Skip to main content

Since the world’s first cat café opened in 1998 in Taipei, people have been flocking to their local cat-and-coffee den to soak up some love. The idea quickly spread to Japan, where it became a cultural phenomenon. Today, cat cafes can be found all over the world, including in Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia.

Taking into account that it’s scientifically proven that spending time with the fluffy canines can relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and enhance overall well-being, no wonder cat lounges have become go-to destinations for those seeking a break from life’s pressures.

We went to Java Whiskers Marylebone to say hi to furry friends and escape the winter blues. The combination of cakes, coffees, and lap cats – what’s not to love? And if this is not enough, Java Whiskers is also the only cat café in Europe with a Kitten Lounge! These adorable creatures are between the age of nine weeks to one year – that’s the age a cat is considered a kitten!

The purrrfect café

Founded by Swedish entrepreneurs Tobias Larsson, Jon Bäcklund and Joakim Wessman, who have a track record of cat cafés in Stockholm and one at Westfield White City in London, Java Whiskers stands out among the numerous cat cafes that have emerged in recent years.

Upon entering (shoes off, please), you’ll immediately notice its unique qualities. Conveniently located near busy Oxford Street it’s a perfect tranquil place to get away from the crowds and street noise. The cafe provides an intimate setting with a cozy and calm ambiance, creating an instant sense of relaxation for both visitors and feline residents.

We are very impressed with the space and layout for the cats. The “catified” interior includes a variety of climbing structures, perches, scratching posts, hiding spots. Filled with cozy cat houses, luxury cat beds, cat-themed art and board games. When the cats want peace, they can retreat up high away or to the back room.

Fabulous felines

Java Whiskers Marylebone has an impressive array of breeds. It’s a home to dozens of resident cats, each with their own captivating personality. From the regal Maine Coon to the relaxed Scottish Fold, to playful Tabby cats, the cat café boasts a diverse and charming feline crew. You might not see all of them at first, but look closer, higher or inside cat boxes and you will definitely spot one or two cats.

Eat. Play. Love

Fire place, plug sockets in every corner, comfy chairs, great coffee and delicious cakes make this location a perfect spot for work or study if you can resist furry distractions.

Cats climb on the lounging chairs, lick plates left on tables, sniff snacks, and sleep in any of the infinite locations. The funniest thing was when children (Age 6+ for Cat Lounge and 10+ for the Kitten Lounge) were brushing all cats. It’s very entertaining to observe.

Java Whisker’s mission is more than to lure cat-hungry humans for their feline fixes. All the cats are either rescues from charity The Scratching Post or to be rehomed so any of them are available for adoption. They also educate the public about responsible adoption. “The cafe is a more natural way to interact with cats than at a shelter, and it’s easier to picture yourself adopting and actually living with one of the cats”, explains Tobias Larsson.

Pawsitive rescues

So far 327 cats have been rehomed after putting their best paws forward at Java Whiskers. Once a resident cat has been adopted, another cat from The Scratching Post, chosen by volunteers based on their reactions in the space and around other cats, will take its place at the cafe.

The cats have different backgrounds, some had to be rehomed because their owners moved to another country or due to health issues, others were found on streets, and you can tell instantly that they are well looked after and cared for here.

The spot recommends reserving spaces in advance, since walk-in availability is limited. Customers pay an entrance fee for some kitty time which goes to cat food, toys, check-ups and everything else to support their wellbeing. As for the time spent with the furballs? Priceless.

More information about Java Whiskers and how to book slots for Cat and Kitten Lounges can he found here.


Image credits: © Java Whiskers