Feline Good: The Ventura County Cat Lounge Providing Strokes For Folks
Studies have shown that petting a cat can be good at reducing stress levels – but not everyone can have a cat at home. So, a Ventura County café is welcoming cat lovers for a chance to pet their feline residents.
Michael Limont is sat on the couch at Cassie’s Cats in Ventura, alongside his wife Michele, stroking a purring kitty called Charlotte.
He says he always thought he was a dog guy – until he discovered their local so-called cat lounge.
"It's a way for me to help bond with animals. I grew up a dog guy, but overall I think I'm an animal person," Limont says.
But what is a cat lounge? The President of Cassie’s Cats Jennifer Thompson says it’s a chance for visitors to relax and interact with cats – and perhaps they might even give one a new home.
"It's a place where visitors can come in, pay a small donation fee, stay and interacts with the cats," Thompson explains. "We bring in rescued cats so they're also available for adoption."
As the saying goes – dogs have owners and cats have staff – and these unique felines are certainly waited on by the loving owner and guests, with plenty of places to climb and sleep.
"We have a lot of visitors who have cats at home. They love cats and want to come and get a little kitty fix," says Thompson.
"We also have people come in who for one reason or another can't have cats at home right now, maybe their living situation or an allergic partner, so this is a way for them to still love on the cats," she says.
Thompson says the cats "take it in their stride," to have so many visitors.
And the Limonts say the stress-relieving benefits of simply snuggling up with a cat, can’t be underestimated.
"It's therapeutic, it reduces blood pressure, and it just makes you feel good about yourself," says Limont.