The world's first cat café opened in Taipei (Taiwan) in 1998, but the concept became really popular in Japan. Many people live there in very small apartments, so they have no way of keeping cats themselves. In order to still get their occasional dose of purring relaxation, the Japanese like to visit cat cafes.
What are cat cafes?
Is there anything better than eating a piece of cake surrounded by cats and drinking a delicious coffee or tea? Perhaps reading a book or the daily newspaper in peace? That's exactly what you can do in cat cafes. There are different concepts, but there are also a few similarities between the bars. The challenge is to both comply with the hygienic requirements of a catering business and to ensure that cats are kept in a species-appropriate manner.
Therefore, the kitchen is usually in a separate room to which the cats have no access. Conversely, the cooks are not allowed into the rooms where the fur noses are. The cats can usually move freely in the dining room. There are often boxes of cat toys there, so guests can play with the house tigers. Visitors enter the café via a lock. This means that they have to go through at least two doors before they get into the dining room - this prevents the animal residents from bullying. In Japan, many cat cafes require entry. However, this is unusual in the European variants.
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Important rules for cat happiness in the cafés
It is important for the cats that they can withdraw at any time if they no longer feel like the hustle and bustle in the café's dining room. Therefore, there is a separate relaxation room for the kitty in most cat cafés. The guests have no access there. In the relaxation room, the cats get their food, can go to the litter box or enjoy the silence.
In addition, there are often climbing walls, scratching posts, bridges, viewing platforms and lots of cozy sleeping places for the cats in the dining room. This meets the natural need of the fur noses for higher places. It is important for happy cats that they can decide for themselves whether they want to play with the guests, cuddle or prefer to watch them from a safe distance. In Japanese cat cafés, unfortunately, this is not always adhered to - sometimes the cats are put on the guests' lap without the velvet paws being asked for their opinion.
Otherwise, there are usually certain basic rules that guests must adhere to when visiting a cat café. Guests can:
● play with the cats
● watch the cats
● stroke the cats when they come to them voluntarily
● take pictures of the cats
The following things are usually forbidden:
● Raise cats
● Bother cats while sleeping
● Cats run after and chase them
● Photograph cats with flash
● Feed cats
● Roar at cats
● Pull cats by the tail or otherwise cause them pain
Furthermore, visitors are not allowed to bring dogs or other pets of their own and are generally not allowed to smoke.
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Cat cafés in German-speaking countries
The first German-speaking cat café opened in Vienna in 2012. The owner of Takado Ishimitsu brought the idea for the "Café Neko" ("Neko" means "cat" in Japanese) from her native Japan. The five animal café residents all come from animal welfare. In the following video you can see a few impressions from the "Café Neko" in Vienna:
The "Café Katzentempel" from Munich is the first of its kind in Germany. It opened its doors in 2013. The owner Thomas Leidner was inspired by the "Café Neko" during a vacation in Vienna. In the "Café Katzentempel" special emphasis is placed on animal protection. Not only do the animal residents come from the animal shelter, cats from animal welfare are also taught. In addition, the dishes and cakes on offer are vegan with a few exceptions. You can find out more about the "Cat Temple" philosophy in the next video:
The "Café Katzentempel" now also issues licenses. Further "cat temples" can be found in Nuremberg and Hamburg. The latter has only been open since the end of July 2017. In addition, there are cat cafes in the following German cities:
● Berlin ("PeePees Katzencafé", "BaristaCats" and "Zur Mieze")
● Cologne ("Café Schnurrke")
● Aachen ("Katzencafé Milou")
● Hanover ("Stubentiger Cafe")
● Bielefeld ("Katzencafé Miezhaus")
Cat cafes abroad
In the meantime, the cats have conquered the gastronomy landscape worldwide. Sometimes there are cat cafes that have no permanent animal residents, but temporarily accept cats from the shelter. In this way they help the velvet paws to get used to people and find it easier to find a new, permanent and loving home for the girls. An example of this concept is the "Compagnie des Chats" in Avignon, France. France has other cat cafés in Paris, Reims and Montpellier.
In the following countries, for example, you can also eat cakes while scratching cats on your next vacation:
● Belgium ("Chat touille" in Brussels)
● Czech Republic ("Kočkafé Freya" in Prague)
● Denmark ("Café Miao" in Copenhagen)
● Finland ("Kissakahvila Purnauskis" in Tampere and another in Helsinki)
● Italy ("MiaGola Café" in Turin)
● The Netherlands ("Kopjes" in Amsterdam, "Kattencafé Op z'n Kop" in Groningen)
● Russia ("Cats Republic" in St. Petersburg)
● Great Britain ("Kitty Café" in Nottingham, "Maison de Moggy" in Scotland)
● Canada ("Le Café des Chats" in Montreal)
There are also countless cat cafés in the United States and, of course, in Japan and other countries in Asia.
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