In a town so full of cat people, you would expect there to be at least one cat café. Unfortunately for the feline friendly folks of Reykjavík, until very recently, the law prevented animals from hanging out at restaurants and eateries. Now these laws have been overturned, and Gígja Björnsson and Ragneiður Birgisdóttir have wasted no time in bringing the people what they clearly want.
“We are big cat fans already and so have taken the opportunity the change in the law has afforded us to launch this new venture,” says Gígja, speaking to Morgunblaðið.
Katta Coffee House will open on Bergstaðastræti 10a just in time for Christmas. Unfortunately for the more carnivorous prospective patrons, the cats are for cuddling, not eating. Instead, the café will serve up a range of simple vegan and vegetarian delights, like porridge, sandwiches and a selection of cakes.
Cat cafés have been steadily gaining popularity across Europe and America since their inception in Taiwan 20 years ago. This new space in Reykjavík is small, so there won’t be too many cats there at a time, in order to avoid nasty cat fights and keep all the furry friends happy and relaxed. This might be a relief for some cat café critics who worry that such environments can be stressful for their feline frequenters.
It seems, however, that the well-being of the cats is at the forefront of Gígja and Ragneiður’s minds. Gígja says that they have incorporated a selection of shelves, scratching posts and playtoys into the new space and the café will also be working with the cats adoption agency Wildcats with the aim of having all the cats that come to the café eventually adopted into loving new homes.
“It is often difficult to find older cats a home,” says Gígja. “Kittens go quickly, so we see this as a way for people to get to know our cats a bit better.”
Cat cuddles and coffee in a cosy, Christmassy café: We’re paws-itive that this is going to be a hit.