Articles: Cat Cafe

Dr. Kim Kendall and two kittens are better than one

Two Kittens Are Better than One

Speaking with my pal Dr. Kim Kendall, a cat veterinarian from Sydney, Australia who feels very strongly that two kittens are better than one. She explains here on my national Steve Dale’s Pet World radio show. Kittens need to play and learn and to bite, and if there’s not another kitten, you might be the…
Windy Kitty Cat Cafe seeks nursery for kittens

Help Windy Kitty to Save More Kittens

When Jenny Tiner opened Windy Kitty Cat Cafe, her goal from day one was to save cats. And she’s done just that. What’s more she’s been saving cats from Chicago’s municipal shelter, Chicago Animal Care and Control. Instead of being euthanized, the lucky cats land in the home-type setting of the cafe, until they are…
Cats have not always had it so great In Mexico, considered by some historically to be vermin or just an annoyance. “Indeed, many people in Mexico and have historically treated cats like the very vermin they help to control,” says Janice Chatterton, founder of the SPCA Puerto Vallarta. Cats weren’t spay/neutered, much less taken indoors. However, that’s changing through much of the country, particularly in urban areas. One way to tell is simply to walk into a pet store in Mexico City or Leon – two larger Mexican Cities. Or area where lots of Americans and Canadians visit and live, such as Cancun or Puerto Vallarta. These pet stores are selling lots of cat litter. Obviously, you only require litter if cats are indoors. Dr. Cesar Morales, director Veterinary Congress de Leon adds, “And people are being educated to offer behavior remedies, which in the past were only available for dogs.” Of course, most truly indoor only cats are spay/neutered. The secret to population control is spay/neuter – and that remains a challenge, both for cultural reasons and costs. Increasingly, there are no cost and low cost options available And culture is changing, though that doesn’t occur overnight. Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) has been shown around the world to be the right thing to do. By “fixing” and vaccinating cats, humane population control occurs. The cats are fed and often looked after by caretakers. Feral or community cats live around the world, often thriving at resorts – including many resorts in Mexico. At the El Dorado Royale resort in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico’s Gulf Coast has taken TNVR to a new level. El Dorado Royale got ahead of the game, proactively doing the right thing for cats.. General Manager Clay Sawyer explains that they call their concept the Cat Café: “Coco’s Animal Welfare is a nonprofit organization focused on promoting animal care through awareness and hard work. They have their clinic at Playa del Carmen, and they work on a daily basis to spay/neuter street cats and dogs and promote adoption and good practices. They were invited to establish a cat café at El Dorado Royale, so the feral cats in the area do not reproduce and are well cared for.” This began by humanely rounding up all the cats living at the resort. They were spay/neutered, vaccinated for rabies, and even de-wormed. Next, Coco’s Animal Welfare came up with a novel idea: allowing cats to stay in first-class accommodations. Bungalows were designed and built to mimic the buildings where visitors stay. Clearly, visitors are enthralled that the cats have such cool digs. Signage explains the Cat Café cat village, which is easy to find, located pretty much dead center at the resort (albeit on a back road). Their cool digs are also practical. Cats are provided cat food, which is kept out of the elements, and the bungalows offer cats a dry place off the ground and shelter from storms. Do the cats use their cool digs? “Of course,” says Sawyer. “Cats are smart, aren’t they?” Today, there are about 15 adult cats on the sprawling property. The cats take advantage of their meals, so native wildlife—like lizards and birds—are more likely to be left alone. Ricardo Pimentel toils in the trenches. Tourists see a part of Cancun, but not typically the outskirts where Pimentel operates a sanctuary called Tierra de Animales, where aside from dogs and cats he even saves turtles, goats, sheep or whatever comes along. “There’s lots of ignorance about cats,” says Pimentel. “People get them as kittens, they never spay or neuter them. There are thousands of cats on the street, most of them are feral, and most of those cats have FIV or (feline) leukemia, and they spread it to other cats.” In Puerto Vallarta cats over-populate in lots of places, including a popular park near the River Cuale. Local store owners and restaurateurs around the park reportedly pay kids about ten pesos a piece to kill as many cats as they can, however they can Nancy and David Goldstein are retired snowbirds in Puerto Vallarta, wintering from the Minneapolis/St.Paul area for three months at a time. Nancy says, “Not only do these cats (killed in the park) die a horrible death, but I’m worried about the not-so-humane education these children are being taught. They’re encouraged to kill.” However, Mexicans aren’t alone. Cats are arguably – in some ways second class citizens in the U.S, notes Puerto Vallarta resident is Suzanna Persa, who some call “the crazy kitten lady.” Persa bottle-feeds the kitties, gets them spay/neutered – usually paying a low cost from her own pocket, as a local veterinarian offers her a discount. And she eventually sends the cats on their way to friends or friends of friends back in the U.S. or adopts them locally. “Good work is being done throughout Mexico,” Persa says. David and Nancy Goldstein were all in when their daughter Jill founded Pause4Paws a few years in Puerto Vallarta, a non-profit welfare group with a feline focus. They’re an umbrella group which helps to fund local financially strapped non-profits. Pause4Paws helps to fund spay/neuter, emergency surgeries and vaccinations. The result of their organized funding has made a difference in thousands of cat lives. Pause4Paws has also delivered well over 100 cats from Puerto Vallarta to America. They insure the cats are spay/neutered and checked for potential infectious disease and/or parasites. And the cats are indeed adopted. “Education is changing this (in Mexico), particularly with younger people,” adds Lola Cortina of San Miguel de Allende, where she founded a sanctuary for cats, Sancuario Feline Rey Ashoka, a no-kill facility. She regularly appears on local radio informing cat owners about needed veterinary care, behavior issues and busting myths along the way. Morales adds that in Leon for every three cats seeing a veterinarian, there are seven dogs These numbers aren’t all too different that the U.S. However, Morales adds that cat caretakers in Leon actually are willing to spend far more on felines compared to canine, and that’s not typically the case in the U.S. Morales adds, “For many young couples, cats are the new dog.” Persa adds, “In the end Mexico is a large country with a lot of people who simply have little education or resources – but the good news is that cat welfare is gradually changing. If cats can be considered real members of the family, they will be cared for – because in this culture family is where it’s at.”

