The Real Reason Breweries Keep Cats Around

For avid cat lovers, finding cats in unexpected places can be an over joyous occasion. Consider a cat cafe: Lounging on a comfortable chair while sipping coffee and petting a kitty might sound like a dream for some. Cat cafes originated in 1998 in Taiwan, according to Smithsonian Magazine. Since then, the number of cafes in the country have continued to grow. A student studying in Japan, Sharla Hinskens, said although these coffee houses are highly touristed, a wide variety of people attend. "I was surprised at the number of local Japanese [businessmen] that were there. I talked to one of them, and he said cat cafes are a great place to relax and forgot about work, so he comes at least once a week," she said.

According to Kitchn, these cafes are also an innovative way to show off shelter cats to potential new owners. As of 2019, Cat Town Cafe, the first cat cafe in the United States, has homed more than 600 felines. If the idea of cuddling with a kitty at a coffee house brings a smile to your face, you might also be thrilled when you happen to spot them in other places, such as breweries.

Cats chase away mice

Have you ever booked a brewery tour, and to your surprise, a cat was the most exciting stop along the route? As it turns out, there are plenty of kitties prancing the halls of breweries in the United States. Empirical Brewery, located in Chicago, Illinois, is home to a black cat named Raymond and a tabby named Venkman. Along with being cute, the cats have the important job of keeping pests away from the brewery's grain.

This mutually beneficial agreement between cats and humans isn't something new. Per World History, cats began safeguarding grain from mice more than 100,000 years ago. Though these cats weren't identical to the ones in our homes today, the Near Eastern Wildcat was bred by Mesopotamians presumably for this exact reason.

Excitedly, those hoping to kick back with a beer and a feline companion can check for nearby breweries with the Cats on Tap store locator. Because the mission is focused on the visual aspects of cats with beer, it has an active Instagram presence to showcase brewery cats near and far.