Cat Curfew in Tokyo

Cat Curfew in Tokyo

In Tokyo, new regulations are limiting the time cats and dogs can be on display, apparently in an effort to curb all-night pet shops that keep the animals under bright lights 24 hours a day.  While that makes sense, it is having some other effects that are stirring up anger in many residents.

Cat cafes, where cats owned by the café run around and play with customers, who are charged an hourly fee for the privilege, are going to see a steep drop in customers because of the new curfew.  For example, at one café, many customers don’t arrive until eight, which is the new curfew, and stay until closing time at ten.  Those late workers will no longer have the ability to spend time with cats, in a place where pet laws don’t allow many people to own their own.

First off, how cool is it that there’s a place you can go to hang with your favorite furry friends, and get drinks too?  Here in America, we still have to fight to get seeing eye dogs into places that serve food.  Would that we were so advanced, because life would be much better if our pets were more accepted.

Second, while I see the need to stop the 24-hour pet shops, I think it is really sad that the rule does now allow provisions for such a good cause.  People need contact with animals, so by taking that away, the government in Tokyo is taking away a major source of comfort for people who can’t own their own cats.

This is just another case where more regulation is not always better.