If there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that cats are superior in basically every way, right? I’m a cat person – and I’m guessing you’re the same since you’re reading this – and I love meeting cats, petting cats, snuggling with cats, you name it. They don’t have to be my own kitties to receive my love; as such, I’ve been to several cat cafes in various cities around the world, and know the heart-warming feeling they provide – as well as the good work they do to support cat populations.
In our home, we have two adopted kitties, so there’s a soft spot here for all cats looking to find their humans and fur-even homes. Our cats are called Annabell and Romeo, and they bring so much light, warmth, and fur into our lives – seriously, so much fur. We miss them dearly each time we travel to London.
If you love cats too, you may want to add something feline-related to your London itinerary: visiting one of London’s cat cafes. As of mid-2022, there are four cat cafes in London, and all have survived/thrived despite the past few years, so they will likely remain, offering tea and kitty adoptions for years to come.
While all of the cat cafes in London support cat care and adoption, each one is a bit different, and they’re spread out around the city, so more or less convenient depending on where you’re staying. In any case, read on to review all four and plan a purr-fect excursion to meet the cats of jolly old London.
Cat Cafes in London Map
For any list of cool places across London, I find it helpful to put together a map to demonstrate where each place is located. As you can see above, the four cat cafes in London are spread across the city: North, East, Central, and West(minster). This makes it likely that you can easily visit at least one during your London trip, since they’re both near the major tourist attractions but also off the beaten path.
Quick Tips for Visiting Cat Cafes in London (or Anywhere)
Before launching into the list of cat cafes in London, I wanted to take a quick minute to provide some advice on visiting cat cafes. As I’ve been to many now, knowing these general rules will help make sure you have an un-fur-gettable experience.
- Book in advance. Cat cafes are popular and this is the only way to ensure you’re able to get a seat/table when you want to visit.
- Review any policies and procedures before arrival. Especially after the past few years, there may specific things you need to do to prepare for your visit – or rules you need to follow once you arrive. Respect the kitties (who can get sick from human illnesses!) and follow whatever guidelines are set out.
- Let the cats come to you and ask for pets. Once at the cafe, the cats are in charge; let the cats approach you and express their opinions about where to pet them, and for how long. Each cat has their own “purr-sonality,” so respect that.
- Don’t take it purr-sonally if the cats don’t come over right away (or at all!). Cats will be cats. Give them time to warm up, and observe which ones seem more friendly and might be tempted over during your visit.
- Skip the perfume/wear clean, scent-free clothing. Cats have exceptionally sensitive noses. If you’ve just doused in your favorite scent or smell stinky/like another animal, they may not want to approach.
These tips will help ensure you have a great time and increase the odds that the cats will come give you some head bumps and heart-melting purrs during your visit.
Oh, and one more: If you are unable to adopt, consider an additional donation to support cat adoption. I obviously don’t expect anyone visiting London to adopt a cat and bring them home. However, adding a bit extra to your budget to donate can really help support the cats at whichever cat cafe you visit. One of the best donations you can make is to cover adoption fees (if they have any), so ask about that; we’ve donated to many adoption centers to help make it free to adopt a kitty we love but don’t have room in our home for. (It makes them easier to get adopted!)
Now ready to learn about the best cat cafes in London? Here’s the list.
1. Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium
- Address: 152-154, Bethnal Green Rd, E2 6DG
- Nearest Tube: Shoreditch High Street (Overground)
- Website: ladydinahs.com
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is the oldest cat cafe in London; it opened in 2013, just after I moved from London! On one of my first return trips, a friend and I had afternoon tea at Lady Dinah’s, to enjoy the time with the cats and see what the fuss was all about. (It was actually my first cat cafe experience!)
Today, Lady Dinah’s is still going strong. Like most cat cafes, they work to help cats get adopted through a fostering and socialization process. At any time you visit, you might see up to two dozen cats out and about in the cafe; most will be “permanent residents” and others will be in the foster system waiting to be adopted once the team at Lady Dinah’s determines it’s in the cat’s best interest to do so.
Speaking of permanent residents, Lady Dinah’s also ensures that cats aren’t required to “work” in the cafe their whole lives. Most cats who are determined to be ineligible for adoption (often due to care or socialization issues) will live in the cafe for 3-6 years and then “retire” to a quieter life away from the hustle and bustle of the cafe and new patrons every day. Some of my favorite of the kitties who call Lady Dinah’s home include Zora (love me a calico!), Daz (who looks just like my own Annabell!), and the Shakespeare trio of black kitties.
