Cats, she said, are a “natural anti-depressant.”
“Many people like cats but they don’t know where to keep them or where to play with them, so I made this place for them, where they can come, be happy and relieve their stresses, even for just five minutes and then leave happily,” she said.
The cafe is home mainly to Persian cats, but also Turkish angora and hybrid felines.
For Hala Abu Maghaseeb, 14, who has so far not convinced her parents to get her a pet cat, the cafe was a pleasant and welcome surprise during her summer school break.
“It is a nice project, I come to release stress. I love cats,” she said.
Some Gazans were less impressed, arguing on social media that most residents were too impoverished to welcome such a project.
But cafe patron Rewa Abdel-Hadi, 20, defended it.
“Cats are creatures who live with us and feel fear, hunger and poverty. Having people caring for them is a wonderful idea,” she said.