Daily Mail

The trendy ‘cat cafes’ that can leave moggies prone to maladies

- By Sam Tonkin

CAT cafes have exploded in popularity over the past decade, allowing paying customers to play with resident kittens.

Many have even branched out by hosting cats available for adoption. But a study of 797 pets suggests they might not be the best place for our feline friends.

Researcher­s found animals in the trendy establishm­ents have higher rates of sickness than those in foster care. Worse still, these illnesses mean the cats have less chance of being adopted.

Experts at the Animal Behaviour Wellness Centre in Virginia, US, said close contact with humans was partly to blame. The team said: ‘The unpredicta­ble and revolving nature of human visitors to the cafe provides a lack of consistenc­y and increasing social stress compared to a stable home environmen­t.’

This could make them ‘more susceptibl­e to illness’, the researcher­s wrote in the journal Veterinary Behaviour.

The concept of a cat cafe is thought to have originated in Taiwan in 1998, quickly spreading through Asia and beyond.

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