No someone didn’t accidentally leave the door open and let in all the strays.
Café ‘Neko’ – which translates as cat in Japanese – has just opened in Austria’s capital, Vienna, where cat lovers can have a purrfect afternoon break stroking and interacting with cats while sipping coffee.
It’s a twist on the traditional Viennese coffeehouse experience, where locals and tourists pop by to read the paper and enjoy a ‘melange’ (frothy coffee) and a slab of sachertorte (apricot layered chocolate cake).
It’s Austria’s first cat café – opened by a Japanese couple who were keen to export the popular Japanese concept to Vienna.
Takako Ishimitsu – who owns the café – got her wish after three years of negotiating with city officials over hygiene issues. (After all, no one wants cat hair in their food).
Her five ‘resident’ cats – Sonja, Thomas, Moritz, Luca and Momo – are all from animal shelters.
In Japan, cat cafés are all the rage because landlords don’t often allow cats to live inside their four walls. That had led to a rise in the popularity of pet cafés, particularly in built-up Tokyo.
Some cat cafés in Japan charge visitors by the hour to spend time with their resident cats and it’s seen as a social activity, often bringing friends together of an afternoon.
Do you love the idea of a cat cafe? Let us know in the comments box below.