It's with a heavy heart that I report that Portugal's first cat cafe, Aqui Há Gato, has closed its doors. This beautiful little cafe with a separate area for lounging with the cats was in Lisbon's Jardim da Estrela area. Their menu offered a wide variety of fresh food, drinks, and snacks along with branded merchandise to support the care of the cats. In the other half lived the cats, surrounded by sofas, chairs, and books (mostly about cats and in Portuguese). In this area were two access holes to another room where the cats could escape when they'd had enough.
Aqui Há Gato was a peaceful place for cat lovers to relax, use the internet, or get some work done in the presence of a plethora of furry squishballs. It was greater than that though: it found homes for street cats from Lisbon who otherwise might have lived a sad and painful life. It also gave the folks who adopted them a special friend in their heart and home.
It is sad that such a wonderful and well-run business has closed its doors, but it's unlikely this will be Portugal's first and last cat cafe. These cafes are popping up in major cities all around the world, so it's only a matter of time before Portugal gets its second one. In fact, there's talk that a new cat cafe called Pet & Tea will be opening in the baixa (downtown) of Coimbra soon. When it does, you'll find me there.