Fe­line good: Cats counter stress at firms in Tokyo

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle -

Worka­holic Ja­pan is known for long of­fice hours and stressed out em­ploy­ees, but one com­pany claims to have a cure, and that are cats. A to­tal of nine fluffy fe­lines eat, sleep and walk freely in the small of­fice of IT firm in Tokyo.

An of­fice cat pol­icy was in­tro­duced in the or­gan­i­sa­tion in 2000, upon the re­quest from one of the em­ploy­ees, al­low­ing staffers to bring their mog­gies to work. “I also give `2,912 a month to those who res­cue a cat,” says Hi­de­nobu Fukuda, the head of the firm.

Other Ja­panese com­pa­nies are also al­low­ing an­i­mals in the of­fice to help re­duce stress and anx­i­ety. At a fa­mous firm in Ja­pan, an Old English Sheep­dog named Candy works as a greet­ing and heal­ing am­bas­sador, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany web­site. The com­pany said it has had an of­fice dog since 1991, and Candy, the fourth one, now has Twit­ter and In­sta­gram ac­counts.

Mean­while, an­other group has hired two goats in 2011 and two al­pacas in 2013 as full-time em­ploy­ees, partly for heal­ing pur­poses. Tokyo is also home to some 60 reg­is­tered cat cafes, thanks to a grow­ing num­ber of fe­line lovers. An em­ployee, named Eri Ito says, Cats are sleep­ing just be­side us... It’s heal­ing.”

But there is also a down­side to hav­ing fe­lines in the of­fice, Fukuda ad­mits. “Some­times a cat will walk on a phone and cut off the call, or they shut down the com­put­ers by walk­ing onto the off switch,” he says.

PHOTO: YOKO AKIYOSHI/AFP

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