Watch: “One woman with dementia started crying with happiness when she held a kitten”

Did you know that there is a cat café in Malta? And not just a cat café, but a therapy cat café.

Animal Guardians Malta started off in 2004 as a group of volunteers striving to change the situation of stray cats in Malta. Today, they run a cat-assisted therapy café located inside elderly people’s home St Vincent De Paule in Luqa.

Research has shown that contact with a cat can contribute to the treatment of many conditions, including depression, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis and more.

Miguela Xuereb

“One woman who has dementia didn’t even want to get out of her ward, and then when she came here, and I gave her a kitten to hold, she started crying, because she used to love cats,” founder Karmen Koleiro told, “Once she was surrounded by cats, she was so happy; smiling all the time.”

The NGO has helped to rescue and find good, loving forever homes for hundreds of abandoned and stray cats.

“We are helping society’s animals. At the end of the day, people who were not responsible caused many of these cases,” Ms Koleiro said.

“We know that the Minister loves animals, because he helped other sanctuaries. So we’re like, ‘please help us as well!'”

The group is appealing to Minister for Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg to give them a helping hand:

“We started discussions with the government in March for the Ministry to help us with the infrastructure. We know that he loves animals, because he helped other sanctuaries. So we’re like, ‘please help us as well!'”

Animal Guardians Malta is holding an Open Day on Friday 13th September at 7.30 pm at the cat café premises as a fundraiser to help cover the costs of food, medicine and vet fees.

Their usual visiting hours for the general public are Saturdays from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm.

If you would like to join as a volunteer, or require more information, please visit their Facebook page or email:

Donations may be made via Paypal or

Bank of Valletta St Venera
Account Name. 40023402865
IBAN Number.
Swift Code VALLMTM

Filming and photography: Miguela Xuereb

Editing: Coryse Borg