Japan reconciled its great love for cats and its limited space in an ingenious way: cat cafes. These cafes are places where Japanese cat lovers with pet restrictions on their apartments can observe, feed or play with cats. It’s a win-win: cats are stress relievers for the overworked Japanese, and the formerly-stray cats are often up for adoption.
It’s a fantastic concept, but one that seemed to rely on the calmness – or, as dog lovers would say, the aloofness – of cats. Felines won’t go nuts if hundreds of visitors come to pet them each day.
But South Korea proved that canine insanity was another viable model. Inspired by the cat version, savvy entrepreneurs created the Jangsan Puppy Cafe in Busan. As in Tokyo, residents in bustling-and-crowded Busan often live in small apartments with pet restrictions. Instead, they can get their cold-nose-warm-heart fix at the puppy cafe – although probably not in the middle of the work day. Dogs leave more olfactory evidence than cats do. The Puppy Cafe houses dogs of all sizes, from black labs to miniature pinschers and Pekingese. Unlike bored-with-you cats, the Busan dogs – all strays or rescues – are continuously excited by new humans entering the business, fighting for time with visitors’ sleep places or head scratchers.