VIDEO: A look inside Reykjavik's first cat café
The first cat café opened recently in the Reykjavik city centre, a coffee house aptly called Kattakaffihúsið. "We adore cats so now that pets are allowed in restaurants we decided to jump at the opportunity and go forward with an idea that we've had brewing for a while," says Gígja Björnsson, who owns the café with Ragnheiður Birgisdóttir.
New governmental regulations now allow restaurant owners in Iceland to decide for themselves whether or not animals are allowed there as long as health guidelines are respected.
The cat café is located on Bergstaðastræti 10a, in the same street as famous bar Kaffibarinn. The cats at the café are cats looking for a new home. The café has been enormously popular since opening and it's clear that people love the company of felines whilst enjoying coffee and a host of vegan cakes or sandwiches.
Two rules apply to the cats at the café: Don't pick them up and don't wake them up when they're sleeping.
Gígja: The idea is to offer a place where you can have coffee and nice cakes with cats inthe premises. It's a concept that's popular all over the world, especially in Japan.
Ragnheiður: The cats here are domestic cats that are looking for new homes and owners. Their owners thought it was a nice way for them to find new owners.
Gígja: Fabio for example, the problem for him is that he wasn't getting enough attention. So this is sort of the right kind of place for a cat that requires a lot of attention.
Text: Fabio was just chilling at the café when Iceland Monitor visited. Rósalind decided to say hi to some people.
Gígja: We need cats that will be happy here. Cats that are used to people, friendly, and used to children. We need to find the right tempo and see how different cats work out here.
The rules regarding the cats are simple: don't pick them up and don't wake them up.
Ragnheiður: We've had a really good response, it's been crazy busy since we opened up. It'spopular with cat lovers who have cats at home but enjoy meeting other cats. There's a huge cat lover community in Iceland, and we're also popular with tourists.