To visit, you’ll need to pre-book a time; it’s £13 for an hour or £20 for 90 minutes in the cafe. They have a full a la carte food and drink menu, as well as an all-inclusive food and bev option when booking. Only children 12+ are allowed to visit, in the best interest of the cats.
Photos courtesy of Lady Dinah’s via Instagram
2. Java Whiskers Cat Cafe
- Address: 105 Great Portland St, W1W 6QF
- Nearest Tube: Goodge Street (Northern Line/Charing Cross Branch)
- Website: javawhiskers.co.uk
While Java Whiskers cannot claim to be the first cat cafe in London – that title goes to Lady Dinah’s –, they can claim to be the first cat cafe in Europe: their primary location in Stockholm, Sweden was indeed the first, and opened in 2019. They then opened a second location in Marylebone in late 2020, and it has been wildly popular ever since.
Java Whiskers also supports cat rescue and adoption via The Scratching Post Cat Rescue, who care for the cats before they come to the cafe. Most cats at Java Whiskers are eligible for adoption; there are only a few permanent residents, and the rest are looking for their furr-ever homes. Personally, I think Fullers with his cat-titude (he comes with two very cute siblings so maybe that’s where it comes from!), head-bumping Liquorice and his best friend Oregono, and snuggle-bug Fritters are the ones that I would have a hard time saying goodbye to after a visit.
One thing that makes Java Whiskers special is that they also offer a kitten lounge. This is a separate space with just cats aged 9 weeks to one year (the definition of a kitten), and is a great place to meet a young cat you can share an entire life with. (To be honest, almost all of the cats at Java Whiskers are young; the oldest cat in the cafe is 4 (Snowball) and she looks like a sweetheart for the right person.
To book a visit, head over to their website and choose a date and time. It’s £14.99 per person to enter the cat lounge and £19.99 per person for the kitten lounge (they know where the money is!); there’s also a £32.99 per person Afternoon Tea package if you want to make an event of it.
3. La Maison Du Chat
- Address: 55 Moreton St, Pimlico SW1V 2NY
- Nearest Tube: Pimlico (Victoria Line)
- Website: lamaisonduchat.co.uk
We’ve all seen it: cats are masters of stretching and contorting into strange positions. What better way to emulate our feline friends than with a bit of yoga alongside them?
La Maison du Chat is both a London cat cafe and offers cat yoga, which is a great way to support the cats and take care of yourself so you can enjoy a lifetime with the felines you love. They offer Vinyasa yoga daily at 8:30am, and the cafe opens at 9:00am so you can enjoy a spot of breakfast afterward. Cats roam free during yoga, so don’t be surprise if one tries to steal your mat during some pose or snuggles up during Savasana (the relaxation pose at the end of class).
If cat yoga isn’t your thing but you still love cats, the cafe takes bookings all day; it’s not required but is advised if you plan to visit during brunch (especially on weekends) or afternoon tea (any day).
La Maison du Chat does not list their kitties on their website (perhaps because they rotate through frequently; a good sign!), but says there are usually around 10 cats living in the cafe at any time, waiting to be adopted. Will you be taking a cat home as your London souvenir?
4. Whiskers & Cream
- Address: 593 Holloway Rd, Archway N19 4DJ
- Nearest Tube: Upper Holloway (Overground); Archway (Northern Line/High Barnet Branch)
- Website: whiskersandcream.com
Do we save cats, or do cats save us? The jury’s still out, but the heartwarming story behind North London’s Whiskers and Cream suggests it’s definitely both. Opened by a former psychiatric nurse in 2018, Whiskers and Cream is both the realization of a lifelong dream, and a reminder that your career can take left turns – and that’s totally okay! (Just a little validation for you today…)
Today, Whiskers and Cream is going strong, and is home to nine permanent residents ready and waiting to receive scritches whenever you visit. They range in age, though all are between 3-7 years old. You can stop in for an a la carte snack or book afternoon tea, and one thing that makes Whiskers and Cream special is that they do offer an option for children under 11 upon inquiry.
As usual, be sure to book in advance online. Rates start from £13 per person for 90 minutes, and there are options for both afternoon tea (£28.00 per person) and tea with unlimited prosecco (£47.99 per person). They’re open daily except Wednesdays to give the cats (and the humans running the cafe) a day of rest.
I’m not going to lie: I had the hardest time writing this post because I just want to ensure every one of the adoptable cats at these cat cafes in London finds their perfect home and is so loved – as our adopted kitties are. If you have a big heart and love cats, planning a visit to one or more of these London cat cafes is a must during your itinerary. Have any questions about your options to experience cat cafes in London? Let me know in the comments!