Cat cafes first started popping up in Japan. In a country where many apartment buildings don’t allow cats, these cafes became very popular as a way for Japanese cat lovers to get their kitty fix in a relaxing environment.
Cat cafes are a win not just for cat lovers, but also for the cats who reside in these establishments. Living at the cafe allows the cats, who usually come from shelters, to live in a cage-free environment with plenty of human attention and interaction. Most cat cafes have rules for visitors that include not disturbing the cats while they’re sleeping, no rough handling by visiting children, no flash photography, and no feeding.
Cat cafes opened around the world in the last few years. Russia, Austria, Korea, France and many others all boast their own cat cafes. Intrigued? These five cat cafes are worth visiting.
Kaffee Katzentempel, Munich, Germany
Munich’s Cafe Katzentempel, which translates to “temple of cats,” was the first to open in German. This beautifully designed cafe offers a large variety of coffee and tea drinks and vegan fare ranging from breakfast dishes to light lunches to desserts.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, London, England
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is set to open later this year. This café will offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy a British tea while relaxing in a setting designed to meet the emotional and physical needs of its feline residents.
Café Neko, Vienna, Austria
Five rescue cats welcome visitors to this Austrian coffeehouse, which serves homemade cakes and pastries, Japanese tea, and juices from local farms. Hidden on a small street in the center of Vienna, this oasis of quiet is a favorite for locals and tourists alike.
St. Petersburg Cat Republic, St. Petersburg, Russia
Before entering the Cat Republic, guests are asked to “ apply for a visa,” although no one gets turned down. Guests are asked to observe simple rules when interacting with the cats, such as washing their hands before touching the cats. The main rule is to never force the cats to interact with visitors, because the citizens of the republic are free cats.
Calico Cat Café, Tokyo, Japan
Japan boasts the largest number of cat cafes of any country in the world. Café Calico is so popular that reservations are recommended on weekends. Visitors are provided with an id card and a set of rules. The café is host to young couples on dates, older married couples making an afternoon of it and young women in ones and twos, all present to enjoy the company of the resident cats.
Later this year, the first cat cafes in North America are scheduled to open: Café Chat L’Heureux will welcome visitors in Montreal, Canada, and Kit Tea will provide a feline haven in San Francisco.
This article was previously published on Answers.com and is republished with permission.