Why Owl Cafes in Japan are Just Not Cool

Among the most shocking and heartbreaking claims these owls cafes told the public that “The Owl have been adopted by a new family”. The reality is that, when the shop said this, the owl had likely died. This is one of the most told lies these owl cafes often told their customers.

Owls are bird of prey that needs a certain environment to live 

The living environment at these many owl cafes is often less than suitable for animals to live in. Most spaces in Japan, especially in Tokyo, is known for its notoriously tiny rooms. This applies to not just apartments or living quarters, but various places. Some cafes and restaurants are known to have extremely narrow spaces as well.

There have been cases of owl deaths at a cat cafe due to low welfare 

One of the most notable ones (that is known, at least) is seven owls death in one year. The source has refused to mention which cafe for privacy reasons. Owls’ sickness is often difficult to detect. These animals are not vocal and they often are not able to show that they are not feeling well. These owl cafe owners refuse to take the owls to the vet when they do notice signs of illness. It goes to the point that these owls finally died. 

Lack of record-keeping by business owners regarding sales of owls 

An inspection done by the department of public health in Japan have pointed out the evidence that these owl cafes are not keeping a record book of these owls at all. There is no record of the sales of these owls at all, and the living state of these owls are highly doubted. 

The reality of the owl cafe business 

An “owl specialty cafe” certainly paints the image that the people who run this place have a certain level of experience, or even expertise, regarding these owls. Most of the time, this cannot be further from the reality. Many people purchase animals for their supposed “value”—instead of compassion in order to give them a new home and the care they need. The desire to possess is often the motivation for these people. And there’s also the question of the procurement of the owls. Procuring an animal is certainly no cheap endeavor. Some cafe owners boasts that they have gotten “rare” owls rarely found in Japan. So where do they get these owls? Why is it so easy for them to dispose of these owls when they’re sick?

Animals in captivity: it’s always a complex subject 

Confining animals to a small space is one of the most common forms of abuse. This has largely been the case with zoo controversy. Apparently, these “cafes” are not much different. An exception may be made for domestic animals such as cats and dogs, that have evolved to stay indoors and be in the company of humans. But even then, the quality of life of these animals must be evaluated regularly. Some cats cafe are known not to provide sufficient veterinary care for their animals. This includes basic things such as spaying and neutering these cats, and even vaccinations.