I wrote an article a year ago about the opening of a new cat café in Valencia. As a cat lover myself I’ve been waiting for an excuse to visit. So on my birthday, my daughter thought it would be a great surprise to treat me with the experience of having some feline company whilst having a cup of coffee.
‘A cat cafe? What is it? Do you need a cat to go?’ I hear you say. The answer is NO. But you need to love or appreciate cats.
The aim is to socialise the cats for adoption giving people the chance to get to know them.
It’s a simple concept. Cat lovers pay a small amount to spend time with the kitties. My daughter pre-booked an hour for us via the website. For a fee of €5.00, we spent 60 minutes with the cats which also included a beverage of our choice.
Where is it?
The cafe is located in Carrer Túria, about 10 minutes walk from the Mercado Central. Upon arrival, we had to ring the bell and tell the staff that we have an appointment. Of course, they were expecting us. It’s necessary to book before you go. This system makes sure that the cats are not exposed to the public for a large amount of time. The premises also close during the afternoon giving the cats time to rest.
Once you check in, the staff will explain the basic rules. Do not feed the cats, no flash photography, wash your hands, etc… They are easy to follow and it’s all about common sense. Once we understood, we were allowed to enjoy as much free time playing, stroking the cats and wishing that we could take all of them home!
What is it like inside?
The drinks and snacks menu is pretty basic, so don’t expect this place to be like Starbucks with cats. The aim is to socialise the cats for adoption giving potential owners the chance to get to know them in their own environment. It also gives cat lovers an opportunity to spend time with them and have a drink (not literally) with the felines without the responsibility of owning one!
For those of you who are wondering about hygiene, I can assure you that the premises are spotlessly clean and there is no trace of ‘cat smells’.
Are the cats friendly?
Cats are unpredictable. They might jump, rub, smell and even judge you from across the room. A few approached us, rubbed against our legs, attempt to climb in my bag. But that’s the fun of it! Let them take the lead and check you out. As the saying goes, you don’t choose the cat, the cat chooses you!
The cats, however, do jump on tables, and chairs, which is normal. They’re cats! As well as cat trees, hammocks and toys, the cats also have little-hidden corners and boxes where they can hide, if they do not feel like socialising.
What else is there apart from cats?
There are comfy seatings of sofas, chairs and bean bags. There are also several power points and wifi ideal if you just want to pop in send some emails while in the company of cats.
There’s a display of photos of cats that have been adopted. There is also little spot of merchandise by the counter if you wish to support the cause.
It’s a surprisingly relaxed, homely and clean place. I love the way it has been set out. The cats can interact with people and potential owners in their own familiar setting.
Whether you’re just visiting Valencia, and missing your furry friend back home, in need of a fix because you can’t have a pet in your home; or maybe you want a furry pick me up in the presence of some feline friends.
I can’t promise that the cats will solve all your problems but what they will offer you is something nowhere else in Valencia can. Even if you’re not a cat lover, why not give it a try? Maybe you’ll change your mind by the time you leave.