Japan's cat cafes get a bit of a conflicted reaction from some people. While it's soothing and fun to play with a group of cats while enjoying a refreshing beverage, many worry about how the cats are being looked after and if they are benefiting from a normal living arrangement. While those concerns are valid, many cat cafes actually make their cat-employees available to purchase or adopt to customers. One such cat cafe is Neco Republic, a chain that staffs rescue cats and hopes to set them up with permanent homes with enamored customers. Now Neco Republic is taking things a step forward by opening up a branch in Tokyo, one to provide homes for its staff of cats that have feline AIDS.

Cats with FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) are often abandoned and face a severe disadvantage in terms of finding permanent homes, and particularly in benefiting from human love and care. With the goal of raising awareness for the disease, as well as reminding people that FIV is no obstacle to raising a cat, Neco Republic has given these unfortunate kitties the cute moniker of "ringo neko", or "apple cats", kawaii-ifying the afflicted cats with a lineup of goods to help remove the negative stigma that prevents them from getting the attention they need.

FIV is not transmittable to humans, and among cats is mostly spread through particularly violent fights resulting in bloodshed. Interaction among cats at the new Neco Republic cafe is stressed as being entirely safe, and the cafe hopes to promote awareness regarding the fact that adopting and caring for these cats is not a far-cry at all from un-afflicted cats.

Opened up on July 1st, the Nakano branch of Neco Republic in Tokyo is a great place to learn more about FIV, and experience a different type of cat cafe. While the cats are "staff employees", Neco Republic is happily making them available to customers who can provide them with a loving home. You can find the address below, and their price packages start at 1,100 yen ($10.70 USD) for a half hour on weekdays, and 1,300 yen ($12.64 USD) for a half hour on weekends. More information is available on their website.

Nico and Tomoka, two staff members.


Source: Neco Republic

Tokyo-to, Nakano-ku, Nakano 5-68-9 "AK" building third floor.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.