Asia

Cats at Japan's 'cat cafes' now allowed to stay up till 10

  • In this May 2, 2012 photo, a cat stands on the shoulder of a guest stroking another cat at Cat Cafe Calico in Tokyo. Felines at Japan's popular "cat cafes" are now allowed to stay up until 10 p.m. to interact with customers. The Environment Ministry's animal rights panel said Wednesday, April 27, 2016 that the cats will be allowed to hang out two hours later than the old guidelines allowed. Under the 2012 guidelines, cats and other animals at pet shops could not be displayed after 8 p.m. (Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

    In this May 2, 2012 photo, a cat stands on the shoulder of a guest stroking another cat at Cat Cafe Calico in Tokyo. Felines at Japan's popular "cat cafes" are now allowed to stay up until 10 p.m. to interact with customers. The Environment Ministry's animal rights panel said Wednesday, April 27, 2016 that the cats will be allowed to hang out two hours later than the old guidelines allowed. Under the 2012 guidelines, cats and other animals at pet shops could not be displayed after 8 p.m. (Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Dec. 18, 2010 photo, two cats sleep together at a cat cafe in Tokyo. Felines at Japan's popular "cat cafes" are now allowed to stay up until 10 p.m. to interact with customers. The Environment Ministry's animal rights panel said Wednesday, April 27, 2016 that the cats will be allowed to hang out two hours later than the old guidelines allowed. Under the 2012 guidelines, cats and other animals at pet shops could not be displayed after 8 p.m. (AP Photo/Hiroshi Otabe)

    In this Dec. 18, 2010 photo, two cats sleep together at a cat cafe in Tokyo. Felines at Japan's popular "cat cafes" are now allowed to stay up until 10 p.m. to interact with customers. The Environment Ministry's animal rights panel said Wednesday, April 27, 2016 that the cats will be allowed to hang out two hours later than the old guidelines allowed. Under the 2012 guidelines, cats and other animals at pet shops could not be displayed after 8 p.m. (AP Photo/Hiroshi Otabe)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this May 2, 2012 photo, cats rest on the perches at Cat Cafe Calico in Tokyo. Felines at Japan's popular "cat cafes" are now allowed to stay up until 10 p.m. to interact with customers. The Environment Ministry's animal rights panel said Wednesday, April 27, 2016 that the cats will be allowed to hang out two hours later than the old guidelines allowed. Under the 2012 guidelines, cats and other animals at pet shops could not be displayed after 8 p.m. (Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

    In this May 2, 2012 photo, cats rest on the perches at Cat Cafe Calico in Tokyo. Felines at Japan's popular "cat cafes" are now allowed to stay up until 10 p.m. to interact with customers. The Environment Ministry's animal rights panel said Wednesday, April 27, 2016 that the cats will be allowed to hang out two hours later than the old guidelines allowed. Under the 2012 guidelines, cats and other animals at pet shops could not be displayed after 8 p.m. (Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

Felines at Japan's "cat cafes" are now officially allowed to stay up until 10 p.m. to interact with customers.

The Environment Ministry's animal rights panel said Wednesday that the cats will be allowed to hang out for two more hours than officially allowed under the current guidelines.

Under the 2012 guidelines, cats and other animals at pet shops are prohibited from being displayed after 8 p.m. Cat cafes, however, were allowed to have their cats out until 10 p.m., but only while experts studied the impact of nightlife on the cats' health.

Experts concluded that the additional hours made no notable difference on cats' stress levels.

Cat cafes — where cats can be seen and played with — are extremely popular in Japan, with hundreds of outlets in the country.