On Saturday morning I went with two of my friends - both cat owners - to check out Milan's one and only cat cafè! I love cats, even though I unfortunately don't have any of my own, and when we heard that it had opened towards the end of October we absolutely had to go!
The cafè is a short walk from Milano Centrale station, towards Corso Buenos Aires. When we arrived there was a short queue outside, the staff let people in on a table-in-table-out basis, as to not exceed a number of 30 customers at a time. There's a list of rules to abide by, obvious things such as not feeding them, letting them sleep if they wish to do so, and not taking photos with flash (photos without flash are encouraged however). And dogs are not allowed. The atmosphere is relaxed, as set out in the rules, there were a couple of kids who were a little bit excited, but the rest of the customers were respectful towards the feline bosses of the cafè.
There are six cats, named Elvis, Blondie, Freddy, Patty, Mina, and Bowie; and they're all young, aged between 6-7 months. They all seemed relaxed and happy to play with the customers. We played with a couple of them using the toys which are provided by the restaurant, and they let us pet them. They wander around (and on!) the tables and chairs, at times not seeming all that fussed about the company around them. One cat was so relaxed that when he came out into the restaurant, he climbed up onto a shelf where there were a few pots of cat nip plants, and after being fussed over, curled up behind the pots and went happily to sleep!
We went for a late cappuccino, but they also do meals and aperitivo - the 'miaojito' on the aperitivo menu cracked us up! The cappuccino was very nice, and served in a pretty cat-shaped mug. Not being your average cafè, prices are slightly higher, our cappuccino cost 1.50 euro each, and there's also a coperto (cover charge) of 1 euro which goes to the cats for their 'cat therapy'.
They have a room at the back of the cafè for the cats, where they can rest and eat away from the customers. We could see one of the cats' paws going back and forward through the gap at the bottom of the door, and from there they have cat flaps for when they want to come back into the cafè and socialise.
I definitely felt the benefits of cat therapy, and it's an experience I hope to repeat soon!
Crazy Cat Cafè
Via Napo Torriani 5
M2 Centrale, M3 Repubblica, (M1 Lima), Tram lines 1 and 5 Piazza Cincinnato (tram 33 Viale Tunisia)