Here we’ve collated all of our commonly asked questions and answers. If you have any more questions then ask them in the comments and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
General Cat Café FAQs
When will you be open?
We are working towards April/May, but we are being realistic about the challenges that will be posed by property: finding the right place, accommodating owner, approvals to building work. Also, even though the local councils are cool with the idea in principle, I’m sure when it’s a reality we’ll have some longer discussions. As soon as we possibly can, in any event!! We’re really excited about the café.
Do you already have a location in mind?
We’re looking around the Old Street / Shoreditch area as it offers decent sized space for our mogs and handy transport links, also we love the vibe in that area.
Will the café be accessible by wheelchair?
We’ll be doing our best to ensure that we find an accessible venue, or will be able to provide a ramp.
Will you be open 7 days a week?
We will open 6 days a week, the cats will need a day off
Will you be serving vegan and vegetarian food?
Definitely, we’ve had such demand for vegan options that we’re going to spend February eating our way through the vegan bakeries and cookeries of London to find the best supplier. If you know good bakers or other suppliers of vegan foods, please do send tips to email@example.com.
What’s the capacity of the café? (or predicted capacity?)
We’re estimating seating for about 40-50 people. It will depend on the venue to some extent. We’ll need a lot of space!
Will you be opening more than one cat café?
It would be amazing to open more than one! Especially when there are so many people who would be committed to maintaining the high standard of care that we plan to offer. One day, maybe!!
Cat Welfare FAQs
Where will the cats come from?
All from the same rescue shelter, The Mayhew. They’re going to slowly introduce the cats to each other so we can make sure they get along and so we can meet them and play with them before bringing them home to the café. This is to minimise the stress for the cats when they relocate from the shelter. The shelter will also take that opportunity to observe the cats and see which of them like attention and are well-suited to café life.
How will you keep the cats secure and ensure they don’t escape onto the busy streets, with everyone coming in and out?
We think some cats will be ok to roam, within reason. None of them should be out on busy streets, but some cats love a garden and a bit of outdoors and hopefully we can provide that. For those who need to stay indoors, we’ll probably do the old double-door trick (same as for keeping out a cold draught). I can imagine we’ll have the occasional Houdini-like escape but we’ll do our best to keep them safe. Our best plan is to make sure they’re so comfy and happy they don’t want to stray at all far!
What happens to the cats outside of business hours, and how will you ensure their general wellbeing?
We have recently revised our plans, with your feedback! We are going to run a volunteer program for Nightwatch positions at the cat cafe. We can’t sustainably pay 24-7 supervision for the cats, but we can offer some people a quiet place to work or study overnight, a good meal, and the company of many cats.
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but for people on a budget who can’t justify an entry fee, this is another way to get a cat-fix AND have the entire cafe to yourself!
What will you feed the cats?
We’re currently researching the best food to feed the cats.
With regards to treating the kitties, we’re going to have a ration jar for each cat with limited quantities of treats each day.
What about kitty litter?
As with the cat food, we are currently researching cat litter and we’ll also be getting lots of advice from The Mayhew
What if someone mistreats a cat?
In the very unlikely event that something goes amiss and a patron mistreats a cat, we will take the same steps we would take if that patron had picked on a human. We’d ascertain exactly what had happened or was going on, and if they certainly were at fault, we’d invite them to leave, emphatically.
Health & Safety FAQs
What are the risks of toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasmosis is typically transferred to humans via two methods. The first is eating raw or undercooked game meats that contain toxoplasmosis cysts. The second is consuming cat faeces that contain toxoplasmosis cysts.
Patrons in our café will not be exposed to either of these potential sources of infection. Kitty litter trays will be in another room, which cats can access through cat doors in the café. Staff serving food and drink will not be handling kitty litter during service hours: Litter trays will be cleaned in the morning and evening, outside of trading hours. A handwashing policy will be in place for all patrons and staff.
What about allergies?
We’re not allowed to offer any sort of pharmaceutical to patrons. If a guest is allergic, or suspects they might be, we need them to take sensible steps to safeguard their wellbeing. This may include bringing with them whatever medications they are advised by their doctor to bring.
Will Guide dogs be allowed in the cat café?
Guide dogs are typically very good with cats, so we hope this won’t be a problem. We will ask any patrons with guide dogs to enter the café before paying the cover charge, just to see how the animals feel. If the dogs and cats get along like, well, dogs and cats, we may have to advise that guest that remaining in the café isn’t going to be relaxing for them, the animals or anyone else. In that event, we will offer them a coffee in the cat-free area of the café.
It’s a tricky situation, as we would like to welcome everybody, but it’s important to remember that the café is the cat’s home. It’s where they live and we have to put their welfare first.
Working at Lady Dinahs
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