We've seen pet rental companies, which while successful, have created controversy with animal rights activists worldwide. Now, there is a new more humane way for people to mix and mingle with their favorite furry friends in the comfort of a public place. In Japan, cat cafes have been popping up all over the place, allowing people to relax with a cup of coffee while receiving the purr-fect, relaxing companionship of a kitty.

The Calico Cat Café is one example of a successful cat café business in Tokyo. With over 3 locations in existence in Japan, people are flocking to the unique cafes because they love pets, but just can't commit to having one at home or are restricted by the strict housing regulations in the country. For 800 YEN per hour or 2000 YEN for three hours, animals lovers can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and find themselves ignored, or occasionally delivered affection by the cats when the mood suits them; just like any pet lover would if they could have cats in the comfort of their own homes.

While there are many strays in Japan, they do not join the furry ranks at Cat Café; however, advertisements for strays that need a home are posted throughout the establishment. To protect their animals from illness, Cat Café requires that patrons thoroughly wash their hands, and any animal brought on the premises is vet checked and vaccinated.

Unlike other pet rental services, the cats at Calico Cat Café are cared for in one location by experienced pet lovers and not passed around from home to home. Although, I would be willing to bet that for some, this form of pet leasing remains a controversial topic.

Do you think a cat café would thrive in North America? Would you visit?

Via: HappyLOLDay, Reuters