Japanese Inn Offers Guests ‘Trial Run Sleepovers’ With Rescue Cats To Encourage Adoption

Cats are such wonderful pets, but sometimes they can be a little intimidating to those who’ve never had a cat before. As someone who loves cats and has had plenty of cats as pets, I can see how a first-time cat owner might not know exactly what to do. Cats can be a little aloof, but once they show their affectionate side, it’s pure love and joy.

And one Japanese inn is allowing people to test out what it’s like to live with a cat by giving their guests a chance to have a feline sleepover. The idea is to hopefully facilitate adoptions of cats, and we think it’s just perfect. The inn, My Cat Yugawara, is located in the Japanese hot spring town of Yugawara, Kanagawa Prefecture.

In Japan, they have these traditional inns which are called “ryokans.” They’re in the time-honored style of minimal design and sparse decorating. They also have communal baths. But this particular ryokan has gone a step further with the inclusion of cats. Akihiro Ochi, the owner of My Cat Yugawara, was moved to find something that would help to facilitate the adoption of cats by people who were still on the fence about having a cat, so Ochi came up with the idea of a trial run for potential cat parents.

The “trial packages” can be added to the normal price of the room booking. The prices for a stay at the inn are decent, but they vary depending on the size of the room. Some of the rooms can even sleep up to five people, so potentially a whole family could spend a few days testing out life with a cat.

For those who are interested in the trial packages, they’re required to first spend time at the cat cafe located within the premises. There, staff members can get a better feel for how potential adopters feel and act around the cats. As Ochi explained in their YouTube video, the staff are all very familiar with their cats and known each cats’ personality quite well. That is how they are better able to match people with potential felines for trial sleepovers. It’s very much a passion project since the place runs as a non-profit and a huge portion of their money is put back into maintaining their cats.

The guests who come in must comply with the rules for briefly fostering their potential felines. Once agreed, the cat is delivered to the guest’s room at 5:30 PM, where they get to stay until 9:00 AM the next morning. During that time, guests aren’t allowed to leave the cat alone, instead, they should be using the time to bond with their potential kitty and care for it by feeding it, playing with it, cuddling it, and of course, cleaning up the litter box.

If all goes well during the cat sleepover and the person feels a real connection with their cat, they can proceed with an application for adoption.

After filling out an application they will go through an interview where the staff determines if its a good fit and would work long term. All going well, the cats then “graduate” when they’re adopted, and they get a special celebration as a send-off to their forever home.

What do you think of this approach to adopting cats? Would you like to go through this process? Let us know!

Check out the video below:

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Anastasia is an American ex-pat living in Ireland. When she's not writing she can be found wandering the Irish countryside in search of inspiration. You can follow her writing adventures on Twitter @AnastasiaArell5 or Instagram @writeranastasia26
Whizzco for FAP