I’ve been keeping it a secret from my son that cat cafes exist as I knew he’d nag and nag until we visited one. This summer I booked a visit to one without him knowing until we got there. We visited the Cat’s Whiskers Cat Cafe in York which is currently the only cat cafe in York.
The cafe is located in the heart of the historic city and the upstairs back room even has fantastic views of York Minster. One thing I can recommend is that you prebook a time slot in advance. I tried on a number of occasions over the summer to book us in and failed.
The Cat’s Whiskers York Cat Cafe Review
The Cat’s Whiskers cafe is home to a number of cats. This is their home and they spend all their day and night there. There are some strict rules for visiting. The main rules are that children must be 10 years or over. You aren’t allowed to let the cats take food nor drink (that’s quite a challenge, more on that later), you aren’t allowed to chase the cats, nor disturb them while they are sleeping, eating or grooming themselves.
The cats mostly come from rescue centres and some end up being rehomed. The cafe relies on footfall to pay the bills and look after the cats. Because of this, there is an entrance fee of £7 per person. You can then purchase cake and drinks during your visit and they also sell merchandise. Your visiting time is limited to one hour and you are all locked in so no one else can try to enter the cafe. They are carefully monitoring numbers right now and the number of people allowed on a session is still being kept low.
In my head, I’d conjured up scenarios of us sat on comfy sofas with cats by our side wanting to be stroked. The cats were, it turned out, pretty challenging but my son enjoyed the time we had there, in fact, he was very reluctant to leave.
Despite the cats living there everywhere felt very clean. Sure it smelt of cats but there was no sign of mess and the only things on the floor were an abundance of cat toys.
The first cat we saw was large, white, fluffy and very cute. It was waiting in the reception area and sadly we hadn’t realised that it stays out there as it was by far the cutest cat so we missed out with that one.
Most of the other cats seemed disinterested in us and would mostly walk past us with no chance of a stroke. The ladies that work there were super friendly and helpful and they told us more about their cats and what each one likes to do or play with. The more the cats ignored us the more my son wanted to win them around. With some helpful advice and a lot of trialling different toys, he managed to get quite a few of their cats to play with him.
We were permitted to move freely around and visit the other cats upstairs but there were already quite a lot of people up there so we didn’t feel like we could join them. Do be aware that cats love to sleep so you may turn up and find them all sleeping somewhere. Luckily for the 10:45 am slot they were all pretty much awake.
The food on offer is cakes, cakes and sweet snacks. They are made by a lady from a bakery in Pocklington and there is plenty to choose from. I opted for a victoria sponge cake and my son went for the carrot cake. Most are priced at around £3.50 and they were both excellent. They also serve a range of coffees, hot chocolate, a range of teas and soft drinks.
Once you have your drink and cafe the next challenge is to stop the cats from pinching them. Can you see a small black face in the photo below?
The smallest black cat was the keenest thief. You are each given a cover for your cake but even if you whisk the cover off for a second there is usually a cat trying to pinch your cake. I had one (the black cat above) take a quick nip out of the corner of mine before I could remove the thief from the table. The eating of the cake was certainly a challenge. One lady lost her whole slice of cake to a cute ginger cat named Pumpkin.
The real highlight for us was being allowed to spend some time in an upstairs room with their three new kittens. They don’t often have kittens but these three were a real treat. They were all awake, lively and very keen to play. There were no issues getting these cats attention. My son and I would love a cat but sadly the other half is hyper allergic but at least for one hour we both got to spend some time with one of our favourite animals.
The Cat’s Whiskers York Cat Cafe FAQ & Further Information
Address: 46 Goodramgate, York YO1 7LF, North Yorkshire
Category – Cat Cafe – Indoors – Suitable from the age of 10
What are the ticket prices?
It costs £7 each to visit the Cat’s Whiskers cat cafe. Prebooking your timeslot online in advance is highly recommended.
What are the main facilities and things to do?
Cat cafe located in the centre of historic York with a number of rescue cats that live in the cafe.
When are they open?
They are open almost all year round. They close on a Tuesday.
Is there food available?
You can purchase cake and a few other sweet treats, they also sell hot and cold drinks.
Is there parking?
There is no parking. We recommend using one of the great Park and Rides that York has to offer.
Are they accessible?
The downstairs level is accessible for those with limited mobility. The only toilet is upstairs and not accessible.