Many Parisian cafés may allow dogs to accompany their owners as they sit and enjoy an espresso and croissant, but one new establishment is doing things a little differently: the “Café des Chats” offers the opportunity to enjoy your morning ritual with about 12 resident cats.
The café is one of the first in the city to offer up a dining experience full of cute, furry felines, which were adopted from pet rescue centers. One cat, Habby, spent two years with foster families, but was never adopted, possibly because he suffers from feline dwarfism, causing him to have a shorter tail and legs, Reuters reported. Café des Chats is intended to cater to those Parisians whose restricted living space gives them no room to have their own. As long as patrons respect the cats, they’ll be able to reap certain health benefits, café manager Margaux Gendelon says, calling it “purr therapy.”
“Purring produces vibrations which relieve arthritis and rheumatism, which lower your blood pressure and your heartbeat,” she told Reuters. Some experts theorize that the 25 Hz frequency of a cat’s purr could offer some sort of therapy, since it’s also the frequency used in humans to help wounds heal faster, Dr. Benjamin Hart, a professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, told WebMD.
Other research has also shown that having cats or dogs around can help prevent respiratory tract illnesses in children. “Our findings support the theory that during the first year of life, animal contacts are important, possibly leading to better resistance to infectious respiratory illnesses during childhood,” wrote the authors of one 2012 study published in Pediatrics. Another study from Case Western Reserve University found that women who had human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) felt more encouraged to take their medications, follow doctors’ orders, and live healthy lifestyles when they had a cat or a dog, compared to those who didn’t.
For customers of Café des Chats, these benefits may just mean that they’ll have to visit more often. Unfortunately for them, however, the café has seen such a high rate of reservations that it’s booked until November.