Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 3 April 2020

Inside Bahrain’s first cat cafe: plus three other places to meet feline friends in the Middle East

Coffee, cake and purr-fect company at these feline-friendly destinations

Although genius and very cute, the idea of bringing together cats and coffee isn’t exactly new; cat cafes have been around since 1998 when the first one opened up in Taiwan. But it looks like the trend it picking up in the region, as Bahrain got its first earlier this year.

Owner Hafsa Saleem describes Catopia as a place where "one can de-stress and unwind from the pressures of their daily workload in the presence of beautiful, playful cats and kittens". The cafe has 13 rescued cats in total and guests can spend time with them while enjoying a cuppa.

However, the goal of the cafe goes beyond showings its customers (and furry residents) a good time. Catopia is also working alongside shelters to find loving homes for their cats. Since its launch six months ago, the cafe has held four adoption events, which have seen 10 cats get adopted.

“It’s all part of our goal to give them a home,” says Saleem. “It’s been overwhelming but we would especially like to mention the kind behaviour everyone has shown – especially our country’s kids. In the future, we’re also looking forward to holding grooming and petting sessions.”

The establishment also offers a number of bites and beverages for customers to enjoy, including flavoured lattes, milk cakes, chocolate brigadeiro cake, chicken waffles and Cheetos fries.

If you love cats and coffee (and the combination of the two), here’s a look at other cat cafes in the Middle East.

Ailuromania Cafe, Dubai

Dubai’s first cat cafe, which launched in 2015, is the brainchild of sisters Iman and Allaa Ahmed Al Aulaqi. The quaint space has a fixed charge of Dh30 at the door per person for an hour, and includes a soft drink, water or tea. And, of course, an opportunity to play with a number of adorably-named felines.

2. Beirut Cat Cafe

Lebanon’s first cat cafe opened its doors in 2017, in association with local animal welfare NGO Beta (Beirut for Ethical Treatment of Animals). The cafe fosters a number of Beta’s shelter cats, and helps them find ‘furrever’ friends. As a bonus, it also features a space where customers can buy everything from cat-themed jewellery to accessories for their furry companions.

3. Cat Lounge Jeddah

Last year saw Saudi Arabia get its own cat-themed space. Cat Lounge Jeddah gives feline fans a chance to sip on coffee and enjoy the company of cats of a variety of breeds within its cosy location.


Read more:

The Cat Vet in Dubai: inside the UAE's first feline-only clinic

Meet Tetley: the dog in Dubai that's been waiting almost eight years for a home

15 amazing portraits from pet photoshoots in Dubai


Updated: November 17, 2019 06:14 PM



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