Back in the days of visiting a café, you’d expect to see tea and cake on the menu, but not cats! This South London café has created a unique space where Londoners can escape the busy city for some respite, whilst incorporating their love of cats which is shared with so many. But they could never have imagined how popular the café would become, with people soon hoping to travel from around the globe to visit the cats and of course eat some cake!
How it all started
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is not only the UK’s first cat café but is also London’s longest-running cat café and is said to be heaven for all cat lovers! It’s safe to say Lauren, founder of Lady Dinah’s, was busy when she initially opened in 2014 following a successful crowdfunding campaign as she took over 20,000 bookings in the first week!
Since then, the Lady Dinah’s team has grown with many more likeminded cat enthusiasts now working at the Café. They even have an in-house cat expert on hand to answer any questions guests may have.
Guests can normally book a table and join the cats for tea, cake and of course cuddles with the cats! However, you must book in advance if you want to go and spend time with the cats as Lady Dinah’s cafe, in normal times at least, has a 95% occupancy rate and is one of the most successful cafés in London. It reopens on 17th May when the cats return to the café to soothe visitors and take away their stresses.
The café is currently home to 13 beautiful rescue cats each with their own unique personality. From Rodney and Zora to Pip and his sister Estella, they all make up the calming cat family of this unique destination. However, these aren’t the only felines to have resided at Lady Dinah’s since the café has been home to over 40 cats since opening! And when the busy café life is no longer as much fun for felines looking for a more sedate way of life, there is no shortage of lovely homes offering peace and quiet in their later years.
Adopt don’t shop
The café has a strong emphasis on an ‘adopt don’t shop’ approach to pet ownership so all residents are either rescues taken in from the streets or from families who are no longer able to care for them. The long queue of potential pet parents waiting for the cats who want to retire from the café life makes it a win-win for everyone!
Tinkerbell and friends have certainly landed on all four paws. With all year round fuss from visitors, toys, treats and even a cat gym they really are living their best lives.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is a café like no other. If you want to escape the worries of everyday life then their basement forest surrounded by quiet, cuddle-loving and contented felines is the place for you!