Published on February 19, 2014 | by Caroline Jouinot

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Get your feline fix, minus the fuss and furballs

Cat Café’s are popular in Japan with more than 40 cafés in Tokyo alone, but Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is the first to open in London. [Flickr: Feline Da Cat- Ho-Yee Li]

London’s first cat café is about to open its doors in Bethnal Green very soon. The phenomenon took over Europe in 2013, with shops opening in Hungary, Germany, France and Spain, and now it’s in our big city.

City living, landlords and general lack of space are some of the reasons why many of us don’t have pets at home. Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium will give the opportunity for any frustrated cat lover to rent the affection of a kitty for a few hours. With a team of 12 cats rambling around the café, you even get to choose your new BFF.

After a highly successful crowd-funding campaign, which started last January, founder Lauren Pears is hoping Londoners will come and relax with a cup of tea and “spend time in the soothing company of our purring feline friends.”

The trend for cat cafés is not new – the first ‘pet-themed’ house opened in Taiwan in 1998. It has also proved highly popular in Japan, with Tokyo being home to more than 40 cafés. While cat-themed venues might not be your thing, the therapeutic benefits of stroking cats could still win you over.

Feline-lovers paradise

Divided into three rooms, Lady Dinah’s has set up a hygiene protocol to follow upon entering the feline-lovers paradise. The entry foyer – where the food and drinks are prepared – will be cat-free and allows visitors to wait in a seated space, surrounded by products by local artists. Before entering the cat lounge, you will need to go through the hygiene room, where the ‘Chief Cat Carer’ will explain house rules: make sure you wash your hands and store your belongings in the lockers.

After the hygiene briefing you are invited into the cat area where you can choose to sit either in the ground floor dining room or the basement lounge spot. Gluten-free and vegan refreshment options are available to buy, as well as snacks to feed the cats.

Bookings will be taken in order to ease the queues in the first few weeks of opening. The owner hopes this will only be temporary. The cover charge is £5, but visitors can purchase a ‘9 lives’ loyalty card that permits you to pay £27 in advance for nine visits, making it £3 a time.

With a devoted fan base and a very eager crowd to visit, the Cat Emporium is sure to please any lonely soul, who will be overwhelmed with kitten-cuteness and affection.

Visit: www.ladydinahs.com for more details

 

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