Cat Cafe Opens in London

Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium pours cups alongside cats amid happy patrons.

By Colleen Supan | Posted: March 31, 2014, 3 p.m. EDT

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Some people like cream and sugar with their coffee, others like cats. Welcome to Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium in London, U.K.'s financial district, where you can get high tea or lunch, but mind the feline.



The idea to "employ” cats in a cafe originally came from Japanese workers relaxing during a stressful day by petting a cat while sipping coffee or tea. "The idea is you can come have a peaceful lunch or high tea and be surrounded by cats. If you're lucky, one of them will fall asleep on your lap," Former investment banker Anna Kogan, co-owner of Dinah's along with Australian Lauren Pears, says.

Hear about cat cafes coming to the United States >>


The money to finance Dinah's came from crowdfunding. In less than two months they raised more than $181,100. Considering the cafe's online booking system crashed from so many people trying to make reservations, needless to say, the vintage-decorated Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium is a success. Future customers will now need to wait until the end of June to get a table.

See photos from a pop-up cat cafe >>


"I thought that it would be really, really cool to just hang out with loads and loads of cats,” says customer Christy McCormick. "They're really fluffy and cute and ... I really like cats. They're great.”

"Visit" a cat cafe in Japan >>

There is a £5 ($8.30) charge to enter Dinah's, and the usual turnaround time is two hours. The cafe has 11 cats that were donated by people leaving the country or no longer able to care for them.

Get more info on Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium >>

Kogan tells Reuters that customers came from all walks of life, including bankers, designers and students, and the cafe's goal is to adopt more cats if it gets the OK from the local council.

But look out, cat lovers! There is going to be a dog cafe opening up this year in the same area called Happiness of Hounds.

Also notable in the cat-cafe business is Cafe des Chats, in Paris, which cares for 12 animals. The owners encourage customers to pet the cats, claiming the vibration produced by purring can relieve arthritis and rheumatism.
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