We went to Cardiff’s new cat cafe, and honestly it’s too cute
Cats and cake, is there anything better?
We reached the door of the cat cafe and rang the bell. Two cats peered through the glass to greet us. Then a human.
Feline Good, on North road, started as a note scribbled down by founder, Hollie, after a visit to a similar London cafe. It then spiralled into a crowdfunding project which has helped the cafe become a reality, and it opened its doors in early July.
After being greeted by the pair of cats, 'Kitty Buddy' James explained some basic house rules – don't pet the cats when they're sleeping, they do not like being woken from naps – before we were shown to our table and given a menu.
The menu was short, sweet, and delicious. But who goes to a cat cafe for the food? The cats were playful, and ready to interact, so with my friends watching the table, and 'Kitty Buddy' James scooping up any mischievous kittens who break the rules and try to swipe food, I began to investigate.
A couple of the cats were asleep, so following the cat guidelines, I let them be, and found kitties who wanted attention – and there were plenty. In fact, the staff were happy to introduce Ash, Freddie, Sirius, Penny and Rory to me by name. Hollie, who is also a foster carer at Mittens Cat Rescue based in Llantwit Major, is usually recommended the cats from rescue, and their eligibility is checked. The cats in the cafe are on long term foster, and one has already been re-homed.
The cafe is small and welcoming, and is run by people who are passionate about the cats and their wellbeing. A £5 welfare charge for guests helps ensure the cats are happy and healthy. Since opening in July, the cafe has been extremely popular, so operates by an appointment only system. Founder Hollie added, "we’ve not had a weekend yet where we aren’t booked completely. On a weekday, for the most part, we can accommodate people, and we don’t fill the café to capacity. We fill it to the point where we feel the cats get quality interaction and don’t get overtired, and don’t get stressed. Because their welfare is always the most important thing."
Although it must be great to be surrounded by cats all day, Hollie notes that it's great to see the genuine interactions people have with the cats.
"Not everyone can have a cat, for many reasons, family members are allergic, for some people, they’ve lost a cat and they don’t want to go through the heartbreak of having and losing another," she said.
"We hear a lot of stories, we get a lot of tears here. But, it’s totally worth it. And it’s one of the most emotionally fulfilling things I have done in my entire life, I wouldn’t change it for the world."
Hollie also added that Feline Good are looking into art therapy classes, and will hopefully eventually expand. But, she added, "The cats must come first, and it's about what they're happiest with."
Feline Good will also have an event during Freshers' fair, so keep your eyes peeled. But if you can't wait until then, head over to their website to book your visit.