Is it a room full of 100 cats? Do only crazy cat ladies go? Is it clean to eat and drink there? Are the cats friendly? All these were questions I had before visiting Manchester’s Cat Café. Find out everything you need to know along with some tips in my Cat Café Manchester review below.
I recently visited Manchester’s Cat Café for a friend’s birthday. In my mind, I was expecting cats running around everywhere, watching your every move, sitting on the sofa with you, brushing past your ankles every 5 minutes and getting you covered in cat hair.
I’m good with one cat at a time. I do have a real fear of a cat getting comfortable on my knee looking cute and cuddly and then starting to knead my legs! Sharp claws ripping into my skin, no thank you! Can you tell I prefer dogs? Despite this fear I had a rather pleasant afternoon. There weren’t cats running around, the only crazy cat lady was possibly just my friend and the café itself was very clean and the staff very welcoming.
The way the Cat Café works is that you are charged for your time. We booked an hour slot which was £12 each. Each 5 minutes costs £1. So you can stay as little or as long as you want. This is great if you are enjoying yourself and the company of the cats and wish to stay that bit longer. Drinks are free and unlimited! You can order food for an additional cost.
On entering the Cat Café reception you’ll notice some rules on the wall. You’ll be reminded of these rules later and asked to agree to them electronically on the iPad. The rules are:
- Don’t disturb sleeping cats
- No picking up any cats
- Don’t chase any cats
- No flash photography
- No feeding the cats (except the treat box behind the counter)
- Don’t let the cats steal your milk
- Shoe covers must be worn or shoes can be taken off
Do not disturb! I don’t like people waking me up either so this rule makes sense. Although this does mean timing is everything when visiting the café. When is the best time to see the cats? Does each cat have different sleeping habits? It’s the luck of the draw really. If you are there to see just one cat, then your chances are even slimmer!
Not that I would pick up ANY cats but this rule did surprise me. I’ve seen plenty pictures of cat lovers holding cats in Cat Cafés around the world. Each café could have different rules or more than likely people aren’t keeping to the rules and unfortunately that gives off a slightly different vibe to people interested in going.
One mate said, “The Cat Café is like a strip club, you can look but you can’t touch!”
The cat list had a total of 14 cats advertised. I reckon I saw ten and only petted one. We saw the majority of cats come out from their private room when it was dinner time but when the food was gone so were the cats. A few cats were sleeping and some others were enjoying their own company. The cats just didn’t seem all that interested. Maybe the hype of humans visiting has gone and the cats just aren’t that bothered anymore.
The café itself is very nice. A large space with glass windows and plenty seating to choose from makes it a comfortable, bright, inviting space. The only thing I was not expecting was to feel like a zoo animal or a fish at an aquarium. The large glass windows meant passers-by can admire and gush over the cats from outside. That or watch and slightly judge all these cat lovers spend, “how much money, to pet a cat!”.
On the menu, you’ll find tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cold drinks, snacks and cake. All drinks are free and a slice of cake is about £3.50. You can also buy cat treats for under £3. Which I didn’t notice until looking back through my photos! No staff members mentioned this which is a shame as this could have helped to have more interaction with the cats. We all like a bit of bribery after all. Although I don’t imagine they want every customer feeding treats to the cats.
- Book a weekday so you can have all the cats to yourself! Weekends are busy.
- Pick a seat opposite the café counter. This is where all the action is!
- Buy cat treats and find a feather cat teaser toy lying around. Time to make friends.
- Don’t forget free unlimited drinks. Get your money’s worth.
It’s a fun slightly different environment to go and catch up with mates. It is slightly more expensive then I had imagined but if you think about how much you’d spend on a tea and cake then two free drinks at the Cat Café makes up for the price a little. If you are a lover of cats and have one or ten at home I wouldn’t go. You’d get more attention at home and If you do have ten cats why haven’t you opened up your own Cat Café?!
Would I go again? Ermmm, yeah why not. If I had a mate that really wanted to go then sure. It’s a day out to schedule into the diary and it’s that something fun to look forward to.
Have you been to a Cat Café? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.
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