especially plastic garbage in Tokio?
I remember wanting to go to an owl cafe when I was in Japan but I couldn't due to lack of time.. I'm glad I didn't go now ! I want to say though, near where I live (in France) there is a dog cafe and the dogs look very happy there. They don't look stressed, they're usually sleeping or playing with eachother and they always have two dogs up for adoption. And the people taking care of them are professional dog behaviourists I believe. So I think dog cafes are okay (at least this one is). But I agree with you owls and hedgehogs shouldn't be in cafes... especially the owls being water deprived, that's really horrible :(
Thank you for talking about this! I think it's something a lot of people don't know about but there needs to be more awareness around. Cat cafes are even popping up in America now and I find it really disconcerting. I love your videos on animal rights!
I was once in a hedgehog cafe because I was looking for it and read on a different site that they care very well for them.
But when I was there, I did not feel like it was that good.
So I researched and found out that the conditions were actually bad.
I made a mistake and will no longer support animal animations so thank you for this video a lot.
Maybe it provides someone to make the same mistake as i did.
Thank you for talking about this important topic. I think it's really sad that they keep wild animals like owls etc. in tiny cafes just for entertainment and I honestly can't understand how people can actually enjoy them. To me this is clearly animal abuse and I hope that people will be more informed about it and eventually stop going to those cafes. The petshops in Japan seem to be a big problem as well :/
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