I don’t ‘do’ cities but….

Anyone who knows me knows that cities hold no attraction for me whatsoever, give me countryside or coast and good views any time, however on Monday this week I decided to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a long while and haven’t up to now – make a visit to the Cat Cafe in Manchester. It was very much a spur-of-the-moment decision made at 8am, I booked online straight away for the 11am slot and leaving the van at home I went into Manchester by train. The café was an easy walk from Victoria Station, I got there a few minutes before eleven and once I’d booked in at reception and got my visitor’s pass I was free to spend my hour with the cats.
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Manchester’s Cat Cafe
The first cat I saw was a Ragdoll, sleeping in a box which looked far too small for it – unless of course it was an exceptionally big cat. Next was one sleeping in a cardboard house on top of a unit in the window then I saw Savannah, a beautiful Bengal who was more than willing to have some attention lavished on her before she too curled up and went to sleep. After having a wander round and taking a few photos I got a can of Coke from the bar – unlimited hot and cold drinks are included in the cost of the visit – then sat on a very comfy settee for a while just taking in the calm and peaceful atmosphere of the place before spending more time photographing some of the residents and their surroundings.
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When my hour was over I said goodbye to the cats which weren’t asleep, handed in my pass at reception, and emerged from the quiet coolness of the café into a busy street and a sunny day which was getting warmer by the minute. It had been nice to spend an hour with the cats in the café, it was something a bit different from the norm, but an hour had been long enough for me. Would I go again? – probably not. It was nice for a one-off experience but it’s expensive for what it is – and anyway, if I ever want to cuddle a cat I’ve got three of my own here at home.

 

18 thoughts on “I don’t ‘do’ cities but….

  1. That place is certainly different although I had heard of it before. I was curious how much they charge for an hour and having found out all can say is it’s very expensive!

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  2. It’s a nice place, obviously set up for cats with various beds, walkways and platforms, and things to encourage them to play, and for humans there’s lots of comfy settees and chairs. With very gentle piano music playing quietly in the background it’s a very calming atmosphere – I wasn’t in there alone, I counted twenty people at one point but even though conversations were going on the place was still quiet. You don’t have to have an hour, you can have half that if you want but you get charged extra if you go over the time you’ve initially paid for. It’s rather an expensive way to have a quiet cup of coffee but it was good for a one-off experience, and a walk round a few nearby streets later gave me an idea for a Monday walk next week 🙂

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  3. These cat cafes seem to be popping up all over the place. Eleanor visited one in Nottingham and there’s one here in Leeds, though I’ve never been. They’re a bit gimmicky but I suppose they’ll attract animal lovers. I wonder after an initial visit how many will return though. I had to laugh at the photo of the cat curled up in a box which was too small for it, even though there’s plenty of other places for it to sleep. So typical of a cat to squeeze into something too small for it, ha ha.

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  4. This particular ‘company’ only have two cafes so far, the Manchester one and one in Liverpool though they say their aim is to have one in every major city. I suppose it’s a good way for those who like cats but can’t have one to get their ‘fix’ but it’s an expensive way of doing it – or it would be okay as a birthday treat for someone. The one thing I like about it is they support the animal rescue centre which I’m a member of 🙂

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  5. I passed another cat cafe when I visited Shrewsbury a couple of months ago. I haven’t yet visited one myself. They are expensive but I guess they have high maintenance costs to ensure hygiene and health and safety. They must have a mammoth cleaning routine every day once the customers have all gone. Also, I’m reassured that the high entrance charge will deter people who might not respect the animals. I think the idea came from Australia originally; a friend of mine visits her daughter there a couple of times a year, and she has visited cat cafes there for many years. Those particular cat cafes were set up exclusively to fund-raise for cat charities but in this country they appear to be mainly commercial.

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    1. The cats at this café cannot be rehomed or adopted, that’s where they live, but I checked out the website for the one in Leeds which Jo mentioned (above) and it seems they are also a rescue place so they will take in and/or rehome various cats.
      I suppose to conform to health and hygiene standards the cafe must have a meticulous daily cleaning routine which has to be paid for somehow – strangely, a recent review on TripAdvisor says the place was dirty and it smelled but when I was there I found it absolutely spotless and there was no smell at all – as a cat owning cleaner I think I would have noticed if standards hadn’t been good! They currently have 12 cats and it’s just pot luck which you might see as they are free to wander to and from their own room behind the scenes – I saw six, the one in the next to last shot was adorable and kept following me round and sniffing my trousers 🙂

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      1. I think it’s absolutely right that the cats should come and go as they please and are not made to be present in the cafe area. Like you, I would be very happy if I got to see six out of the twelve. I agree that there must be a meticulous cleaning regime, for business as well as health & safety reasons. People would not visit if they were going to find cat hairs in their coffee and cake or all over their clothes. There will almost certainly be more staff than at a ‘normal’ cafe of that size, to keep an eye on the cats. I think I’ll have to go there myself now. Thanks for the nudge, Eunice. 😁

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        1. Funnily enough I saw very few staff when I was there, just one young man on reception, a young woman sitting at a desk just inside the door to the café itself and the very young lady who was serving at the counter and generally keeping an eye on things. It was very quiet when I was there but there may have been other staff somewhere behind the scenes.

          I chose Monday as I’m only really free on Mondays and Tuesdays but the café isn’t open on Tuesdays anyway, plus after the end of this week it could get busy because it’ll be the school holidays. They don’t accept kids under 10 (which I think is a good thing) but I don’t ‘do’ kids of any age so it was either this Monday or wait until September.

          It was a mystery at first how the cats come and go as they can’t get out anywhere but there’s a door behind the bar with a cat flap in the bottom of it. 🙂

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    1. It’s good as a one-off experience for someone who likes cats but not a place you would got to often at the prices they charge. I did like the ambience of the place though, it was so calming and peaceful 🙂

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  6. Ah, I remember you saying you would go. I agree that they are mainly good for a birthday treat or similar. I have been to three. The Manchester one and ones in London & Paris. I think as long as the cats seem content, then they are a good thing. Also it’s definitely a reasurance when they support animal charities. X

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  7. It was reading your post about it which prompted me to put it on my list of ‘things to do’. I probably wouldn’t go back as it’s a bit pricey but it was good to go just to see what it was all about, and at least it gave me something to write about on here. Just thinking back to when I had 16 cats, I could have opened my own cat café here at home, I would have made a fortune! 🙂 🙂 Incidentally, if you’re interested and feel like a climb I think Peel tower at Ramsbottom is open on Sunday 🙂

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    1. Wow, 16 cats. You could have indeed made a fortune. 🙂
      Oh really. Not sure we will make it out of town on Sunday as have a house warming party to go to Sat night. Do need to get back though, when the fog isn’t obscuring the views….or indeed the tower!

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  8. Interesting & I’ve heard about cafes & had a friend visit one in Netherlands. There is one here in Melbourne, but I’ve never been, although we had cats ourselves for many years & I really miss not having pets around. Thanks for sharing the experience & take care.

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    1. I would certainly miss not having my pets, it wouldn’t be a home without them. When I got back home the other day the first thing Poppie did was give my trouser legs a good sniffing – she knew I’d been somewhere where there are cats which aren’t mine 🙂

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  9. I think the mini-beds are quite sweet, there are some more up one of the other walls too. Most of the cats are pedigrees so no common-or-garden moggies there 🙂

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