Cat Cafe is the latest trend in Myanmar

Cat shelterKitten. Photo: Norway Today Media

A cafe where customers sipping latte can enjoy the company of cats,has become popular in Yangon. The phenomenon has exploded in a country that has changed since the reforms of 2011.

A flood of customers stream in to cuddle with cats, and drink coffee, at Catpuchino Cafe in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city.


It is not uncommon to see cats and stray dogs on the street in the South East Asian country, but few people have the time, money, or space to keep them as pets.


Catpuchino

The owner of the Catpuchino Cafe, who is just called ‘Pearl’, opened the cafe a couple of weeks ago. She wanted to give visitors a break from stressful city life.


‘I used to play with cats for 15 or 30 minutes, and it relieved the stress of school and work,’ said Pearl.


At the cafe, she offers customers the chance to spend time with 27 cats, of ten
different breeds. It’s a company that would have been completely unimaginable just a few years ago in the previously closed country.


Ever since the military junta removed the sole of its boot from the necks of the population in 2011, initiating democratic and economic reforms, the country has slowly but surely been filling up with hip cafes and eateries.


That same year, the world community responded by raising sanctions, and opening up trade and cooperation with Myanmar (formerly known as Burma).


Asian metropolitan phenomenon

The trend of animal cafés comes from big South East Asian cities like Tokyo and Bangkok. There are also cafes in Yangon where visitors can enjoy dogs, rabbits, hedgehogs, alpaca (a kind of cross between a sheep and a camel), owls, and reptiles.On the other side of the city there is a dog cafe.


‘I started this dog cafe for people in Yangon who don’t have the opportunity to own pets, but who love these animals,’ said the cafe owner, Htet Myat Aung.


27 year old Aung got his inspiration from a similar cafe in Tokyo.
Myanmar borders China, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh, and India. Its capital is Naypyidaw.

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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