Can Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium become Britain's first cat café?

A bid to crowd-fund an eaterie where people can enjoy tea and cuddles with cats is gathering momentum

You might get the chance to enjoy extra froth with your cappuccino if a bid to bring Japan’s cat café phenomenon to the UK proves successful.

An attempt to set one up via crowd-funding has got off to a flying start raising thousands in just days from pledges of a fiver each from punters eager to “pop in for a pat”.

Founder Lauren Pears is hoping to entice visitors to Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium by providing up to 15 moggies for lap warming, cuddles, scratches (be warned!) and games with bits of string.

“I think Brits will take to it. Lots of people live in small flats or their working lives make it impractical to keep pets,” Pears says. “It's not just about being able to play with the cats. It's about the whole experience. Come in from the cold to a comfortable wingback chair, a hot cup of tea, a book, and a cat.”

There are believed to be around 40 cat cafés in Tokyo, the first of which opened in 1998. With London at the mercy of soaring rents and many of us priced out of the buying market, the opportunity to rent a bit of feline affection for a couple of hours – without the commitment or landlord trouble - couldn’t be more purrfect.

It might be new here but Europe is catching on to the capitalist appeal of our furry friends. Austria’s Café Neko (which means cat in Japanese) opened last July swiftly followed by Cats Republic in St Petersburg which houses four retired mousers from the State Hermitage Museum.

Anyone with food hygiene concerns will be reassured that the risk of toxoplasmosis and other cat-related zoonoses will be minimised by strict rules and regulations. The Food Standards Agency permits animals in a cafe, but legislates that “reasonable precaution” must be taken (and demonstrable) to prevent domestic animals from accessing food preparation areas.

Non-human attendants will be thoroughly vaccinated, neutered and otherwise medically approved, so you can enjoy a cat, a cappuccino and a sarnie without fear.

The traditional model offers a fixed entry price for the first hour, followed by an hourly fee - which could prove pricy if a cat falls asleep on you. Pears wants her London café to have a relaxed feel, so she has ditched the pay-per-hour bit but the door fee will stand.

So far the crowd-funding process via indiegogo has a way to go, having garnered £4,000 of its requisite £108,000 since Christmas. But with 44 days left to reach its target and huge support being rallied on social networks, I have a feline it could work.

Open a Cat Cafe in London

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing