This need for pet owners has led to the creation of the pet friendly concept, which means that inside cafes, restaurants and hotels the entire environment is prepared to receive pets and give the best conditions. They aren’t only allowed to enter, they are welcomed.

In June 2018, a law came into force that allows pets to enter in public spaces, shopping centres and coffee shops and restaurants. However, after two years, it is only in big cities that we can find places to go with our best, four legged friends.

Another approach that is growing on the pet lovers’ world market is The Cat Café concept, a concept that already exists in other countries around the world with the first having opened in Taiwan and Japan being the most popular country for its diverse pet cafes.

Also in Coimbra, we can drink a coffee while we give some affection to rescue cats. “The Cat Cafe Pet&Tea” which is a coffee shop with a special concept: a room with rescue cats and the costumers can play with them and perhaps even adopt one.

The cats that live inside the coffee shop have a private room prepared, where costumers are allowed to enter and play with them. “Our cats love being petted”, said the manager, Mariana Pereira. Also adding that, despite the excellent adhesion the coffee shop had since it opened its doors in 2016, the manager feels that with the pandemic situation the number of visitors has decreased significantly “like in other businesses”, she said.

The manager, Mariana Pereira told The Portugal News that her customers choose the experience they want and they are not forced to coexist with the animals unless they wish, However, she guarantees that cats always attract people. “They go to the window themselves to call people in because they love the human attention”.

According to Mariana Pereira, customers can also visit the coffee shop accompanied by their pets, provided they are properly packed in a carrier or secured by leash, all animals are welcome.
Going to the south of Portugal, we find the Hotel Casino Sol Verde in Praia da Rocha, which many years ago chose to adhere to the Pet Friendly concept, recognising the relevance of being prepared to receive pets. “Guests don’t want to leave them at home, they want to find an accommodation that welcomes them with open doors,” said Ricardo Correia, Sales Manager at Hotel Algarve Casino.

The Sales Manager told The Portugal News all the rules about the pet reception in his hotel. “The Hotel accepts pets up to 10kg per room, the room has to have a balcony and an additional charge is made for the pet” he said. And in order to guarantee that other guests feel comfortable owners are not allowed to bring pets to public areas such as restaurants, pubs and pools.
Ricardo Correira knows that the Pet Friendly market is a growing market, however, he recognizes the importance of keeping some rules to guarantee all guests are welcomed, whether accompanied by animals or not, particularly in terms of hygiene and cleaning of spaces.