Seniors, Cats and Chats: Cat Cafe calls elderly cat lovers for an afternoon tea party to address loneliness

Pause Cat Cafe is bringing seniors together for tea and company with cats on Thursday 28th September, to celebrate International Day of Older Persons.

Recognising that many older people suffer loneliness and isolation, Pause hopes to help by welcoming them to make new friends, human and animal.

Pause Cat Café is a not-for-profit café in Bournemouth, that is a rescue home to 11 cats. The cafe offers a relaxed environment for people and cats to enjoy each other’s company and promotes kindness through animal welfare, ethical eating and community projects.

The United Nations International Day for Older Persons falls on Sunday 1st October and is being celebrated by numerous organisations and events worldwide.

Social interactions benefit physical and mental health and even reduce the risk of dementia (1), but according to Age UK, over a million older people in Britain go more than a month without speaking to anyone (2). Spending time with animals has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and release serotonin (3); ‘elevating mood, lowering blood pressure, calming anxiety, and relieving depression’ (4). Pause provides an environment to interact with animals in the presence of trained cat care staff, ensuring safety for both cats and visitors.

‘Aunty Anne’s Tea Party’ is named in memory of the cafe’s oldest cat who died in 2021. Aunty Anne would often sit on visitors laps and she had a fondness for the elderly visitors.

Event organiser Steff says “It is heartwarming to see how much joy the cats bring to our older guests, who often recall stories of when they used to own pets, but due to living arrangements, health conditions and other reasons, they are no longer able to.”

Leah is a support worker at the café, offering training for people with disabilities and mental health difficulties. She says “The cats create the perfect environment to engage with people, they help break the ice and take any pressure and shyness away.”

Dorset Blind Association (DBA) is promoting the event to their members. One of DBA’s Community Support Workers, Heather, says “It’s important to deliver a multi-agency approach to fully utilise the different areas of expertise, thus improving the ability to reach and support more people in the most appropriate manner”.

Pause Cat Cafe recognises getting around can be a challenge for the elderly and are offering transport to the event. If you would like to give an older person the gift of an experience to remember, please visit or if you or someone you know would like to attend, please contact Pause on 01202 240194.

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