Valencia’s first-ever ‘cat café’ has just opened on Calle Túria with a huge collection of rescued moggies seeking homes. ‘El Passatge dels Gats’ is home to felines rescued from the street by the Valencia-based shelter Asociación Adaana, and have all been spayed or neutered, wormed, de-flead, vaccinated and given a thorough veterinary check – as is standard with most shelters whenever they welcome a new arrival.
However, in order to get a second chance at life and enjoy being spoilt rotten in a loving home, the cats need to be ‘humanised’ – as non-domestic cats tend to be very scared and shy at first, but quickly adapt and make friends with their fellow species if they are given lots of attention.
A few ‘stroking sessions’ is normally enough to break the ice, then the cats realise they cannot get enough of the comfort supplied by humans and swiftly become affectionate.
For customers, they can enjoy the added bonus of being able to relax in feline company whilst they wind down with a drink – after all, numerous studies have proven that stroking a cat relieves tension, increases dopamine and oxytocin levels and lowers blood pressure.
Given that the café is full of animals, customers cannot just walk in off the street as the cats may escape, undoing all the hard work of Adaana and El Passatge dels Gats and their clients.
Therefore, booking is required, by telephone or via the website elpassatgedelsgats.com.
A ‘bronze’ booking gives customers half an hour with the cats, whilst a ‘silver’ reservation gives them a full hour with a drink included and ‘gold’ is the same as silver but with a free snack as well. Finally, a ‘platinum’ booking means an hour’s worth of cat-stroking, a drink, and more exquisite, high-class snack.
All animals at the café are available for adoption – in fact, customers are actively encouraged to take them home and have the added advantage of all the most expensive initial vet bills having already been paid.