Iceland’s first Kattakaffihús, or ‘Cat Café,’ opened its doors last week, mbl.is reports, and is now serving up feline friendship alongside its coffee and cakes. A recent change to public health ordinances means that domestic pets, like cats and dogs, are now not only allowed to take public transportation with their owners, they are also welcome in designated restaurants and cafes around Reykjavík.
Owners and friends Gígja Sara Björnsson and Ragnheiður Birgisdóttir took inspiration from cat cafes which are popular abroad, particularly in Japan. As they explained in an interview with Vísir, there will always be several cats in the café who are in need of a forever-home. Visitors are therefore encouraged to interact with the cats, although there are two important rules to keep in mind: don’t wake the cats, and don’t pick them up.
Currently, a black cat named Fabio and a white and orange tabby named Rósalind are curling up at the café. “The idea is that you can come and meet the kitties and maybe eventually, you and Fabio, for instance, will become flatmates,” said Ragnheiður.
“Cats are also really calming,” added Gígja. “So if you have a cup of coffee and pet a cat at the same time, it’s more than likely that you’ll feel better for the rest of the day.”