Like a lot of other things, the Cat Cafés are an Asiatic invention, that dates from 1998, when in Taiwan (Taipéi) came into being the very first cat café. The fashion soon came to Japan, where it adquired fame, opening the first Japanese Cat Café in Osaka in 2004. Years later, a Japanese cat fan opened - after saving a lot of bureaucratic obstacles - Europe’s first Cat Café in Vienna (2012).
The European Cat Cafés, although inspired in the Japanese idea, have quite a different concept, because they put the cats first and don’t use them as pets to rent. The ‘inhabitants’ of those Cat Cafés come almost invariably from animal protection organizations and there are strict legal provisions to guarantee their wellbeing.
These are the 8 first inhabitants.
All the initial feline residents, except Alba, and a few more who passed through La Gatoteca have been adopted!!! See the actual inhabitants and all the adopted ones on La Gatoteca's Website.
Thomas Leidner, owner of the first German Cat Café in Munich, fell for the concept on a visit to Vienna’s Cat Café, and a year later, after various training courses and exams, he finally could open the Katzentempel. Last month I had the pleasure to visit it, and here are my impressions.
And now, finally, we have Spain’s first Cat Café in Madrid. It has the nice name of “La Gatoteca” and is the headcuarter of the NPO ABRIGA (Asociación Benéfica por el Rescate e Inserción de Gatos en Adopción / NPO for cat rescue and insertion by adoption) and home to a colony of former street cats, rescued from local animal protection organizations and available for adoption.
The establishment at C/Argumosa, 28, close to Madrid's Atocha Railway Station and almost in front of the Reina Sofía Museum, is divided in reception, cafeteria, staff rooms, hall for courses, lectures and therapies, office, consulting room and quarantine. 150 square meters for the cats, and naturally an area where they could retire if they don’t want to be with the visitors.
The walls are decorated with a giant wall painting by Isaac Mahow and the cats have quite a funfair in form of various huge scratching towers.
You can visist La Gatoteca for a fee, depending on the time spend in the establishment, as donation to the ONG, contributing thus to the mantainment of the establishment, helping other cats without home, collaborating in educational projects, rescue and neutering campaigns, etc.
The entry fee includes a free non alcoholic beverage and wifi and books at your disposition.
The entry fee includes a free non alcoholic beverage and other free services, like wifi and books at your disposition.
La Gatoteca also will offer courses of ethology, workshops of feline care and nutrition, consulting days where owners can expose problems they have with their cats, helping people to understand this peculiar being and educating for a responsible ownership and the respect for animals.
And all this in the relaxing company of a group of singular felines, each one with his/her own story and background, selected specifically for their character to furnish the social harmony with other cats and humans.
In the little shop you'll find special cat food, merchandising, cat toys, fashion for you and your home and our Feline Silver Design Jewellery, as well as see some of our Personalized Pet Hair Jewellery.
But there's still more:
La Gatoteca collaborates with the animal protection organization Amics Per Sempre Cataluña in the wonderful project of a pet food bank for families without resources.
And the team from Soul Can, who at present works with dogs for animal assisted therapies, will offer also animal assisted therapies with cats within the establishment of La Gatoteca.
Check out La Gatoteca's website or visit La Gatoteca
open Thuesday to Sunday from 11.00 to 22.30, last entry at 21.30.
Monday afternoon only members and volunteers.
Subject to changes, please confirm on lagatoteca.es