Cats In Mexico: Times Are Changing

Cats have not always had it so great In Mexico, considered by some historically to be vermin or just an annoyance. “Indeed, many people in Mexico and have historically treated cats like the very vermin they help to control,” says Janice Chatterton, founder of the SPCA Puerto Vallarta. Cats in Mexico weren’t spay/neutered, much less taken…

Meow Meetup Around the Corner

The Meow Meetup, a convention for cat lovers, cat fanatics, cat aficionados – ie: crazy cat people is just around the corner. If you love cats, adore cats, or just want to learn more – this is for you!  The fun feline celebration comes to the Rosemont Convention, Rosemont, IL on July 21 and 22. I am…

Windy Kitty Cat Day

Nothing like being on the radio with the Great Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder, this time from Windy Kitty Cat Cafe. For me and Bill, the Windy Kitty is like heaven on earth. HEAR the conversation, as I talk on WGN Radio about how Windy Kitty takes cats and kittens from the City’s municipal shelter…

Cat Yoga at the Windy Kitty

If you love yoga, you haven’t lived until you’ve participated in a cat yoga class (where downward dog is never allowed). The Windy Kitty offers cat yoga on many Sunday mornings. To get a feel for what that’s all about, check out WGN Radio Recess.  WGN Radio staffers, including myself and Pam Jones of WGN…

Catnip Times Meow Meet Up: Hope To See You There

Attention cat lovers! Get ready for some feline fun  for the first-ever Meow MeetUp Chicago, sponsored by The Catnip Times. It promises to be the largest cat conference in the Midwest. Tickets for the July 21-22 event can be purchased at: www.meowmeetup.com  Presentations by feline experts from the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Feline Practitioners,…

Windy Kitty on 190 North

The Windy Kitty Cat Cafe is everything a cat cafe should be. And I’m proud to say I’ve been a supporter from early on of Jenny Tiner’s efforts. On WGN Radio, hear on Steve Dale’s Pet World why she launched a cat cafe’ in Chicago, and that partnering with Friends of Chicago Animal Care &…

Windy Kitty Opens: Kitty Crazies Get Ready!

Windy Kitty Cat Café is opening, and that is the topic on Steve Dale’s Pet World on WGN Radio. Listen HERE as café owner, Jenny Tiner, talks about the opening of this cozy and comfy new hangout for cats and cat lovers. Best of all, cats will be adopted out from Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC).…

Windy Kitty Cat Café Set to Open

The Windy Kitty Cat Café and Lounge opens in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, 1746 W. North Avenue, on Monday, December 18. Chicago has been woefully slow to add a cat café for many reasons–from promises broken (by a Chicago animal shelter that promised a “proper” cat café) to odd city rules (unique to Chicago). No matter,…

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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