At Café Neko, Customers Can Enjoy a Snack in the Relaxing Companionship of Cats:
Vienna is famous for its grand cafés and coffee shop culture and many of its traditional coffee houses have been around for decades. A relatively new and different coffee shop on Blumenstockgasse 5 is Café Neko, the first ever ‘cat cafe’ in Europe.
Vienna’s Cat Café
As we turned into Blumenstockgasse on our walking tour of Vienna, our local guide pointed to Neko Café and casually mentioned that the café is cat-friendly. She walked off, with the group trailing behind her, but as cat lovers, we couldn’t resist ducking into the café to see the cats. As the adults enjoyed their relaxing cup of coffee and snacks, this little customer preferred to spend time under the table with the sleepy cat.
Vienna’s Café Neko was the creation of Takako Ishimitsu who hails from Japan where cat cafés are popular. There are some 40 cat cafés in Tokyo alone and some of them even feature specific categories of cats, such as a café for black cats, stray cats, fat cats, etc. Pets are not permitted in Japanese apartments and as such cat cafés are popular with people seeking interaction with animals or workers wanting to de-stress after work.
Ms. Ishimitsu wanted to create an environment where people who could not have their own pets could come into the café to enjoy the companionship of her cats. It took her three years to negotiate with the Viennese city officials over hygiene issues. Roaming in Café Neko are Moritz, Luca, Momo, Sonia and Thomas, five cats that she rescued from animal shelters.
Since the opening of Café Neko in Vienna, other cat cafés have sprung up in Budapest and Munich-Schwabing, and with cat cafés soon to open in London and Paris.
Café Neko Menu
At Café Neko you can have anything from espresso to hot chocolate, and a range of teas, including Japanese green tea. Your cappuccino froth comes with a cat face on it. Snacks served can be anything from homemade Austrian cakes to creme caramel and sushi with smoked salmon.
If you’re a cat-lover, check out Café Neko and enjoy the companionship of Neko’s feline residents. The café is open Monday to Sunday from 10:00 – 20:00. By the way, don’t bring your dog around as Café Neko has a strict ‘no dogs’ policy.