You & Meow Cat Café is a small café on Denmark Street that provides customers with a haven of relaxation and Zen. They have a range of experiences available on their website to book, including the Feline Experience (my favourite), and they serve a selection of drinks and cakes in both Vegan and Gluten Free options. They only provide up to six slots a day for customers to visit and they fill up very quickly, so I would advise you to book online beforehand to secure your space.
They have around fourteen cats within their café and they are all free to roam around in the main room or tucked away in their own room, where customers are not allowed. All of their cats are rescue cats and they are provided with a temporary home in You & Meow, where they can receive the love and attention they deserve. However, once the staff begin to fail to meet the cats’ requirements, they are adopted out and ensured a loving permanent home, with thanks to the owner, Ewa Rukat.
Since moving to Bristol in September, I have visited the Cat Café around five times and I have loved each and every visit. The peaceful and relaxing atmosphere in the café itself, aided by the slow music and room decoration, provides a safe place for you to escape from the world and have a period of time to fully enjoy yourself, with no worries on your mind. As I have anxiety, I find the Cat Café to be invaluable as it allows me to have down time where I can relax with my favourite animals and drink and eat as much chocolate as I want.
All of the staff are warm and friendly, who are happy to answer any questions you may have, and ensure that you have the best experience you can as nothing is too much trouble. In my personal experience, I went to the Cat Café as a part of my birthday. I let them know in advance when I booked and was surprised to have the café all to myself when I arrived. I had a candle in a cake and they sang me Happy Birthday to add a personal touch to my experience. Plus, I got to be involved with feeding the cats and had the opportunity to give them treats. This really helped me to have an amazing birthday and they really made my day.
Also, they have a lot of people visiting the café who have special needs and learning difficulties. I have seen how patient and gentle they are with these people, and they even pick up the cats so they can hold them and stroke them if they are unable to move very well. The staff make sure to talk to everyone as much as they can and have personal interactions with them, to provide you with a warm welcome that you can find hard to get anywhere else. They are more than happy to answer any questions you have about dietary requirements or information about the cats, and they provide extra information in a booklet on every table, that you can read in your own time if you wish to do so.
You are allocated a table where you are served your food and drinks, but you are free to roam around the café at your own leisure and play with and stroke the cats to your heart’s content. You can take as many photos and videos as you like, both with phones and with cameras, but you just have to be careful to not use flash as this can upset the cats. I cannot praise You & Meow enough for the safe little bubble they provide and the work they do to look after peoples’ emotional and mental health. It’s well worth a visit, you won’t be disappointed.
Photography by Sarah Scorey