The Latest Scoop on a London Cat Cafe

Cat cafes are all the rage but sadly we have none in New York so I asked London-based blogger Marc Runcie-Unger of  Katzenworld what a cat cafe is really like. Namely, London’s first and most fab cat cafe Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. Marc has visited several times and I asked him questions I hadn’t seen mentioned elsewhere. I have to admit now I’m even more curious to visit! If you have visited a cat cafe, please leave a comment or if you have any questions for Marc.
 
All images are used by permission.
lady Dinah cat cafe london

How is this cat cafe different from others around the world .ie. Japan?  

This cat cafe was inspired by the Asian cat cafes. The owner Lauren spend numerous years over in Japan and decided that London needed an equally good cat cafe! I have been to cat cafes in Japan, HK and Thailand and the base idea is pretty much the same. What I do find is that this cat cafe is one of the TOP ones in regards to looking after their animals and ensuring that they have enough places to hide and plenty of toys to play with. Their staff also makes sure that the cats don’t get mistreated by customers which can easily happen if you don’t have enough staff to keep an eye on things. We have been to a not so good cat cafe in Japan before there only one member of staff was looking after the cats… So this one is much better organised. 🙂


Do the cats seem happy? They seem relaxed. 

I have been three times now and the cats always seem happy and relaxed. 🙂 The reason being more than likely that you have to follow rules. You can stroke a cat (but not if they are hiding away or sleeping) and you can also play with them with toys.
cat cafe London-hammock

 

I wonder if any have reacted badly with some customers?

I have now been three times and none of the cats ever seems to have reacted badly with a customer. All of them were chosen for their calm personality and they spend a long time without customers and just the staff and owner before the public was allowed in to ensure that they get along well with a variety of humans. They do see approximately 150 people a day btw. Oh and they had one cat that showed signs of not liking the atmosphere and constant new people so she was rehomed to a good place.

How clean is the cafe? 

It is very clean. Of course there are cat toys around the whole place and you may find cat hair on the floor haha. But the staff constantly cleans the tables to ensure that they are clean and you can eat on them.

cat cafe london


If you’re eating, can a cat jump up on the table or beg? 

They could but they are well trained not to do so. Plus the cafe has small bowls of cat food hidden all around the place to ensure that the cats don’t feel the need to go for human food. 🙂
Cat cafe-catificationAn ideal example of catification with a stairway to kitty heaven.


Is the food is good? 

It is very good! They have a good assortment of fresh cakes, a variety of hot and cold beverages and some of them rather exotic ones you can’t easily find elsewhere. 🙂 So far I have tried their white hot chocolate, rainbow cake, red velvet cake and banofee pie!
cat cafe london food


Do the cats only get dry kibble to eat?


They get dry food in their bowls hidden around the place and in the evening near closing time they get served meat on silver plates (quite literally 😉 )


Do you wash your hands before and after petting the cats? 

When you enter the place you will be instructed what you are and are not allowed to do with them and you HAVE to wash your hands. There is also anti bacterial liquid on all of the tables in case you want to clean your hands before eating.
cat cafe london cats


Are there brushes for grooming?


Yes! 🙂 And the staff is happy to instruct you on how to use them properly on the cats.


What kinds of toys?

They have a huge variety of toys. Tunnels, fishing rod toys, small balls and more. The toys seem to change every single time I go! 😀
London cat cafe

Does a vet visit or are the cats taken to a clinic? 

Must admit that I don’t know if the vet comes in or if they take them to a vet! I do know that all of them are insured and well taken care of. Was discussing with one of them the other day about their care and she was saying that the vet instructed them to keep an eye on the weight of one of their kitties hehe.

Do you think the cat cafe is viable business model?

 

I strongly believe it is! If you look around the world cat cafes are generally booked out many days in advance or you have to queue for a long time to get in. People also love the idea of petting and seeing cats while enjoying a nice cup of tea or a slice of cake. This is especially good for people that can’t have a cat due to the lack of space or even those with allergies and that therefore can’t have a cat for long periods of times around. 

Might there be a franchise?

An interesting question. In a way I think there could be, but the danger is that it could turn into a chain and lose their individual charm. If someone was to start up a franchise I think it would be important for each place to be unique and that the people working there genuinely want to work there. One of the things that is important for me when going to a cat cafe is being able to tell that the people working there LOVE cats and CARE for them!

 

26 thoughts on “The Latest Scoop on a London Cat Cafe”

  1. I would love to go to a cat cafe! I wouldn’t care if they served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches–as long as there were cats–and the peanut butter was crunchy, not smooth.

  2. The idea is wonderful,do not like the thought of franchises because the control goes away and it becomes a $$$ generating machine and then we have a huge problem because yet again the cats will be the ones that pay the price. We do love the concept and people getting to spend time with cats.
    Happy Friday to All!
    Luvs
    Skeeter & Izzy & the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo >^..^<

  3. wow, this idea is great and it really needs to catch on. So many would benefit, although I agree a chain might not be the best idea. I go every week to Petsmart and smile and coo and blink at the cats awaiting adoption. They respond favorably, unless sleeping or eating.

  4. doodz…thanx for sharin thiz ….grate interview N we enjoyed de videe oh !!

    wunder if james & street cat bob haz ever stopped in for a bit o refresh mint !! ♥

    heerz two a grate week oh end with de hopes plentee of smelt & salmon iz on yur plate ♥

  5. Thanks for this update about Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. I’ve been following the story from the beginning.

    I’m annoyed by the article though because of the unnecessary insertion of “ha ha” and “he he”. It should have been proofread and edited before posting.

  6. I hear there are a couple of cat cafes opening up in the Bay Area – a very short flight or a very long drive from us here in SoCal. So I may just have to send my human to check them out.

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