I love cats. The nonchalance. The aloofness. The mysterious, slinky, to-cool-for-school quality. Adorable. But even I have to admit that there’s something slightly disconcerting about our furry, feline friends. 

Whether silently watching us from windows, secretly meeting at night on rooftops or slowly but surely working their way into our homes, and effortlessly replacing good old faithful dogs as Britain’s ‘best friend’ - cats are up to something. 

Their Jekyll and Hyde personality is expertly designed for subterfuge. (Aww, nice kitty. Soft, soft, soft - Aaagh – CLAWS!!!). They’ve got their own little doors into half our homes. Next part of their master plan of war? Infiltrating our cafés.

Yes, Liverpool has just opened its first ‘Cat Café’ with a central Bold Street location. Three exquisite floors, each filled with couches, cushions and cats, 26 cats, to be precise. Cat HQ or harmless coffee house? VisitLiverpool took a behind the scenes tour to investigate.  


We arrive at the Cat Café and it’s clear from the outset that we’re under surveillance. There’s a flash of golden eyes in the windows, a blur of scurrying fur. Then nothing. They’re on to us. We look up and a clowder of cats look down from windows above, suddenly, strangely making me think of Amsterdam.

We enter the first door and step inside to reveal an internal façade, with the appearance of a Disney cottage. A little thatched roof, bright window boxes, flowers – all perfectly innocent. I lift the (giant cat’s head) door knocker on the internal door and wait. 

Exterior of Liverpool Cat Cafe


We’re warmly greeted by Keanu, one of the Café’s managers. Today is the day before the big opening, but Keanu  has everything under control and seems more than happy to spend some time with us. 

The first thing I notice is the décor. No chintzy cat-themed clutter. No garish colours. No pet odours, whatsoever. In fact, Liverpool’s Cat Café looks like something from a Laura Ashley catalogue, but with a slight whimsical twist.  (Or like your Nan’s house - if your Nan was loaded and proper loved cats.) 

Cups quietly clink while a grandfather clock ticks in the hall, polished chrome gleams from the kitchen, muted colours adorn the walls & plush, oversized velvet furniture invites you to take a seat and sink in.


Keanu stops suddenly on the staircase. “Oh, I probably should explain the rules”. We listen intently. 

1)    Never pick the cats up
2)    Never feed the cats (after midnight?)
3)    Never chase the cats 
4)    Never wake the cats up
5)    No flash photography (the little divas) 

We proceed with our tour and open a door on the first floor. It’s only slightly ajar, when a little head pops out. A cat’s head. The streamline features of a tiny, blue-eyed Siamese kitten greet us, followed several high-pitched meows. 

In turn, I hear a chorus of ‘Awws’ – I’m not going to lie, many of these were coming from me and I find myself trying hard not to break rule number one. Keanu introduces us to the kitten, his name is Sebastian and he remains a constant fixture throughout the rest of the tour. 


The next bit is a bit of a blur. Two cat lovers meet 26 of the cutest kittens imaginable, each one more extraordinary than the last. Our cameras start going (no flash) and like kids in a candy store, we don’t know where to turn next. ‘Look at this one!’ ‘Did you see that one?’ ‘I want one’ ‘Aww’ ‘So cute!’ and ‘look at their little faces!!!’ – embarrassing really. 

The cute cats at Cat Cafe Liverpool


I try to remain professional. ‘You’re here to work’ I tell myself. But I can feel my cat café scepticism falling away and being replaced with a warm, fuzzy feeling, that only cats can deliver. What ensues is the most difficult and distracting interview ever. Not because of Keanu (who is lovely) but because of all those naughty cats. 

My first question, is a bit of an ice-breaker, an attempt at humour: “So, which cat’s the biggest attention wh*re?”  

But the answer is already very apparent. Heat-seeking missile Sebastian wastes no time, and promptly lands in my lapas soon as I sit down, nuzzling my face and purring down my ear. 

In hot pursuit, comes Tod, a handsome Somali kitten who seems intent on ensuring that I’m unable to take any notes at all. After a while both cats fall asleep across my legs, whilst silently, and apparently subconsciously, trying to push the other off and get the lion’s share of the space available. So devious. I love it.  

Sitting on my lap


Keanu tells us all about the café and how she landed her job. The companies first cat café was set up in Manchester, it did really well and the owners are now expanding their operation into Liverpool. 

