Sunday, 9 November 2014

Visit La Gatoteca in Madrid for the absolutely purr-fect cup of coffee

When visiting Madrid, consider heading to La Gatoteca, situated right next door to the Reina Sofia art museum on Argumosa street. 

While your cup of coffee doesn't come cheap (at 4 euros), you do, however, get your own cat to spoil for 30 minutes or so, and it's all in such a good cause.

La Gatoteca is a cat café, which opened a year ago and offers a great solution in bringing together abandoned and homeless cats with potential new families.  The two-floor property currently has 14 cats in residence who, while they have made themselves completely at home and certainly look really comfortable, still make their way to any visiting customers in the hope that someone will adopt them and take them home.

Eva Aznar, owner of La Gatoteca, is a cat lover herself and told El Pais that she got the idea from Japan, where there are apparently approximately 200 cat cafés.  She says they also work in combination with ABRIGA, an association that works at finding homes for homeless cats.  Aznar says La Gatoteca has, in the past year, managed to find homes for 24 of the fabulous felines.

La Gatoteca currently has a waiting list of around 15 animals and Aznar works with 25 volunteers.  She says that the last year has been a steep learning curve, deciding which animals to actually take in.

“Initially, we accepted cats from people who could no longer look after their pets, but we found that they were too spoiled, and didn’t fit in,” she said, adding it normally takes approximately two weeks to find a good home for a cat.

“We try to make the adoptions as personalized as possible,” says Aznar, but she says the first thing people must do before adopting is join ABRIGA, at a subscription cost of 50 euros.  They must then attend a beginner's course in cat care. “We help animals that have no home, but also cats that already have one. Many owners don’t know how to look after a cat properly,” Aznar added.

For anyone interesting in adopting a cat, La Gatoteca sounds like the purr-fect spot, not only to enjoy a relaxing cup of café con leche in the capital of Spain, but also to meet some friendly felines.  Browse the available residents here on the café's blog, "Like" them on Facebook, or browse their website (in Spanish)

El Pais