Tanya goes to a Cat Café

Tanya goes to a Cat Café

Tanya from Life You Deserve team Tanya Content Creator at Life You Deserve

Freelance writer. Enjoys open water swimming, biking, hiking, cooking, as well as attending readings and art galleries.

When I found out about Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in Bethnal Green, just a stone’s throw from my East London home, I was absolutely thrilled.  Unbeknownst to me the emporium has been in existence since 2014. It is the longest running cat café in the UK and was the first cat café in London.

I have two cats already, and before long my partner will be joining me from the USA bringing another two cats with her. They are all rescued, one from the desert where it was lucky it didn’t get eaten by a coyote, one from a shelter in east Los Angeles, and the most recent two from a barn in the mountains of northern California. I am officially a cat lady and there is nothing I like better than a cat sitting on my lap purring. It even brought my blood pressure down lately when it spiked a bit high from a spate of personal stress.

You can see that these cats at the café are really loved and well cared for. There are a multitude of spaces for them to perch and climb and sleep, toys galore and staff that clearly adore them. The cats are all rescued and when the staff feel that they are well adjusted enough and ready, they are put up for adoption.  On the afternoon that I visited there were two black and white male cats available. Jack and Daniels. Yep, someone had a sense of humour.

The café is very hygienic, and all visitors must wash their hands upon arrival and then again upon departure. You can order afternoon tea in advance with your ticket, or just pick and choose from the extensive menu upon arrival. There are gluten free and vegan options. 

I was glad that there were firm rules in place regarding not being allowed to pick the cats up and not disturbing them if they were resting. Children under 12 and dogs are not allowed at the café. The care that these cats receive and the attention from the visitors really show in how social these sweet felines are. One decided to grace me by jumping into my lap. Her name was Puck, and she was the tiniest of all the cats there. Thank goodness she was a resident and not up for adoption or I may have ended up bringing her home with me.

The emporium is 0.7 miles from Bethnal Green mainline station and 0.5 miles from the underground station. There are two floors. The main floor is all on one level and that seems to be where most of the cats want to hang out.

I will most certainly return to Lady Dinah’s and take a cat-loving friend with me. It is novel and fun, and it is such a heartwarming experience to know that stray and abandoned cats are being given a warm loving place to stay at the café. The owner of the emporium works with the local cat shelter and offers young people apprenticeships at the café. As a cat lover, and a coffee drinker, I’d say this place has two of my favourite things.

The cakes and sandwiches for the afternoon tea looked really fancy too, so I might even go on an empty tummy next time and indulge in some sweet treats.

See more details about Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium.

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