Purrrfect timing for cat café after initial plans ‘paws-ed’ by pandemic @chalmersnewspr @JavaWhiskersUK

CATS will soon be the talk of London’s West End again – but Andrew Lloyd Webber will be playing no part in its success.

Java Whiskers cat café is set to make its debut on October 31st, six months after its original launch plans had to be shelved due to the pandemic.

Occupying former offices in Great Portland Street, Fitzrovia Marylebone, the venue will entice cat lovers with its winning formula of food and feline ‘therapy.’

Behind the concept are three friends from southern Sweden who enjoyed huge success with the launch of their country’s first ever cat café last year.

Self-confessed ‘entrepreneurs with big hearts,’ Jon Bäcklund, Tobias Larsson and Joakim Wessman are also the team behind successful Swedish trampoline park chain Yoump.

Tobias Larsson said: “We wanted to find a business that is doing something good. We want to create a great environment for both the cats and humans that is calm and comfortable but also very healing. The café has two primary objectives: to improve the mental health and wellbeing of its visitors and to reduce the rate of cat homelessness.”

He added: “We are very happy and proud of the difference we have made for homeless cats in Sweden and also how much our visitors love our concept so we are super excited to be opening in the UK now.”

Java Whiskers will foster a maximum of nine kitties at any one time from The Scratching Post Cat Rescue shelter, in Waltham Abbey, until suitable new forever homes can be found among its customers.

The purpose-built cattery, in Enfield, has been a labour of love for Susan Delaney for 15 years.

Susan said she saw this as a new opportunity to help tackle the growing number of unwanted cats in and around London.

She added: “I thought it a fantastic idea and it is definitely the first time we will have worked with a cat café and thought it was such a wonderful opportunity to move the charity forward by rehoming to people who will see the cats’ personalities and fall in love.

“This will help us, as a charity move forward and rescue more cats. There is an ever- growing population of unwanted cats in and around London, so this will help towards the volume of reports we receive.”

The Scratching Post can be contacted at: www.scratchingpost.co.uk

Customers to Java Whiskers will be asked to book a 55-minute time slot ahead of their visit. The café design includes elevated shelves and walkways as well as plenty of ‘escape spaces’ for the animals. And the cats’ welfare is paramount with a set of important guest rules, including no running, keeping noise to a low level and no picking up the resident kitties, feeding them or waking them when they’re asleep.

Children under 12 will not be permitted and it’s strictly shoes off and hands washed upon entering.

The top level of the two-storey 2,000 sq ft unit will be dedicated to providing a premium customer experience, including a menu of hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, pastries and salads, while downstairs the cats are afforded plenty of private space.

It’s the first of a series of cat cafés being launched in the UK by the entrepreneurs who are already eyeing up plans for ‘two or three’ more in the future.

More information is available at: https://javawhiskers.co.uk

Bookings can now be made through https://javawhiskers.co.uk/booking-info

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