My husband and I love spending time around cats, they’re our favourite domestic animal. We both grew up with felines in our families and we even happily adopted a black and white shorthair we named Kipper last year.
Personally, I can’t help but do a little ‘squee’ when anything to do with cats or kittens is on the television. I’ve been known to cry at episodes of The Supervet and I can’t walk down a street with a cat present and not pause to have a little chat and fuss with it.
You’d think with our own cat at home I wouldn’t be bothered about visiting other people’s in a cafe environment, but since the trend started for cat cafe’s I’ve been determined to visit one myself. We just missed the first cat cafe opening in Cardiff when we moved to Leicestershire in the spring but I stumbled across the Kitty Cafe in Nottingham a few weeks ago and I felt like I had to book in a date as it’s practically on our doorstep.
You have to book hour time slots to visit the cafe so make sure you plan in advance – sadly you can rarely just pop in if you feel like a catty cuddle as the venue is very busy throughout the week and weekends. Rick and I rocked up very early on a Saturday morning and paid the welfare charge of about £6 per adult that helps pay for all sorts of things for the cafe’s feline residents – and let me tell you these animals are very well looked after.
Between an order of afternoon tea, milkshake, a slice or cake or even a handmade pizza if you fancy it, the cats here make their home amongst you as you dine. Each table is provided with a cover for food and there are strict rules on not letting the cats eat your meals – but that doesn’t stop them trying to get a lick of an odd dollop of cream.
We’re used to having a feline visitor at the dinner table and often have to reprimand Kipper for trying to swipe food off of our plates so if you’re a little nervous around nosy cats I’d beware – they will get involved with you if anything tasty is on the table at the Kitty Cafe.
Making their home at this cafe and attached cattery are several kitties that are either rescued or were raised from kittens. Most of the cats are up for adoption so if you meet one of them and fall in love you can request to give them a forever home but cafe does have some permanent residents who have some long term health problems that the staff care for.
Amongst the cats is a jungle of cat trees, beds, walkways and nooks. There is a plenty of space for the cats to cuddle down for a sleep or a lounge in the sunshine and the cafe’s rules are clear about not picking up or disturbing the cats – there are also staff on hand to keep an eye and make sure they’re being treated properly.
If you’re visiting I would suggest asking to be seated near the kitchen because (typically) that’s where the residents tend to congregate, and where their private quarters are so you’ll often see one or two stroll in and out who come over for a sniff or a purr.
As we visited there was a new kid in town, a tiny kitten called Autumn who’d only just started to be let into the cafe and socialise. The older residents weren’t too bothered about us visitors (apart from George, the ginger and white tabby pictured, who was often lovingly reprimanded by staff for trying to lick up anything tasty he could find) but Autumn was all over the place. I spotted her on many a knee, crawling up a sofa, hanging from a rope swing and even trying to get into a guest’s handbag – I think she’d chosen her future adopter!
All in all we really enjoyed our visit to the Kitty Cafe and we plan to go again with family members who are also cat lovers, this cafe is a lovely activity in the city centre for a sit down a cuddle with cat or two.
Have you visited a cat cafe before? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.