A new Japan export: "cat cafes" come to Austria

REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Cat 'Luca' sleeps in his basket as a waitress serves some food to customers in Vienna's first cat cafe May 7, 2012. After three years of negotiations with city officials over hygiene issues, Austria opened its first cat cafe last Friday. 'Cafe Neko', "Neko" meaning cat in Japanese, was opened by Vienna resident Takako Ishimitsu, 47, from Japan. Customers can stroke and interact with their five feline hosts, named Sonja, Thomas, Moritz, Luca and Momo, who all came from an animal shelter and now freely roam about the cafe and take naps. There's a slide show with more photos here.


    1. As a Chicagoan, I’m totally seconding this.

      On the plus side, we have Myopic Books in Wicker Park, and there’s a friendly cat or two wandering around the reading areas and bookshelves in there.

    2. Heeeereeee kitty kitty kitty!  Just wait till I figure out which one of my four has been pissing out of the box, and I’ll contribute to the cause.
      For the one that waltzes meowing into the bedroom at 4 am, well I’ve bought a water gun in his honor.

      1. Dude, any chance your cat could be diabetic? My guy, Gubby, started doing the same thing last year.  Took him to the vet, turns out he’s diabetic. 

        1. Thank you for the concern and the tip, but I’m relieved to say that it’s not that, whoever it is (and I have my suspicions narrowed down) pees at a weird angle, sometimes he misses the litter box wall and there’s a puddle on the floor nearby.  Then there’s three litter boxes, and he always uses the smaller one.  The rest of the house remains urine-free.

          1.  Let me guess… it’s the fat one that hasn’t seen his own bits in years? Of course he always uses the smallest box!

  1. Awwww, who’s a sleepy kitty paw-cat? *pets paw*

    I would definitely go to a cat café!

  2. That’s really cool and all, but shouldn’t these be called “cat friendly” cafes?  From the headline, I was expecting a full-on feline hang-out, with cats smoking pipes and playing chess and reading Sartre and shit.

  3. I do wonder what american food safety would say about this.. but to be honest it would be the cleanest place around since rats would be terrified to come anywhere near it.. And with that said, I cannot express how much want. 

    1. Of course you shouldn’t just drop the cats in there and clean the box only once a day, but really. People who worry about this should never, ever eat anything that was industrially produced or what they didn’t purchase directly from a market stand thy trust.

      1. Market stands? You know those vegetables are grown in horse poo?

        Horse poo, I tell you! HORSE POO!

        Excuse me, I have to go disinfect now. Out, damned spot…

  4. As a Yank ex-pat in the UK I love how dogs are allowed pretty much everywhere here. Pubs are twice the fun when there’s a couple dogs wandering around, but I’d prefer a cat cafe/pub. After my two cats died and it was impractical to get new ones I would have spent all day in such a cafe trying to pet the pain away.

  5. Funny. When I read about the cat cafes a few weeks ago, my first thought was: “That would never fly with health reagulations here in Vienna.”

  6. probably not a good idea to position the cat basket just above a table of food.  

    1. Have you ever been to a monkey temple? I don’t have many limits, but that was beyond them.

      1. I haven’t been and don’t plan to visit one unless I get to know the simple joys of a monkey knife fight.

  7. I’ve been to plenty of mom & pop shops over the years with friendly cats living in them and they don’t make a big deal about it. Posers!

  8. I’ve been to plenty of mom & pop shops over the years with friendly cats living in them and they don’t make a big deal about it. Posers!

  9. Something tells me letting 5 dogs roam (and eventually waddle) freely in a restaurant wouldn’t work as well.

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