Café Neko – Vienna’s first cat café opens where you can pet a cat over a cuppa

Free Wi-Fi isn't the main attraction at this new café in Vienna - it's pet cats.

cat lies on branch while guests eat in cafe, Vienna

Source: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

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.

cat runs around cafe while visitors look on at their tables

Source: Source: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

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.

What others have said

  1. I love cats!I have 3 (2 females, 1 full white, the other a nice yellow colour). The male (sterilized) is white and yellow (son). Mother and son are getting along very well, I think that they understand that they are family,but specially the mother doesn’t stand the white female cat. I never been in Vienna only in Graz and Salsburg but I hope to get the euromillion and go to Wien then.In te meanwhile I’m sure that Neko Cafe and your cats will be doing the delight of cat’s lovers with great success.

  2. it’s lovely that it’s finally on occident now. But wait only little time, some it’s going to happen on madrid, with more surprise than that………….. We’re working on it whit all of our love to cats!!!

  3. I love the concept! Why government have a issue I really do not understand, so thanks for the fighting you owners!
    My next holiday should be Barcelona, but now I will go to Vienna, would love to have the cats around while I have my coffee. And if Vienna have some more interesting thing, I’ll might stay a couple of days… Just because of the cats and this special coffeehouse! Hege, Norway

  4. I visited the cafe 2 weeks ago,
    adress is Blumenstockgasse 5, 1010 Innere stad, nearby the Franziskaner church, sidestreet of Rauhsteingasse.

  5. In a few days time spending 4 days in
    Bratislava and plan to spend just 1 day in
    Vienna so as a CAT lover would love to visit the newly opened CAT – NEKO Cafe in
    Vienna. Does anyone have the address as our time in Vienna is so short, knowing
    where to go would be helpful.

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