Cat lover Lauren Pears aims to turn East London into the next haven for cats and cat enthusiasts with London’s very first cat cafe.A cat cafe is just like a regular cafe, with coffee, tea, snacks and small bites, only it’s also inhabited by about a dozen cats, all owned by the cafe.
Guests can sit and relax with a hot beverage in one hand, a scone in the other, and a cat on their laps. These establishments have become wildly popular in East Asia, particularly in Tokyo, where about 100 cat cafes are said to exist, but Pears thinks London is the natural next place for a cat cafe because the cities are so similar.
“There’s a few conditions… that really drive people living in Tokyo to go to cat cafes,” Pears says in her crowdfunding video. “These things include congested living, landlords who don’t allow pets, small living quarters, and long working hours. And those things are very true for people living in London as well.”
The cafe will be called Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, where for £5.00 guests can lounge, enjoy free books, WiFi, board games, and cat company. So far Pears has raised almost £11,000 of the £108,000 goal she needs to open the shop through crowd-funding, and the Food Standards Agency has given her the green light.
Funding will go towards espresso machines, kitchen equipment, licenses and maintenance, a custom-built cat playground, comfortable Victorian-style furnishings to give the place a London look and, most importantly, the cats.
Animal enthusiasts will appreciate that Pears plans to adopt the cats from local animal shelters, making Lady Dinah’s more than just a coffee shop, but also a warm, safe, and permanent home for a few very lucky felines.
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