In today’s post I am writing about our visit to the the Feline Good Café, the first cat café in Wales. My husband and I went there last week.
The trend for cat cafes started in Japan and in recent years you can find them all over the world. Cologne and London have one and so does Cardiff. Last year owner Hollie Bowler-Brown started crowdfunding for the café to raise the necessary funds. Finding a suitable and affordable location was essential to make it happen. Fortunately for us the café is only a short walk away from where we live and situated on North Road in Meridian Court just off the Gabalfa interchange. The downside is that it’s not a very pretty area and parking can be an issue when you want to visit. There are only a few parking spaces available and I would advise people to take the bus.
Outside the cat café has a big sign stuck on the front doors and windows and it’s impossible to look inside. This is for a good reason – to give the cats and visitors privacy. However, once inside the cats can look out of the windows without problems.
We didn’t know what to expect from our first visit as we’ve never been to a cat café. Whenever I read about cat cafes my biggest concern and question is always: are the cats treated well, which means are they relaxed and have enough space to hide and sleep?
In order to visit the café you have to book a table in advance for £5 per person. This money goes towards the cats’ welfare. Why the booking? Because the café has obviously limited space and to make sure it’s not getting overrun with guests. When you book your table you also have to read and agree to the very sensible rules which make common sense – including not to disturb sleeping cats, not to pick cats up or feed them. The latter proved a bit tricky as some of the cute felines were quite nosy and jumped on the tables which they were not allowed to. So instead of picking the cat up you’re supposed to tell the “Kitty Buddy” working in the café.
When we opened the door to the café there was a small corridor and another door – important to prevent nosy kitties from running outside (North Road is a very busy road). Once we got shown to our seats we had a good look around. The café’s colony currently consists of six cute cats (two more are soon joining I learnt from the owner): Winston, a cute tabby, who is very nosy and loves to jump on the tables; Ash, a gorgeous grey cat who was mostly curled up on the cat climber; the loveable Marie, a tortoiseshell who I was very taken with; Penny, another tortie, who was mostly sleeping in her cat climber; the shy and adorable ginger and white Simon and finally Sirius, a lovely black cat, who was also mostly sleeping during our visit.
The cats were all adopted from Mittens Cat Rescue, a cat charity based in Llantwit Major. They are all very young too and ages range from about 10 to 12 months (or slightly older). My first impression was that the café is quite small. However, I liked that there were plenty of resting places for the cats as you can see in the photos. Behind the curtain is the cats’ feeding and litter area. The café also has one sofa for people to sit on. The main attraction – apart from the cats of course – is a giant hamster wheel for the cats to run around in. I have seen these before on the internet and they are not cheap. The cats tend to doze on the wheel, but being pretty young, they also love to use it. At some point three cats were whizzing around in the wheel. I actually picked up a leaflet to see where you can buy them from. You can find the link here
I’d love one for our moggie who could do with more exercise!
Our visit was supposed to only last an hour, but unfortunately we had to wait for one hour for our order to arrive: a cup of coffee, a strawberry milkshake, a slice of walnut cake and a brownie, so nothing really complicated. And then we were told that they were out of brownies, so I ordered a pistachio /green tea cake instead. Apart from a selection of cakes, teas, coffees and milkshakes they also offer cream teas and sandwiches and cater for vegetarians and vegans. By the time the food finally arrived I was really hungry! Hubby liked his cake, I liked the milkshake, but found the cake too sweet and dry – I think green tea doesn’t work for my taste buds. The manager Amy apologised for the delay and we quickly found out that they were simply missing one member of staff that day. As an apology for the long wait Amy explained that the café would only charge us for the £5/head upkeep cost for the cats. My husband said that we were happy to pay the whole bill but Amy insisted that the café owner felt that would be unfair. I thought this was a very kind gesture and I suspect that long delays were not typical and that this was just unfortunate on the day. The upside to the long wait was that we stayed an extra half an hour to cuddle, play with and admire the cats and take lots of photos too.
Would we visit again? Yes, definitely – later in the year to see who has joined the colony.
I hope you liked this post.
Thanks for reading and feel free to comment and share. 🙂
Oh and just in case you missed it – here’s the link to the Feline Good Cat Cafe
PS: I took some of the photos with my mobile phone and unfortunately not all came out super crisp. The really crisp ones were taken with my husband’s DSLR.
PS; Sadly the cafe has closed this year. Reasons for closing the business were not given – all I could find was this statement on their website here