The concept of a “cat cafe” is not something new. There are a variety of venues where you can both sip a cup of coffee and pet a feline in several countries around the world. Cat cafes are particularly popular in Asia, with the very first one to open its doors in Taiwan in 1998.
Barcelona’s cat cafe
For those who are a fan of animals but cannot, for some reason, have pets, Espai de Gats is the place to go in Barcelona. Espai de Gats is a friendly venue located in the hip neighborhood of Gràcia, where visitors can come and spend a couple of hours in the company of cats.
How can I visit Espai de Gats?
The best way to visit Espai de Gats is by previously booking a spot directly on their website. Visitors who only want to come and spend time with the cats will pay 3€ and be allowed to spend 30 minutes in the venue. There are 3 different prices for those who also want to have something to eat or drink and spend more time at the venue: the CatPerson Admission costs 5€ and it allows the visitor to spend 90 minutes at the venue and also have a drink, the CatFriend Admission costs 6.50€, which covers 90 minutes, a snack and a drink, and the CatFan Admission costs 8€, which also allows the guest to stay for 90 minutes, have a drink and choose something from the cafe’s deli section (suitable for vegans).
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Are the special rules for visiting Espai de Gats?
Yes. You will be dealing with live animals, which can sometimes be unpredictable. This means that they should treat the cats with respect and be smart about the way they interact with them. It’s a good idea to let the cats approach you instead of it being you who approaches them.
Other rules are:
You cannot bring any other animal to the cafe, even if your own pet is usually very sociable.
You are not allowed to give food to the cats and should not allow a cat to take food from your plate.
Small children should always be monitored by their parents or a responsible adult.
Where did all the cats at Espai de Gats come from?
The abandonment of pets is, unfortunately, a reality in Barcelona, like in many other cities in the world. All of the cats currently living at Espai de Gats were abandoned. The cafe works, in ways, as a shelter, helping the animals to have their basic needs covered, while also allowing people to come and get to know them and, hopefully, adopt them.
Wait, so I can adopt one of Espai de Gats’ cats?
Yes. In fact, helping cats get adopted is one of Espai de Gats‘ main objectives. They want to help cats who have been in shelters or foster houses for too long, allowing them to be adopted by a new owner who is ready to love and care for it. To make the process of adoption quicker and easier, all of the cats have previously been tested for health issues, deloused, sterilized, dewormed, vaccinated and they already have a microchip which allows the animal to be found more easily in case it ever gets lost.
If you are interested in adopting a cat at Espai de Gats, talk to the staff. They know their animals very well and will know which cats are more suited for you, depending on your home environment and the people you live with (if there are children in the house, seniors, etc).
Please take the time to consider if you can and should adopt a cat. Having a pet can bring a great deal of joy to your life but it also comes with a great deal of responsibility. Your pet will need you to not only love it but to have patience with it, especially if it has to adapt to living in a new home. Having a pet also has costs associated to it, not only related to food and toys but also to visits to the veterinary and possible health interventions. Take all of this into account before adopting a pet to make sure you will be able to give it the quality of life it deserves.
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Is there any way I can help support Espai de Gats?
Yes. The first and simplest way you can do this is by visiting the venue. You will not only help them monetarily when you pay the price of admission but you will also be helping the animals by giving them love and care. You can also buy products sold at Espai de Gats – all the money gained is invested into help the kitties. Finally, you can make a monthly donation through Teaming.
Espai de Gats is located at Carrer de Terol, 29, and is open from 10:30 to 1:30 am, and then from 5 to 10 pm, except on Mondays, when it’s closed, and Tuesdays, when it opens only during the afternoon.