A cat café is a theme café whose attraction is cats that can be watched and played with. Patrons pay a cover fee, generally hourly, and thus cat cafés can be seen as a form of supervised indoor pet rental.
The world's first cat café, "貓花園" (Cat Flower Garden), opened its doors in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1998. The Taiwanese cat café eventually became a tourist destination, attracting tourists from Japan as well as all over the globe.
Due to the Japan's land size and population, many residents live in small apartments or condominiums which do not allow pets, making a cat café a very popular destination for young workers looking for the companionship and comfort offered. Japan’s first cat café, named “Neko no mise” (Shop of Cats), opened in 2005. After this, the popularity of cat cafés boomed in Japan. From 2005 to 2010, seventy nine cat cafés opened across the country.
Cat Cafés in Asia
The first cat café in Singapore was Cat Cafe Neko no Niwa (Japanese for ‘Cat Garden’), while cat cafes in Japan, Korea and Thailand usually feature only pedigreed cats, Sam and Sue made a decision to only adopt cats for their cafe. As of today, there are more than 5 different cat cafes in the city.
Cat Cafés in North America
The first cat café to open in North America was Le Café des Chats/Cat Café Montreal in Montreal, Canada, which opened its doors to the public in August 2014.
There are 3 cafes in Canada and over 15 in the United States projected to open over the next year or two.
Following the opening of the first Canadian cat café, Le Café des Chats in August 2014; Café Chat L'Heureux (also in Montreal) opened in September 2014 with 8 cats adopted from local shelters.
Three cafés currently in the planning stages are: “Catfé”; planning to open a location in Vancouver, British Columbia by the summer of 2015, and “Kitty Cat Café” and “Pet Me Meow” both planning cafés for Toronto to open in the Spring of 2015.
The “Cat Town Café” opened in October 2014 and is a “cross between a coffee shop and an adoption center” in Oakland, CA. They were soon followed in December 2014 by “Planet Tails Cat Café” in Naples, FL and in quick succession by “Denver Cat Company” in Denver, CO, "Meow Parlour" in NYC, “The Cat Café” in San Diego, CA, “Purrington’s Cat Lounge” in Portland, OR and "Calico Nook" in Franklin, MA.
In 2015, the Crumbs and Whiskers cat café is slated to open in the Washington metropolitan area, where it will be partnering with the local chapter of the Humane Society; this café will provide a boarding space for around 15 cats at a time, all of which will be provided by the Humane Society and be available for adoption.
Cat Cafés in Europe
Le Cafe des Chats is a cat cafe located on 16 Rue Michel le Comte, 75003 Paris, France. This cafe is a diner that includes desserts, tea, and, of course, cats. It is ideally situated in the catacombs beneath the streets of Paris. The waiting time can be long, so you may want to make a reservation. For further information, visit the website at: http://www.lecafedeschats.fr/#_=_ 
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cat cafés.|
- Tokyo's cat cafes, Global Post
- Cat cafe soothes Tokyo's busy feline lovers, Reuters
- Tokyo's cat cafes offer serenity in the city, Christian Science Monitor
- San Diego Cat Cafe Could be First in Country NBC 7 San Diego
- Cat Cafe Opens In San DiegoFox 5 San Diego
- San Diego's Very Own Cat CafeSan Diego 6
- "A cat café in Vancouver: The fuzzy face of economic diversity". The Vancouver Observer. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- Cat Cafe Planned for the Capital
- Cat Cafe Review Bangkok
- Edinburgh Cat Cafe opens
- Video of Edinburgh cat cafe