I recently discovered that Bristol had It’s very first cat café. This excited me. I like cats, I like a cup of tea and cake (Rarely, I have to be good because of my blood sugar!) and thought I would check out just what this new experience in Bristol had to offer. I was familiar with the cat café in London, named Lady Dinah’s Emporiums which opened in 2014. I saw some videos doing the rounds on Facebook and took an interest in going back then. So, I arranged a visit to Bristol’s newest cat café – You and Meow on a Saturday for me and my boyfriend Ricky.
It is recommended that you pre-book to avoid disappointment of missing out if it’s full when you decide to go. I booked the night before and was pleasantly surprised when we managed to get a slot at 11:00am the next day. We arrived a few minutes before hand at a lovely looking green & grey painted building with some nice window decoration and lots of open window space so you could see the café and any kitties that happened to be in the window area. It looked pretty big too, so I was getting excited at this point about this new experience.
Upon entering you are greeted by You & Meows owner Ewa who welcomes you and gives a little talk including things such as not to pick up the cats, not to feed them & just some general ground rules so you and the cats can both enjoy the experience in a safe and happy way/environment. You then go in through a second door which I believe is for health & safety and prevents the cats from getting outside. Upon walking in I was greeted by a very pretty, fluffy cat called Aya and some nature sounds which included the sounds of birds tweeting to create a natural ambiance to go with the zen type feel of the café.
It is very nicely decorated and as I turned the corner was greeted by more cats which were sitting on the new Japanese cat temple. It was apparently custom made and the cats seem to like it as there was always one on it when I looked. We sat down at our allocated table after a couple of minutes of stroking some cats (we requested normal tables and chairs when booking as opposed to sitting on floor chairs in the Zen area because of my boyfriend’s back) and looked at the menu. A selection of drinks and food are available, a lot of which are cat themed including things like various cakes, ‘pawninis’, ‘catachino’s’ & ‘catte’s’. (café lattes) I know, cute right? I went for the lemon cake and some English breakfast tea & Ricky opted for some coffee cake and a Catte’. We both agree that it tasted very nice and I loved the fact that they included cat themes on little touches like the chocolate sprinkles on Ricky’s drink which read ‘I Love Cats’. They even had cat silhouette heads on the toilets signs as opposed to the usual human heads.
Throughout our hour allocated time slot which we stroked, played and interacted with the cats with the help of a variety of toys that the owners had provided such as fishing rod type toys with things like toy mice on the end and a giant plastic piece of cheese that had fake mice heads which popped in and out much to the amusement of the cats! They quite happily come up to you so are obviously accustomed to this, and they regularly prop themselves on and in things like cat trees, window ledges, boxes and hidey holes if they want to rest/relax which is really cute. There is also a little area near to where you enter called the cat chillout zone where cats can go to escape from everything If they want to and is strictly for cats only. They climb over a little hatch and can just chill.
It’s very clear that the cats are loved and well cared for, and Ewa is very knowledgeable and appears very happy to answer any questions you may have about the cats and the business. She also told us a little story about how her own cat Aya (The big fluffy cat) had been mistreated in the past so she could be very shy and wary sometimes and to not really pet her unless she comes to you. She tended to keep herself to herself a lot of the time but seemed happy enough just relaxing and being petted when she wanted it. She also likes to be with the owner Ewa a lot which I thought was adorable.
If you are interested in a trip to the cat café I would thoroughly recommend it. It’s a lovely outing and I came out feeling really happy! Cats are known for their therapeutic benefits and are good for things like stress, anxiety, depression and help relax you. The owners have clocked on to this and have started to do mindfulness classes with things like meditation and working on things like deep relaxation for stress relief amongst other things. Only the difference being to a regularly relaxation class is that the cats are present to mooch about and climb on you etc. After looking at the You & Meow Facebook page and speaking to Ewa it seems to have gone down really well and to my surprise my boyfriend is interested in going with me sometime which should be interesting. We shall see what happens!
It is £5 per person and £3 for children to visit the cafe for 1 hour. They also have an age restriction of 10 + years only entering the café. We booked online and you pay by cash once there. You can pay by either cash or card for your food & drink and you are in no way obliged to buy anything. You can just pay the entry fee and enjoy the experience of interacting with the cats! If you are looking for something fun, different, relaxing or just like cats then get yourself to You and Meow cat café. You won’t regret it.
I also did a short video of my time at You & Meow Cafe which the owner loved so much she said she is going to use it! Here it is on my Youtube Channel. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