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Italy's first 'cat café' opens in Turin

Published: 21 Mar 2014 11:25 GMT+01:00

MiaGola Café, or ‘Café Miaow’, is the latest in a concept that started in Japan and has spread to Europe.

Patrons to the café on Via Amendola will also be able to enjoy specialities from the Piedmont region and a “sense of wellbeing” as their furry friends weave in between chairs, La Stampa reported.

Experts say that hearing the purr of the cat and caressing its soft fur can relieve stress and anxiety.

For the woman behind the venture, Andrea Levine, an American living in Turin, it is also a way of providing a home for abandoned cats and "teaching respect for animals", she told La Stampa.

"I wanted the café to launch with a message: we rescue cats in trouble," she added.

It comes hot on the heels of Italy's pet hotel, which opened near Milan last year.

READ MORE HERE: Italy's pampered pets get their own hotel

MiaGola will also feature a video showing animals that can be adopted as well as an area for children to play with the cats and learn more about the animal world.

Cat cafes are hugely popular in Japan, where over 100 grace the streets of Tokyo. The craze also spread to China and Taiwan before reaching Europe, with the first to open in Austria.

Café des Chats opened its doors in Paris last year.

READ MORE HERE: France's first 'cat café' opens in Paris

The much-anticipated Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium also opened in London earlier this month, with tables booked up months in advance.

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