Keanu – a former ‘cat nanny’ who looked after the first Cat Café’s cats of a night but now she’s graduated to Café Manager and she explains the Liverpool set-up to us.

The cats live in the café, have their run of the building, complete with their own private, miniature runs and cat flaps, offering quick access to all parts of the building. Unlike Manchester, Liverpool’s Cat Café is starting out with kittens and not cats, so that the cats become better adjusted to all those new faces. 

British Short Hair Kitten waking a Norwegian Forest Cat


Whilst the cats can go where they please, humans must keep out of ‘The Cat’s Room’. A place where fatigued cats can go to get away from prying eyes.  Keanu kindly grants us a quick look and it’s quite a place. 

Rows and rows of pristine litter trays line the floor, 27 in total, one per cat, plus one. Shelves above act as runways and hold 26 identical. fluffy cat beds, a couple of which are occupied. The room’s more than a little surreal, but quite charming. More upscale cat-hostel, than wayward pet penitentiary.  

Rupert in bears bed!


It’s apparent from our conversations that Keanu knows a lot about cats and she tells us about each of the breeds, their personality and how all but one dramatic looking black moggie have come from registered breeders. Then she tells us about Dobbie. 

Dobbie is a hairless cat and Keanu explains that some people can say cruel things about him or disregard him, in favour of more fluffy varieties.  I instantly feel sad and that’s why I want to tell you more about this special cat. 

Yes, he’s hairless. He’s also very striking, affectionate and sweet natured. To me, he look’s a little like E.T. His tiny pink body feels like soft leather, his face like velvet and his giant amber eyes seem to pleade ‘I just want to be loved’. 

Keanu tells us how he needs to get little baths now and then, how he has his own assortment of little jackets and that he likes to sleep next to the other cats, because he likes their fur  (😢😢😢) So, don’t be mean to Dobbie, OK? He’s hairless, but he rocks it, so be sure to seek him out.  (We’re assured that each cat will soon have their own Instagram, so look out for that.) 


Let’s face it, this café is all about the cats, but that’s far from the only reason you would come here. Keanu tells us about the menu and pricing structure (£12 for an hour, free hot and cold drinks, of which there are many, with cakes, scones, sandwiches, paninis, breakfasts and afternoon tea available to purchase). 

She then tells us about their ‘film night’ plans and show’s us the large screen that the film will be projected onto. First up is the Disney Classic ‘The Aristocats’ which we all agree is a perfect choice for the inaugural showing. 

My mind then starts to think of other cat themed movies (‘Cat People’ ‘Fritz The Cat’ ‘The Black Cat’ ‘The Cat and The Canary’ and tonnes of other more family friendly fare) Cat’s, cake and cinema? I’m in. Good job there’s a loyalty scheme, which gives patrons their 7th visit free. 


As we come to the end of our tour and descend another winding staircase, I notice several workmen hammering things, putting up selves, doing odd jobs and finishing touches, before opening day.

I chuckle to myself as these big burly men stop every now and then to pet the cats, or move the cats, or re-do their laces, or gingerly try and get tools from their tool bag – which is now full of cats, who clearly love the attention and seem to think the work men are playing with them.

I ask Keanu why she think cats have such a unique  appeal.  “They’re great role models” she says. “They look after themselves. Everything is on their own terms. They love to chill-out, sleep, play, eat. They take life in their stride. People can learn a lot from cats.” 

British Short Hair Kitten pondering

“That’s what I love about this job, people who can’t keep cats, because of time or allergies or whatever, can come here and enjoy them. They’re very therapeutic, it’s proven. It’s called animalistic therapy.”

I tell Keanu about my fanciful theory, that cats are taking over the world and she laughs. “The world run by cats would be a great thing. Cat’s just make everything better.”

I start to see the possibilities. Cat Supermarkets. Cat Discos. Cat Pubs. Cat Cruises, this thing has got legs. As we say our goodbye’s I’m already mentally planning my next visit.

Yes, those crafty, curious cats may be plotting our demise, but they’re just so bloody cute, I’m already eager to surrender, sit back, have a little stroke and listen to them purr. Resistance is futile. 

For more information on how to enjoy a cup of tea with these beautiful cats, head to the Liverpool Cat Cafe's website

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By Ian Hughes