Cafe that sells its cats comes under fire from pet lovers
The owner of a cat cafe in Shanghai's Yangpu district has refuted allegations that she is running a shared pet business.
Since early last year, the cafe has been selling its cats with a policy that allows for refunds under certain circumstances. The cafe, which sold nearly 50 cats last year, recently came under fire from pet lovers who have pointed out that such a policy can result in the animal experiencing psychological stress, as was the case in the recent reports of a shared pet business in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province.
Ye has dismissed such concerns and claimed that her business model is the opposite of a shared pet business.
She explained that full refunds will only be given to customers whose cats display signs of severe stress – such as a decrease in appetite or ascites - following the sale. Customers who return the cats due to other reasons such as an allergy to the fur or family disapproval will only receive partial refunds.
She added that most customers have visited the cafe on many occasions to familiarize themselves with the cats before buying them.
"Based on years of experience in the pet industry, my husband and I hope the service meets the needs of those who want a cat but are worried what to do if it isn't a good fit for them," Ye said.
"The bottom line is to ensure that customers really want to keep a cat as a pet before the deal."
Guidance is provided for new cat owners as well, Ye added.
"Signs of stress in cats often occur within a week when they live in a new environment," she said.
"We offer customers enough cat food for a week and remind them to begin the food transition by mixing both the current food with the new one. They are also free to contact us if there are any unforeseen circumstances."
To date, only a few individuals have returned their cats. Most of them cited family or work issues, Ye said.