The Cat Café of Turin, called Oriental Neko Café, is the first to open in Italy. Its 7 cats of experience and the lively scheduled initiatives will be an opportunity to discover a lifestyle that is ever closer to the environment and the creatures that inhabit it. All in front of a menu from cat café that does not spare gluttony and steaming drinks.
1) When was the idea of the cat café born? Who runs it?
The idea of cat café was born in March 2013 after a chat between friends - Angelo, Barbara, Sabrina and Lesley - all with a passion for cats and the land of the rising sun. The common goal was also to combine social with a totally new business project, so we started with the cat café. The animal rights association Onlus Neko FFFF (the "F" are the onomatopoeic reproduction of the "breath" of the cat), manages the social part while the company Neko s.a.s. the design and management of the commercial activities of our company was entrusted cat café.
2) What is a cat café? In which countries does it exist and where does it come from?
The Neko Café, called in Eastern, or more European, Cat Café of Turin is the home of 7 cats who will live in total freedom and without limitations of any kind, except for the prevention of going to the areas where food is packaged and served, in an environment created especially for them, where humans are welcome guests. The first cat café was born in Taiwan in 1998, immediately afterwards a series of openings in Japan followed, where it has become a real cultural phenomenon. In Europe the first cat café opened in Vienna in 1998, followed by Budapest, Berlin, Paris, London and in a few days, in spring, Turin will be the first Italian city to boast of its opening.
3) What products are there?
At Neko in Turin you can drink a coffee, taste various types of tea, eat homemade cakes, organic products, mostly from the fair trade circuit and zero kilometer, with a particular eye for vegetarians and vegans. And again, right inside the cat café, there will be a library area equipped with free wifi dedicated to study and book sharing.
4) Do you have active collaborations? With who?
We have numerous requests for collaboration from animal welfare associations, with which we will organize within the cat café fundraising, conferences and anything else useful for the purpose set by the Onlus Neko. We will collaborate with young artists who will exhibit their works in the cat café and we will organize weekly meetings including readings, workshops, pet therapy sessions and book presentations. The busy calendar of events will be curated by Valentina Di Marino, writer and blogger from Turin.
5) What does the city counter you host consist of? What services does it provide?
Mainly it will take care of collecting reports regarding requests for adoption, loss, abandonment and mistreatment that the cat café it will manage on its own by inserting them in the communications to the newsletter subscribers, giving them maximum visibility through the site and the facebook page and turning them to other associations.
6) What is your message, with the presence of cats and other initiatives?
To the cat café 7 cats will live, not as a decoy, but all cats of at least one year old adopted by catteries, or coming from difficult situations. Our purpose, through the cat café, is to bring as many people as possible to the animal world, in a different way and with a view to proper coexistence between species and social solidarity with the primary goal of improving people's quality of life.
7) What feedback are you collecting from customers and online? Are there other cat cafés coming to Italy?
The news of the upcoming opening of cat café of Turin has spread virally on the net: the facebook page, opened in July 2013 and remained stuck to a few dozen members until the end of last year, in the first 10 days of 2014 reached 4000 members. Today we count almost 8000, with thousands of daily views and more than 500 subscriptions to the Neko website newsletter. Neko Café e Cat Cafe are registered trademarks and the Neko Café in Turin will be the first of the others openings in franchising in several Italian cities.