Cat Cafés in (and Near) Essex

Whether or not you have your own pet, cat cafés are the purrfect place to visit for cat lovers. Cat cafés are growing in popularity and there are currently two you can visit in Essex, with two more potentially opening this year. It’s no surprise people love them; you get to enjoy the company of cute cats with a bonus of tea and cake. 

cats playing in a cat cafe, stock image from Canva Pro
Find a cat cafe to visit near you

What Is A Cat Café And How Do They Work?

Quite simply cat cafés are special cafés where you book a table for an hour (some bookings are for longer). They serve food and drinks or even afternoon tea as cats roam around.

There is a price per person for bookings with food and drinks purchased on top. The cost of the bookings are to cover the cost of the care of the animals.

Prebooking is recommended, especially at weekends.

Each café will have their own rules (including minimum ages) so check these before booking.

You can normally play with and stroke the cats, but it is important to respect the cats boundaries and give them space. Don’t pick them up and don’t disturb them if eating or cleaning. 

Some people say it’s better to visit in the morning as the cats are more likely to be sleeping after lunch, but it will partly depend on the cat’s personality and the weather.

Cat cafés are controversial with some people believing it’s unfair to the cats. Possibly for this reason, many cat cafés now work with animal shelters with the cats available for rehoming. All responsible cat cafés allow the cats to be free roaming and to disappear to a private area when they want too.


Cat Cafés In Essex

Kittea Cakes

57 Queens Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS1 1LT

About the café

  • Kittea Cakes costs £6 per person plus the cost of food and drink. 
  • It is open 6 days a week, closed on Mondays.
  • Book a time slot online.

Are children welcome?

Children under 10 can only visit in designated child friendly session times. 

Where is the nearest parking?

The nearest car park is under the University student accommodation (University Square Car park, £)

MEOW Cat Cafe

7 High Street, Halstead, Essex, C09 2AA
Coming soon: Eld Lane, Colchester

About the cafe

  • Open 6 days a week, closed on Wednesdays.
  • MEOW bookings require a £7 deposit for 1 hour which will be deducted from the bill. Adult entry £7 each, children 2-16 are £3.50 each. Under 2s free. Food and drink costs in addition. 
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • The cats come from their charity partner Friends of Felines and they are all up for adoption (or in the process of being adopted).
  • MEOW plan to open a second branch in Eld Lane, Colchester City Centre in 2024. No opening date shared currently.

Are children welcome?

Rebecca White who set up and runs MEOW Cat Cafe has young children and her cat cafe is the most child friendly cat café in this list. Children of all ages are welcome.

Where is the nearest parking?

MEOW don’t have their own parking so they suggest the following car parks (although some are a bit of a walk away):

  • Sainsbury’s, CO9 2JB - Pay and display (and free after 3pm and on Sundays).
  • COOP, CO9 2JN - Free parking for 2 hours.
  • The High Street - Free parking on the High Street is only for 1 hour, but it’s not restricted after 6pm or on Sundays.
  • Butler Road - Pay and display, free after 3pm and free on Sundays.

Whiskers and Paws

George Yard Shopping Centre, Braintree, CM7 1RB

Whiskers and Paws new cat café is planning to open the end of February (tbc). They are aiming for a friendly living room atmosphere where the cats and customers feel comfortable. Full details not yet available on website, but they are taking bookings from 2nd March. Children 2 to 12 are £4, 12+ and adults are £6, this is for a 1 hour booking.

Pips Palace

There was a cat café in Brentwood called Pips Palace. It opened in 2023, but has closed.

Happy to travel further afield? These Cat Cafés are near to Essex.

Sudbury, Suffolk

Finnegans Whiskers, 90 North Street, Sudbury, CO10 1RF children 8 plus. 

Bedford, Bedfordshire

Bedford Cat Cafe 87 High Street, Bedford MK40 1NE
Children welcome from 6 years plus  

Central and West London

Java Whiskers has two branches, a large one in White City (Westfield Square) and a smaller one in Marylebone. 

105 Great Portland Street, Marylebone, W1W 6QF
Ariel Way, Shepherds Bush, London, W12 7HB

Children welcome from age 6 in cat lounge and 10 in kitten lounge.

East London 

Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, 152-154 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 6DG
This is the original London cat cafe. No young children allowed (12 plus only)

North London

Whiskers and Cream 593 Holloway Road, London, N19 4DJ  

If booking for children under 11 the reservation must be made by phone as they limit the number of children in the cafe at any one time.

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