What can be more relaxing than sitting hearing cats purr or seeing cats sleeping and playing around you? Over the past two decades, cat cafés have been appearing all over the world, offering visitors a chance to relax in a feline environment while enjoying food and drink.
Whatever the location, every cat café has the same basic requirement. Visitors have to remember that the cats always have priority – it is their home after all. For some cats, it is their long-term permanent home. Some cat cafés work closely with local cat shelters, helping to find cats new homes by getting them used to being around humans. Visitors are expected to respect the cats, not wake them, disturb them or force them to play.
Kattakaffihúsið is Reykjavik’s first Cat Café. After opening in March of 2018, Kattakaffihúsið is a vegetarian café that quickly became a popular destination for coffee, tea, vegan cakes, sandwiches, and more. This cat café creates a warm and cozy atmosphere for people to relax, enjoy delicious food and coffee, and meet and interact with the cats.
Popular dishes and drinks include the Grilled Pesto Sandwich, Waffle with rhubarb, vegan Carrot Cake, and Rose Latte.
All of their cats are up for adoption and reside at the café while waiting for their future homes. In fact, Reykjavik is known for being cat lover’s haven, with many famous cats as residents.
Café Dogs and Cats
It was in 1998 that the first ever cat café was opened. Located in Taipei, Taiwan, Kitten Garden, now renamed Café Dogs and Cats, is home to 12 rescue cats, 2 dogs and one bird. Cats jump on the tables and on visitors, while others are keen on playtime. It’s spacious, with a relaxing garden environment and there is no need to book. Visitors are expected to make purchases while in the café.
Neko no Jikan Kita Honten
Neko no Jikan Kita Honten (Cat’s Time) can be found in Osaka. It is incredibly popular as the smallness of Japanese homes mean that most people cannot have their own pets. The café offers championship and the comfort of being around animals, something that is seen as very important since Japanese people believe in the healing power of the presence of cats. A very traditional Japanese café complete with tatami mat flooring and shoji screens, it possesses a very calm, zen-like ambience and lots of soft guitar music in the background. The entrance fee includes a drink, giving you time to meet the cats. Up to 13 or more cats may be around, ranging from short hairs to ragdolls, Burmese and Bengals.
Neko No Mise
In Tokyo, cat lovers head for Neko No Mise (Cat’s Store) which is run by a cat welfare charity. With up to 18 resident cats, visitors can relax in the spacious cat playroom, whether for a coffee break or an afternoon stay. You can even surf the internet or sit and read while enjoying the company of the cats as there are bookshelves containing hundreds of books and comics. There are lots of cat toys available, and visitors can buy cat snacks to share with the furry felines. Average visitor stay is around 30 to 60 minutes, with visitors paying for a couple of hours or in 10-minute increments.
The New Chattouille
Enjoy chocolate cake, snacks and treats at The New Chattouille in Brussels. All the cats are available for adoption, having been rescued by the bar’s partner organisation, Ever’y Cat. Prices in The New Chattouille are slightly higher than other bars in the area, as this reflects the special nature of the occupants. It’s a small place, quiet and friendly where visitors can simply relax with the cats. As the owners point out ‘Cats are kings here and must be respected as such.’
Slightly further north in The Netherlands, Kopjes opened in 2015 in the Baarjses area of Amsterdam West. Home to 8 cats, it is a fully furnished paradise in which its feline occupants do not lack for anything. All the cats have been selected from two cat shelters. Owner Lenny Popelier set up the café following a successful crowdfunding campaign. She comments, “Kopjes is a place where you leave the house ultra-relaxed and happy, cats, coffee and cake in a jacket of love, what more could you want?” Visitors have to book sessions in advance.
Romeow Cat Bistrot
Romeow Cat Bistrot in Rome acts as both a café and restaurant, being open for full meals in the evening. During the week, students often stop by Romeow to destress and study amid their feline hosts companionship. Choose your time carefully to arrive at Romeow as it closes for a short time at lunch time and early evening to allow the cats to eat peacefully without any interruptions.
Over in Vilnius, Lithuania, the Cat Café Kačių Kavinė is home to fifteen cats. It has been listed in the top 25 best cat café
s in the world. All the cats are from animal shelters and the owners aim to ensure they have happiness in their lives. It’s a place of peace and playfulness, open for breakfast, lunch or relaxing. There are even special activities such as cat related exhibitions and lectures.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium
Potential visitors need to book up in advance before arriving at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in London. Food and drink can be purchased from the a la carte menu while in the cat room, meeting the numerous cats living here. Most are permanent residents, while others are available for rehoming from a cat charity. There is even a Lord of the Rings seven strong kitten gang including Frodo, Leoglas and Gimli.