The Orlando Cat Cafe prides itself on finding each wonderful cat his/her forever home and providing a cozy cafe & coffeehouse to enjoy. Our goal is to have the interaction be as optimal as possible between the cats and our youngest guests.
On our end, we know that kittens and cats are fragile. They are tiny and can be easily over looked by young children. This is dangerous for both the child and the feline as young children can easily trip and fall over them. Children are naturally exuberant, this is a lovely quality of youth! However, if you are a cat lover, you know that felines prefer slow movements, soft voices and a gentle touch. When kitties get stressed they are very unhappy and become ill or act out to protect themselves.
Children, just like kittens and cats, go through different socialization and developmental stages. For example, children 3-4 years of age are still learning impulse control. Sudden outbursts, or impulsive grabs at a pet might frighten them and cause an adverse, frightened response. Between ages 5-7, children learn empathy and are better equipped to treat cats properly. Sadly, if kittens and cats have negative experiences with children during their socialization period, they can develop a lifelong fear of small children. Likewise, if a child has a negative experience with a kitten or cat, they can also develop the same type of fear.
We believe we’ve found a beautiful solution to ensuring that both children and cats have a more successful interaction. We’ve instituted “Kids Time’ blocks where children under the age of 9 can separately visit with the cats. During these blocks, children will come together as a group and enjoy an hour of entertainment within the cat play area. Parents will need to accompany their child during these sessions. Please ask staff and volunteers of SPCA Florida if you have any questions about a particular cats may behaves toward children.
We believe this will help everyone enjoy their time at the cafe more and not only encourage a better interaction with the adoptable cats, but also a safer and stable environment for all.