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As you probably know, cats have a special place in my heart. And the plight of kitties in Greece torments me daily. But the Cat Café in Thissio is an endearing experience full of hope.
I donated to their “Be A Guardian” option back in July 2023 when they were crowdfunding to open in Athens. But I never made it along before now.
So come with me today to the first Cat Café in Athens to see what goes on when you have tea (or coffee, we’re in Greece after all!) with our feline friends.
Booking Your Visit
While booking isn’t mandatory, it might be best to do so to ensure a spot at the time you want. Customer numbers are limited so as not to overwhelm the resident cats. And some time slots during the week get quite busy (like weekend mornings).
But you can absolutely drop by and see if they have space if you haven’t pre-booked. As I write this, the café is open Wednesday to Friday, 12 noon until 21:00, and Saturday/Sunday, 10:30 until 21:00.
You can book online for tables of up to six people.
At the Café
When you arrive, you need to ring the buzzer to be let in so that the cats don’t escape out the front door. (They have an “air lock” system with two doors.) As soon as you come in, you need to wash your hands at the sink before going through to the kitties.
Each booking lasts for 90 minutes and you’re asked to make a minimum spend of 7 euro. That’s basically a drink and then any cake item off the menu.
I had a Greek Mountain Tea and a lemon tart, and it was about 9 euros. Don’t get too distracted, though, or you’ll almost forget to pay, like me. (Happens regularly TBH, #ADHDLife.)
There’s also a little shop section if you want to spend a bit more on postcards, keyrings or several other bits and pieces.
In the café, there’s a large indoor space with tables and then a smoking area outside. The outdoor section had a vertical play area for the cats as well as different types of seating for us. It’s a cosy space, and the cats were having fun.
I found it quite relaxed, and there was plenty of space to move around both areas and seek out the cats. The timeslot is plenty long enough for cat lovers to indulge themselves in culinary treats and feline cuddles. (At the cats’ prerogative, of course!)
About the Cats
About sixteen cats are living there, although I think I actually only saw six or eight. I was told there were a couple of new residents who had just arrived and were hiding out for the time being.
All of these are rescue cats looking for a loving home. It was good to hear that over twenty cats have been adopted in the Attica region since the space was opened.
If I were in the market for a new cat this fluff-bucket would be coming home with me.
The cafe donates all profits to the animal welfare union that provides the cats. The money goes to cover the cost of food, litter and things like their anti-parasite medication.
There’s always food and water available, and their litter trays are in a separate space.
My donation to the Kickstarter campaign created to fund the cafe’s opening was to “Become the guardian of one of our cats until they are adopted. The money is used to provide food, litter, grooming, possible medications, and extra cuddles.”
I was hoping there would be a particular cat that would be named as the one I was sponsoring, and I could follow their journey.
But in the end, all the money just went into the same pot. Similar to when you sponsor a turtle at the rescue centre in Glyfada. Anyway, it’s still nice to have contributed, and the cats looked pretty happy and healthy.
Where to Find the Cat Café
The café is within walking distance of both Thissio (Line 2) and Kerameikos (Line 3) metro stations. If you come from Kerameikos, you’re very close to Technopolis and Athens’ Dinner in the Sky experience.
The address is 54 Nileos, 11851, and you can find all their details at the Cat Café website.
Why There Are So Many Cats in Greece
If you’d like to understand more about why there are so many cats in Greece and understand why life is hard for them in this country I have a separate post here.
More About Cats in Greece
Other Things to Do in Athens
If you’re looking for other places to enjoy food and sweet treats during your time in Athens, then look into these tasty bakery suggestions, Dinner in the Sky that I mentioned above, the best gyros in the city and a meal with a view at Strofi.