Coco’s is proud to bring the “cat café” program to hotels in the Riviera Maya. The concept of the cat café was developed by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), to humanely address the problem of feral cat populations gathering around resorts, where there are usually tourists willing to feed and pet them. This can easily get out of control and then, understandably, the hotel will want to get rid of the animals.
However studies and experience have shown, as long as the source of food, water and shelter remains available, others will soon take the place of the cats removed. These are eliminated in turn and it becomes a never ending story.
If, instead, a stable colony of sterilized and medically attended cats is permitted to stay on the premises, this will prevent newcomers from moving in and also keep rodents at bay. The cat café program has proven successful in a number of countries worldwide. The project includes:
- Trapping of resort cats for spay/neuter, rabies vaccine, and parasite medication. This results in a healthy and non-reproductive cat population.
- Building of a Cat Café. This provides a feeding area on hotel grounds away from the kitchen, restaurant, and guest areas.
- Consistent nutritious feeding of cats at scheduled times. The cats will learn to come to the Cat Café for food (and purified water) instead of seeking food from guests and resort staff.
To the hotels, there are significant benefits from implementation of a cat café, including:
- Humanely solving the cat overpopulation problem.
- Preventing rodent populations.
- Reducing health risks to employees and guests.
- Positively involving employees and guests.
- Establishing their hotel as a local leader in proactive and humane overpopulation solutions for feral animals – an issue which greatly disturbs tourists and affects tourism.
Once the cat café program has been fully implemented, the feral cat populations attached to the hotel will have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated and de-wormed, and their ongoing health monitored by Coco’s Cat Rescue as well as by the hotel. Sterilization is indicated by a clip made on a cat’s left ear at the same time the surgery is done. This is an international symbol the cat has been sterilized.
In line with the guidelines for cat cafes, the hotel provides the area away from guest and kitchen areas, feeds the cats only in this designated area, provides purified water and usually some shelter. Naturally, it is very important that guests do not feed the cats in any other area, so they become accustomed to going to the café for food. The café is staffed by volunteer cat-loving employees and guests are welcome to interact with the cats there if they wish.
Learn more about WSPA and cat café projects