Pawsome stories. Agnieszka Gurgul and Kot Cafe


Greetings, fabCats!

This time we’ve got something exceptional for you. We’ve started a completely new and very special series of features which will be about none other than you. Who is a fabCat? What do they do on an everyday basis? What are their passions apart from cats? And what has made them decide to catify their life by becoming cat caretakers? These and other questions will be answered in a series of interviews that will appear on our blog. To start with, we have Agnieszka Gurgul – the owner of Kot Cafe in Wrocław, and a happy caretaker of a sizeable cat family.

1. Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Agnieszka Gurgul and I’m the owner of a cat café I run in Wrocław – Kot Cafe

2. There’s a story behind every cat. What’s your backstory?

Before I opened Kot Cafe, I was a cat lover who owned 4 kitties and pursued a PhD in environmental engineering, which is something I continue today. 🙂 

3. What’s a cat café?

A cat café is a place that serves two purposes. First, it is a home to cats who have been through a lot, having often experienced really traumatic events. It is their shelter where they are taken care of and get lots of petting. Second, it’s a place where you can unwind accompanied by cats after a long stressful day, have a cup of tasty coffee, and munch on delicious cakes. It’s also a place visited often by those who can’t have cats at home for some reason but really like these animals. 

4. When did the idea for such a business first appear?

The idea to start a cat café popped up in my mind a few years ago, when I was on a trip to Budapest and visited such a place for the first time ever. I’ve always loved cats, and coffee is my favourite drink, so I was absolutely delighted with the place. When I came back, I started looking for a similar café in Poland – to become its regular. But no such café existed in Poland back then, and it was impossible for me to start one. But a few years passed, we got to see first such cafés pop up in our country, and my idea was still very much alive, so I decided to give it a go and that’s how the first café in Wrocław was born. 🙂 

5. CATS! What role do they play in your life?

Cats have always been present in my life, and I’ve always held them particularly dear to my heart. My family has always had a cat around, so I was growing up accompanied by these animals. When I was 7, I took in my first cat. I found it on a rubbish dump near where my grandma lived. Leo was a half-wild cat, but became my close friend for many years to come. We’ve always had cats around. They would somehow always find a way to join us. It would be either us finding them or them finding us, getting close to our home. 🙂 At present I share my place with the following clowder: Koszka, Watson, Puszek, and the oldest, 18-year-old Frania. Apart from that, I take care of 7 cats-residents of my café: Pixi, Bambaryłka, Leon, Tofik, Krówka, Karmel, and Irys. 

6. What do you like your cats for?

Each cat is different, each one likes to play in different ways, each one has a different personality. And this is so wonderful about them. You never get bored with cats. They’re always up to something, sneaking up on you to cuddle or play with you. Or the opposite – keeping away from you when they don’t feel like being touched. You can’t really tell how they will behave at a given moment. They’re always full of surprises, and this is something I absolutely love about these animals. All of my cats, both those living at my place and the residents of the café, are really pampered, always craving for human attention. And if you don’t give them the attention they want, they’ll do everything to change it, and so being around them always raises my spirits. 😉 

7. Relationships with spirited cats are not always rainbows and butterflies. Did you encounter any difficulties when you started Kot Cafe?

The cats who reside currently in the café have ‘joined our ranks’ one by one, saved by animal rescue services. They all have different personalities and habits. At first, the biggest challenge was to help the cats get comfortable with the new place and with each other’s company. We’ve had conflicts between some of them, especially between the more spirited ones. But we’ve been trying to make them all more ‘comcatible’ with each other, and now they’re like one big family. 

8. Have the cats from your café taken a liking to myKotty? If so, why?

Our cats are really fond of myKotty scratchers. At first we weren’t sure if cardboard scratchers would be durable enough to endure the frolicking of our seven rascals. It turned out that the scratchers were really durable. We’ve had them for almost 2 years and they still do their job perfectly, and I need to stress that our cats tend to give them quite a hard time sometimes. 🙂  What’s more, given all the beating the scratchers take and the intensity of their use, they still look really good, which is something that makes us happy because aesthetics in a place like a cat café is a factor that plays a big part. Our cats use myKotty scratchers not only to practice their scratching skills but also to lie down on them and rest. Sometimes they even fight with each other for the space on their favourite scratchers. 🙂 

9. What are your plans for the future? 

Our plan for now is to organise more cat-themed events, workshops, and talks.  We’d also like to build some winter houses for stray cats that we feed in the residential area right next to our café. Plus, we want to keep making our café better and better so that it becomes more cosy and cat- and human-friendly alike by the month. 

Would you like to tell your own story? Drop us a line!

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