Is there a cat cafe in Helsinki

Comfortable meows in Finnish cat cafés

"In our café we give you a cappuccino that is like a work of art: a cat is depicted in the foam," says Tiina Aaltonen. She and her husband run the cat café Purnauskis in the central southern Finnish city of Tampere; it was the first café of its kind in Finland.

But the Finnish capital doesn't want to be outdone: Helsinki has its own cat-populated café called Cat Café Helkatti. The readers of the local newspaper Helsingin Uutiset (Helsinki News) voted it the best café in Helsinki in 2016. Helkatti even offers cat yoga once a week. At the time of writing, we had not yet received any feedback from our velvet-pawed informants as to whether they preferred the cat exercise or the position of the dog looking down.

If you visit these cafes you can see that the place actually belongs to the cats. Purnauskis is the realm of eight cuddly cats with names like Nurri, Micu, Evo, Viiru and Lumi (snow). They roam the rooms, lie under the tables and play with the laces of the customers. The customers are only guests here, because the cats are in charge and the café staff spoil them. (The article continues after the slideshow.)

“To be awake or not to be awake - that is the question.” - W. Katspear Photo courtesy of Tiina Aaltonen / Katzencafé Purnauskis

Is that supposed to be a startling screech or just a meow? Photo courtesy of Cat Café Helkatti

“You know, I think there is a great deal of intelligence behind these eyes,” says Lumi, who observes a person in the Purnauskis cat café. "Lumi" is the Finnish word for "snow". Photo courtesy of Tiina Aaltonen / Katzencafé Purnauskis

A cat as cool as Nurri stays calm and nonchalant. Photo courtesy of Tiina Aaltonen / Katzencafé Purnauskis

How about a Katpuccino or a Caffè Katte with cat foam art? Photo courtesy of Cat Café Helkatti

When you visit a cat café, you can often see one of the housemates walking along the armrest of the sofa, even if you thought it only belongs to you. Photo courtesy of Tiina Aaltonen / Katzencafé Purnauskis

Cats on the windowsill, cats on the curtains. Can you spot other cats in this picture from Cat Café Helkatti? Photo courtesy of Cat Café Helkatti

Tyylilyyli is in a purple mood in Helkatti. Photo courtesy of Cat Café Helkatti

Helmiina, who pitched her tent in the Cat Café Helkatti, is considered a playful cat. Photo courtesy of Cat Café Helkatti

Enough for this day: Cat café Purnauskis after the shop closes. Photo courtesy of Tiina Aaltonen / Katzencafé Purnauskis

A catalog of Finnish cats

“Our customers like to stroke, cuddle and play with the cats,” says Aaltonen. “Parents often bring their children here, for example as a birthday present or because they have been good to the doctor. Disabled people are also among our customers. We are happy that they have fun holding and scratching the cats. "

At Purnauskis only one of the cats originally belonged to the Aaltonens. The rest of them were homeless before. They came to the café through Kisu, a cat-focused animal welfare organization. No matter how much the people in the café want these cats around, "we would be very happy if we could help them find a new, loving home," says Aaltonen.

Helkatti works in a similar way with Kisu. All but one of the Helsinki cats were homeless before they were welcomed to the café. They have names like Tuli (fire), Puu (wood), Hercules, Nestori, Helmiina, and Tyylilyyli (try to pronounce this).

By Anna Liukko and the ThisisFINLAND editorial staff, March 2018

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