As a cat lover, I was extremely excited to have heard that Toronto will be opening its first cat cafe and as a cat lover does I have been to the TOT cat cafe a countless number of times, so much so that I landed myself on the picture board located right by the entrance. This was something I was proud of until I began to notice the lack of care and impaired health of these small and fragile animals. During my visits, I first noticed the lack of food and water in the bowls, the dirty water left for the cats to drink, and the litter boxes overflown with urine and feces. Keep in mind that they only have 2 litter boxes for 3 – 6 cats, when the recommended number is usually 1-2 boxes per cat. On one visit many of the cats were licking the condensation off the large glass enclosure in order to hydrate themselves, at first I thought this was just silly cat behaviour but after deeper thought and observation I was very disgusted and saddened to see that they had no other water source available. Many of the cats also had a runny nose and were sneezing continuously, which are all strong indicators of a respiratory infection, something very common but also very dangerous if not treated. Not to mention that the continuous exposure to people and stress induced by constant petting are not conducive to healing.
There are also no regulations about hand sanitization before or after meeting the cats, exposing the cats and visitors to a number of bacteria. Many of the cats had a lot of discharge around their eyes prohibiting their ability to open them fully, if you ask the people I went with they will tell you that I spent most of my time cleaning their eyes and expressing concern regarding their condition. I spoke to the owner and one of the staff members about a particular cat that had a pink eye and looked extremely weak, while further expressing concern about their general care. After this talk I decided not to visit the TOT cat cafe again and after the article below was posted my concerns were confirmed.
I should have seen the signs sooner and listened to my intuition. I regret having supported this place but I urge you to reconsider visiting and if you do visit please keep a keen and critical eye and report your concerns. Everyone deserves appropriate care, love, and support and non-human animals are no exception.
Please read the article below for more information: