Thursday 4th of December 2014
Not something to expect when going to a cafe, but Car Hire Edinburgh Airport staff and customers are sure to visit for the experience if nothing else.
The first ever cat café will be opening in Edinburgh to the public in January. Maison de Moggy in Stockbridge will allow customers to sip a cuppa while enjoying the company of a fluffy chinchilla Persian, a duo of outgoing Bengals and a dozen other resident cats.
The quirky concept, which originated in Japan, has grown in popularity across Europe. And Edinburgh employment lawyer and entrepreneur Laura O’Neill, is preparing to bring Scotland its first taste of that culture after signing a temporary lease for a pop-up cat cafe on Hamilton Place.
A team of city designers are already working to revamp the premises to cater for Ms O’Neill’s pack of felines, which were all specially bred for social interaction. A room filled with toys and climbing spots will allow customers a chance to play with the younger, more outgoing cats – while a separate quiet area will focus on maximising cuddle time.
Ms O’Neill explained, “In June, I went on a trip to Japan and absolutely fell in love with the entire cat cafe concept. A lot of people aren’t able to keep pets, and so visiting these cafes and spending time with the animals can be really therapeutic for them. When I got back to Scotland, I decided the people of Edinburgh needed to be able to experience that concept, too.”
Ms O’Neill is now set to make that dream become a reality, and since June has been sourcing rare cats and kittens from across the UK. She is now on the hunt for full-time cat nannies to look after the animals.
Ricky Phillips, of the Stockbridge Traders Association, said Moggy de Maison would be a welcome addition to the area. He said, “We’re already one of the most dog-friendly neighbourhoods in Edinburgh, so it only makes sense we’re being equally as cat-friendly. This idea sounds fun and I’m really interested to see how it will turn out.”