Places where you can breakfast with animals

Maria Sergeeva
December 25, 2017

If you need a company to share your meal but would prefer tenderness and a furry touch to a small talk, there is a practical answer: animal cafés.

Cats, dogs, but also raccoons and even giraffes will be happy to breakfast with you. As a bonus, you don’t even need to adopt a giraffe to have your hands nuzzled in search of food and to take the most unusual breakfast pictures.

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Cat cafés

Cat cafés is not a new trend. Born in Taiwan 20 years ago the trend has now been implemented in numerous big cities around the world. Japan alone currently boasts a total of 79 cat cafés and they are still appearing in big and small cities. Depending on the type of café, you can take your pet with you to find him new feline friends, you can  make up for the lack of hugs and if you don’t (or cant) have one at home or even adopt a furry little friend after sharing a meal and just not being able to say goodbye to this cute pet . 

In many European countries, cat cafés have stirred up controversy. In the United Kingdom , many organizations argue that cat cafés might be stressful for cats as they  need more space and freedom. The International Cat Care organization claims that these are tricky spaces to work with, but that it’s not impossible to do so ethically.

Today, almost every big city has at least one cat café. However, in some cities such a cafes are prohibited so feline lovers do their best to uphold the right to open cat cafés in their cities.

The Cat Café, Reykjavík

Just before the Christmas, Reykjavík prepares to open its first Katta Coffee House to join the trend born in Taiwan 20 years ago.

 No wonder if Iceland didn’t open its first animal café sooner.  Until very recently, the law prevented animals from hanging out at restaurants and eateries. Now these laws have been overturned, so Gígja Björnsson and Ragneiður Birgisdóttir didn’t hesitate to fulfill their dream.

Iceland's first cat café is due to open at Bergstaðastræti 10a in central Reykjavík, where all the cat inhabitants will be up for adoption as well. The name of the café is simply Kattakaffihúsið - or, The Cat Café.

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.

 “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.

It seems,  Gígja and Ragneiður  are above reproach and have nothing to hide from cat care organizations as the cats’well-being is their main concern. 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.”

In the menu of the café, a range of vegan and vegetarian dishes, including porridge, sandwiches and a selection of cakes.

Cats’ Republic in St. Petersburg

Cat cafes in Europe trace their origins from Saint Petersburg, Russia. No wonder if this city was a pioneer, taking into account that the northern capital of Russia is a home to the celebrated Hermitage Cats, who protect the world-famous art collection from rats and other unwanted guests. And even thou today there are dozens of cat cafes in Russia, this first network is worthy of a closer look.

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The Cats Republic is a part of Cats Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. This is an authentic place,  combining a little cozy café (cat cafe), a small club, a souvenir shop (all items are cat-related), and, what is the most important, a "cat therapy" hall. There are 25 cats of various breeds living there & meeting guests from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. every single day of the year. This place is meant for everyone who loves cats, or for people who for some reason cannot afford having animals but want to socialize with them, or for those who want to learn how to treat cats, to get to know more about them and their breeds. There are 14 breedy cats, and 10 are ex-dwellers of the Hermitage.

It is also a creative space (today there are two caf2s of the network in Saint Petersburg and one in Moscow) for cat lovers and tourists.

It also is a platform for attracting public attention to the problems of homeless animals. Each tear, Annually more than 700 animals find a new house thanks to Cats’ Republic.

The name of the café, “Cats’ Republic (?????????? ?????)” , reflects well its concept. Cat-loving customers must apply for a “visa,” which is granted after a fee is paid (about $7) and certain rules are accepted, including the most important one, which states that visitors should refrain from trying to play with a cat who does not seem interested in interacting with them.

Meet a “Hermitage Cat”

After explaining the rules, the “ambassador” introduces a few of the more notable “citizens” of the republic, including former Hermitage Cats. There is always at least one cat in residence who used to be a “Hermitage Cat,” a member of the legion of subterranean hunters who protect the collection at the State Hermitage Museum from mice and other pests. Occasionally, Hermitage Cats are “retired,” either to private homes or to the Cats’ Republic, where some of the cats are available for adoption.

Giraffe Manor, Kenya

If you are looking for an unusual breakfast with safari animals and the idea is to share it, not to become a breakfast for hungry lions for kick? fascinates you, you should definitely visit Giraffe Manor in Nairobi.

Giraffe Manor is owned by The Safari Collection and is an exclusive boutique hotel, set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in the Langata suburb of Nairobi. As one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings, Giraffe Manor has extraordinary appeal, that harks back to the 1930s when European visitors first flocked to East Africa to enjoy safaris. With its stately façade, elegant interior, verdant green gardens, sunny terraces and delightful courtyards, guests often remark that it’s like walking into the film Out of Africa: indeed, one of its twelve rooms is named after the author Karen Blixen.

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However, the most captivating thing about Giraffe Manor is its herd of resident Rothschild giraffe who may visit morning and evening, sometimes poking their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat and joining you for a breakfast, before retreating to their forest sanctuary. Giraffe Manor can be booked for the night or as part of a complete tailor-made safari with The Safari Collection.