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Hundreds of cat cafes open in France

Hundreds of cat cafes are now open in France, with the latest new one welcoming customers in La Rochelle.

Founder of the new Chat’Ren’Thé Jennifer Biryt said: “Having an animal around always makes you feel better.”

The cafes have popped up after the purring of cats was proved to be therapeutic – known in French as ronron (purring) thérapie. The trend started in Japan in 1998 and arrived in Paris in 2013.

The idea is not contained to cafes. Cats wander freely in classrooms at the Candide private school in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Vaucluse.

School director Michèle Bourton said: “There are 15 cats for 75 pupils and it works well.

“Children are as relaxed and as happy as the cats.”

The frequency of cat purrs is said to trigger “happiness hormones” serotonin and endorphins, which reduce stress. 

Véronique Aïache, author of La ronron thérapie: Ces chats qui nous guérissent (Purring therapy: those cats that heal), said: “Canadian researchers have shown that purring helps cats to heal from injuries as it stimulates dopamine production.

“It also works on the human brain and helps us feel better.”

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