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Cat Cafe to Open in London

Tuesday, 15 January 2013  |  Kate

Cat Café to Open in London

It is often difficult to own a cat or a dog in London, for a lot of people landlords or working hours mean they can't own a pet or give them the time they need. After drawing inspiration from those in Japan, Lauren Pears plans to open a Cat Café in East London.

Those that miss the luxury of owning a pet in the city will be able to visit the café to get their fill. The in-house cats will have their own private room in addition to the main café and there will be a further section off limits to cats (in accordance with health and safety laws) where customers can eat.

Named after Alice's cat in Alice in Wonderland, the café will be called Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium and open in East London. The endeavour to bring a Japanese style café to the UK has been financed by crowd-funding, raising over £11,000.

Customers will be able to enjoy their coffee with a feline friend and have a cuddle, or even play with a bit of string. "Lots of people live in small flats or their working lives make it impractical to keep pets.

"I think Brits will take to it" says Pears. "Come in from the cold to a comfortable wingback chair, a hot cup of tea, a book, and a cat. It's not just about being able to play with the cats. It's about the whole experience." The Cat Café will be a perfect stop-in for those that miss owning a pet but don't have the time to look after one.

The café will have around 20 feline friends, rehomed from Mayhew Animal Home, all of which would be properly vaccinated, neutered and medically approved. To make sure the cats don't access food preparation areas, the Food Standards Agency states that "reasonable precaution" has to be taken.

In Japan customers are traditionally charged an entry fee to enter Cat Cafés and then an hourly fee but Lauren Pears wishes her café to feel more relaxed and only plans to charge the entry fee.

Pets in the City

Different factors of city life such as strict landlord policies or long working hours, mean that Londoners on average own far less pets than the rest of the UK. In the capital only 10% of people own a cat while a mere 7% own a dog compared to 18% and 24% for the rest of the country respectively.

Animal homes in the UK are under repeated stress from the constant flux of animals needing rehoming. Strict landlord policies mean that pet owners have to face the heart wrenching choice of giving away their pet or moving out.

In 2012 the RSPCA in London saw 1,300 animals brought in, according to a spokesperson, which was an 18% increase on the animals sent to them in 2011.