Paris Says Bonjour to Its First Cat Cafe

Drop in for some purr therapy, and grab a bite to eat

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Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters

Customers enjoy a beverage as a cat relaxes on an armchair at the "Cafe des Chats" in Paris.

Cats clearly make everything better — just ask the entire Internet. That’s why Paris has introduced a new cafe that may seem like your standard coffee and croissant joint, but in reality is so much more. “Cafe des Chats,” situated in the city’s trendy Marais neighborhood, is home to 12 felines who treat it like their personal living room and just roam around as customers go about their business.

The goal is to provide some “purr therapy” to Parisians who can’t keep pets in their tiny urban apartments, Reuters reports. If you’re wondering what exactly “purr therapy” is, that’s valid. As cafe manager Margaux Gandelon told Reuters, “Purring produces vibrations which relieve arthritis and rheumatism, which lower your blood pressure and your heartbeat.” Also, you know, cats are just cute and stuff.

All 12 of the cafe’s cats are strays who’ve been adopted from rescue centers. Gandelon told AFP that her top priorities are overall hygiene and the welfare of the cats — all of whom underwent a vetting process to determine their social skills. Cafe des Chats officially opened its doors this weekend, and is already so successful that it had to turn away several hundred customers.

The concept here isn’t exactly new, though. A “goat cafe” (yes, seriously) recently opened in Tokyo, allowing patrons to hang out with a pair of goats. And other cat cafes already exist in Japan, targeted at residents who aren’t permitted to keep cats in their cramped apartments:

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