La Gatoteca: Madrid, Spain
Phone: +34 916 22 58 31
Hours: Tue-Sun 11:00 - 21:30, Mon 17:00 - 20:30
Entrance Fee: 6€/one hour, includes drink
Cat Heroes: Review of La Gatoteca
The space is huge and their hearts even bigger.
We were in Madrid for a language program and had just spent a lovely afternoon getting to know our fellow volunteers, but we had cat on the brain. When everyone ordered another round of drinks, we escaped to the streets of central Madrid to find our prize.
The walk from the Puerta del Sol took about twenty minutes and was a city walker's delight, filled with bustling streets and many shops, restaurants and curiosities.
Close to Museo Prado, La Gatoteca's location is also vibrant, but once inside, a quiet hush fell over us. The staff manning the desk were friendly, yet professional, and dressed in scrubs. Initially, I thought I had made a mistake and found a veterinary clinic. It wasn't the vets, but this was definitely more cat than cafe.
Turns out, La Gatoteca is the physical location of the ABRIGA Association, a rescue group with a mission to place cats that have failed to be adopted from other shelters. The wall in the lobby has an impressive pictorial compilation of cats that have found their forever homes because of La Gatoteca!
In addition to helping abused cats recover, La Gatoteca provides educational courses on cat care as well as assisted therapy for the disabled. Did I say how much I love these people?
The desk attendant placed bracelets on our wrists denoting the hour, as you only pay for the time you spend with the cats. One hour is €6 and 30 minutes is €4 with anything in between prorated by the minute. Your fee includes a free beverage- a selection of coffee, tea and bottled drinks such as water, soda and chocolate milk.
La Gatoteca has two levels and we sat upstairs in a huge room with four other visitors. The room is rather vast (for a cat cafe) and filled with kitty equipment and at least fifteen playful felines.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at La Gatoteca, but if I had to nitpick, it would be that the staff were maybe a touch overattentive. It felt like they were hovering a bit, as though 'supervising' the patrons. I guess they are just being cautious, and to be sure, the cats are happy, healthy and not stressed in any way.
With the excellent work that these good folks do in providing forever homes, plus the sheer number of furry friends on the premises, you should definitely seek out La Gatoteca when in Madrid.
Date Visited: 11/4/16