Sip a drink in the midst of single-colored or spotted, striped or marbled, fat or thin cats, small and large, to caress or simply to watch while they play or do stunts, and eventually to adopt: a dream for any cat dog, especially if he cannot keep a feline at home.

This is what the cat cafés offer, with the most imaginative and bizarre names taking hold almost everywhere: in Malaysia there is the Purrfect cat café, in Madrid the Gatoteca, in Copenhagen the Café miao, in Berlin the Pee Pees Katzencafé, in Turin the MiaGola. The Piedmontese capital also welcomes the Neko Cat Café: neko is the Japanese word for the feline in question.

Image The entrance of Laika cat cafe in Tokyo. | Laika ac / Flikr

Feline of the Rising Sun. The Japanese were the first to be won over by the idea, after years of "feline tourism" to visit the first place in the world, opened in 1998 in Taiwan. In 2004 also Japan finally had its first neko café, in Osaka. Now Tokyo boasts 39, also themed: there are bars for black cats and others for fat cats, for fine-bred cats or ex strays (adoptable). And even the Rabbit (rabbit) café and even a place with goats have sprung up on the wave.

Western landing. The meowing bars then spread to other Asian countries, such as South Korea and Malaysia; they then landed in Europe, with Vienna in the lead, finally in America and Australia. And the trend continues.

There remains the doubt that the felines are not respected, but usually the locals have a very precise regulation so as not to upset them too much: at the very least, don't wake the sleeping cat!