Hao Ju and Joey Fu are both from China and are familiar with the Asian continent’s cat café idea. According to Mental Floss, Cat Flower Garden, the first cat café of our contemporary day, opened its doors in Taipei, Taiwan in 1998. Cat cafés began to spring up in Asian cities as word of the concept spread. However, it was Japan’s cat cafés that piqued the Western world’s curiosity.
Cat cafés, which are popular in both the United States and many European towns, allow customers to rest while interacting with cats. A trip to a cat café may be some people’s first encounter with a cat who is expected to become a member of their family.
“We thought, ‘We are from Asia, where cat cafés originate from, we can surely produce a better one,’” Hao told KBTX.
That’s exactly what the two set out to accomplish, studying what it would take to operate a cat café in College Station, Texas, dubbed Aggieland by Texas A&M University Aggies. Hao thought his management lessons at the university had enabled him to bring the feline dream to reality as an agriculture graduate student. And he was absolutely correct.
Eighteen of the kittens will stay at the café for the rest of their lives, while one is up for adoption. Hao hopes to increase the number of adoptable animals by collaborating with local animal shelters. However, as Hao mentioned, adopting a cat from a cat café differs from the Asian cat café concept.
“All of the cats at the cafés in Asia are permanent inhabitants. They don’t actually have adoptable cats, but it’s become a trendy topic here, and people constantly asking if our animals are adoptable.”
“We’re seeking to collaborate with some animal shelters in Houston or Bryan to see if they’d be willing to allow us have some of their cats in exchange for them taking care of all the paperwork and whatnot,” Hao told The Battalion. “Essentially, we’re going to be a foster home.”
What makes spending time with cats even more enjoyable? H&J’s Teahouse gives 25% of their profits to Aggieland Humane Society twice a month, which means that hanging out with kitties also means helping to save them!