An inn in western Japan is offering guests a furry companion they can take home with them at checkout. Called My Cat Yugawara, the inn in the hot springs resort town of Yugawara has a package that allows guests to experience living with a cat overnight to help them decide if they want a permanent feline friend.
Here’s how it works: The cats are brought to participating guest’s rooms at 5.30 p.m. and stay there until 9 a.m. the next day. During that time, guests are asked not to leave the cat unattended and to take care of it, by doing such things as managing its litter box—provided—and a poop scoop, also provided.
First-time guests will be asked to take part in at least one session at the associated My Cat Yugawara cat cafe so that staff members can make sure the guests are comfortable around the animals and vice versa. If guests enjoy their time with a feline friend at the hotel and are certain they want one as a pet full-time, they can adopt the very feline they spent the night with. Adoption options depend on an interview to determine whether the person’s home is suitable for a cat.
Guests do pay for the privilege of taking a cat for a trial run. The package reportedly adds about $21 (2225 yen) on top of the hotel’s regular nightly fee of around $47 (4980 yen) per person, or $30 (3178 yen) for a room without a private bathroom. All rates are without meals, although local food deliveries are available.
According to Statista, which compiles marketing and opinion research data, cats are the second-most popular pets in Japan, just behind dogs. Specifically, cats’ pet ownership share in the country is 10.1 percent, while dogs top the list at 11.5 percent.
(Edited by Stephen Gugliociello and Matthew Hall.)
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