The Best Cat Cafés in the UK

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The cat café craze originally came from Taiwan, with the very first cat café opening in 1998 - today there are around 300 world-wide and, if you haven’t been to one before, they offer a paw-some experience!

But what is a cat café? Well, it’s pretty much exactly that - a café, but with cats! Obviously things are a little different, though; for example, most cat cafés charge an entry fee (to cover the costs of keeping and caring for the cats) for an alotted time slot, and many have specific rules about how you can interact with the cats (who are pretty much live-in residents). With many cat cafés now dotted around the UK, we’ve put together a list are of our favourites:

Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, London

152-154, Bethnal Grn Rd, London E2 6DG | Thu-Tue 11:00-18:00, Wed 18:30-20:00

Literally a cat haven (having taken in and rehomed more than 60 rescue cats to date), Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is rightly famous and regularly booked up. The hostess greeting guest on arrival is charming and clearly cares deeply for both her 17 (yes, 17!) cats and the catering experience; guests are encouraged to move freely and follow felines between the two floors (with capacity for up to 50 people), with on-hand ‘cat-carers’ present to provide information, stories and tips for handling each individual cat!

As cat cafes go, this is definitely the priciest but, given the exceptional quality of the food and dining experience, Lady Dinah offers a BARGAIN compared to most afternoon tea experiences in London (which don’t even come with cats!) - this really is the cat café par excellence.

Entrance Fee for a 90-minute slot:  £10, or £25 to book the high-tea experience.

Click here to make a booking

Cool for Cats

Moorview Farm, Denbury Rd, Newton Abbot TQ12 6BZ | Tuesday - Saturday: 10am-4pm

Cool for Cats Café was the first ever to open in the UK, in Totnes, Devon in 2013, with the aim of bringing the calming effect of cats to those who needed and wanted it, and cat lovers came from far and wide. When the Totnes site had to close its doors only a year later, they had the brilliant idea to reopen right next to the rescue centre!

The place is now a ‘feline therapy lounge’, a sanctuary for cats and cat lovers alike; guests only meet those cats who are happy to meet humans at that moment, and the cats can always escape to their own custom built, heated, chalet and their human servants' house, when they are not entertaining the café guests. There is a café garden area too (for days when the weather is good) complete with an aerial feline walkway (The Catwalk!) so the cats can move safely between home, garden and café. 

Owner Elizabeth Dyes lives on site with the cats, and it’s clear that top priority is their welfare;  all the profit from the café goes directly into efforts to care for and rehouse the rescues. Note: she does specify that guests must be aged 16+.

Entrance fee: £6 per guest/per hour (support and care workers go free)

Tabby Teas, Sheffield

7 Cemetery Rd, Sheffield S11 8FJ, UK Tues-Sun: 11am - 2pm & 3pm - 6pm

Currently caring for 10 cats, Tabby Teas is the cat café set in modern, industrial-chic, with concrete floors, exposed brick walls, cool furniture and large sunny windows. The space sets an open coffee bar at its centre, which guests tend to gravitate around as their feline friends scurry around, interact with humans or lounge in their comfy cat beds. In many a cat café the coffee can play second-fiddle to the main attractions, but not here, where all cups are filled with Frazer's coffee, a local artisan roaster who definitely know what they are doing!

There is a community feel here that a lot of coffee shops strive for but never quite attain - maybe it’s because Tabby Teas are partnered with local Sheffield animal welfare charity Cat-ching Sheffield, while owner Charlotte has also worked hand in hand with Mill House Animal Sanctuary and Pet Samaritans.

Entrance fee for a 60-minute slot: £9

Click here to make a booking

Cat Café, Liverpool

10 Bold St, Liverpool, L1 4DS | Wed-Mon: 10am-6pm

Cat Café aim to be a staple of the high street in the coming years, and it’s a mission we can get behind, given their Mission Statement - “to make animal assisted therapy accessible to everyone”. They recognise the value of animal-assisted therapy to help with a wide array of wellbeing issues, from autism to anxiety and depression - their community creates events like book clubs, cat yoga, movie nights, and sessions designed specifically for people with autism and special educational needs.

What’s more, while most cat cafés specify that guests must be aged 10 and above, Cat Café have special hours where children aged 4-9 can come for some much-needed cat time!

Cat Café follow the traditional Japanese model where food and drinks are free and unlimited, and what you pay for, instead, is the time you spend in the space.

Click here to make a booking

Mog on the Tyne

24 Pudding Chare, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1UE, UK | Tue-Fri: 11:10am - 5:40pm, Sat & Sun: 10am - 5.40pm

There is often quite the queue forming outside the colourful shop front of Mog on the Tyne, set in one of the oldest and most charming streets in Newcastle’s city entre. While walk-ins are welcome, it is definitely worth booking here, as the 15-capacity cafés can often be booked up weeks in advance. There are 8 rescue cats in residence, with founder Katie, owner Lara and the whole cat-loving team keen to rehouse all the cats they can, while allowing those who get on well in the space to make the place their home!

Extensive research has gone into making Mog on the Tyne a sanctuary for both cats and the community - the age limit here (at all times) is lower than most, with children as young as 5 welcome to step inside this feline oasis, where there are even special events like Kitty Coloring, Cat Bingo and a (cat-themed) Games Night!

Entrace fee for a 60-minute slot: £6 (with further hours bookable for £4 each)

Click here to make a booking