York is to get its first cat café.
Cat lovers will be able to eat and drink alongside feline friends, with 12 cats living permanently on the premises.
Plans have been submitted to City of York Council to turn the former Baytree Interiors shop at 46 Goodramgate into the café.
It will extend over three floors, with the ground and first floors given over to customers, and the top floor saved for food preparation and ‘cat rest room’, where they can chill out on cat balancing poles.
An intimate experience
The café is due to open from 10am to 7pm at weekends, and 11am-7pm for the rest of the week.
Documents submitted to City of York Council suggest it will be an intimate dining experience, with only 22 customers allowed in to cuddle the cats at any one time:
This will ensure the quality of the experience and the welfare of the cats is maintained at all times.
A member of staff will be responsible for checking on the welfare of the cats last thing in the evening and first thing in the morning to ensure a good level of amenity and care for the cats is maintained.
A clear set of rules and regulations will be displayed at all times to protect the wellbeing of the cats as well as the quality of the experience for patrons.
The entrance lobby will be adapted with an extra door and partition to keep the animals safe inside the building and the café will serve up tea, coffee and cakes for cat lovers.
Good for wellbeing
A number of similar cafés have been successful in cities including Newcastle, Leeds, and London.
The owners say York’s version will contribute to the diversity and cultural interest in the city, and be of interest to tourists as well as residents.
There is also said to be a health benefit to the plan:
The proposal will also enhance wellbeing.
With the rise of mental health issues becoming a prominent UK topic for discussion, animal assisted therapy is more frequently being used in hospitals to aid patient care and recovery.
Research shows that spending 15-20 minutes with a cat can reduce your blood pressure and boost your mood. A recent study found that cat owners are 40% less likely to suffer a heart attack.
The plan comes three years after a crowdfunding campaign to create a cat café was launched in York. To be called The Scratching Post, it never materialised.
One full-time and three part-time roles will be available for passionate cat lovers who think the they would find the job purrfect.