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Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an entry fee?

Yes there is.  We charge £5 per hour per person (£3 for any under 10’s at specific child friendly times).  We are not a charity, therefore, your entry fee goes towards feeding the cats, their litter, treats, vet bills and a fair bit of pampering!

How many cats are there?

We have 18 cats in total (8 kittens and 10 over 1 year olds).  They are all very friendly and just love all the attention they can get! We have monthly newsletters and many social media posts where we introduce the cats, post pictures and tell you a bit about their characters as well as all of their photos and names up in the café.  They have the run of the café (except the kitchen) so are free to roam as they please, which means sometimes they may be taking some time to themselves so you may not see all of them during your visit.  We do not take any of them home (unless required for health reasons), the café is their territory so there won’t be a time when you come in and they are not all here.

Can I bring my own cat?

No! Our cats have had a lot of training and time to settle into the café and get used to the café experience.  Cats are usually solitary animals who do not like the hustle and bustle of people coming and going, they like their own territory and do not like to meet strange cats.  Therefore, if any new cats were brought into the café the resident cats as well as the new cat would feel very uncomfortable and anxious.

What made you open the cat café?

The café is owned by Sam and Lucy (a couple).  We had the idea after visiting a lovely cat café in Tonbridge, by the time we drove back to Eastbourne we had already discussed what things we would take from our visit and what we do differently.

We thought, we are in our 30’s, both had good jobs, why not give it a go and see what happens! We opened in October 2019, unfortunately had to close our doors from March through to July 2020 due to Covid-19 but are back up and raring to go! Lucy has worked as a veterinary nurse before being an Agricultural Sales Rep so has always had a keen love for animals big and small and it is our absolute dream to bring our love of vintage (you will hear vintage songs in the background during your visit) and our gorgeous cats to you to enjoy as much as we do.

How does it work?

We are a regular café serving homemade cakes, scones, hot drinks, alcohol, sandwiches and cold foods but we have 18 cats roaming around to keep you company too! We have a double door system in place to ensure our cats are safe which will be opened by a member of staff on your arrival.  We prefer bookings however will take walk ins if we can accommodate.  It is table service so a member of staff will check you in, take you to your sofa, explain the rules and take your order when you’re ready.  When it comes to the end of your hour slot a member of staff will give you your receipt and take payment at your table.  You are welcome to book to come again when you are at the till!

What measures are in place with regards to Covid-19?

All businesses have to show they are Covid compliant in order for them to open again.  We have implemented the following steps to ensure we are compliant:

• We have rearranged the furniture to ensure only social bubbles are placed on each sofa  
• We have doubled the number of tables to ensure that each social bubble have their own table to use and not have to share  
• We have opened the basement to maximise space and ensure everyone can keep 1m+ from others
• We are limiting the number of customers to 20 throughout the entire café to ensure social distance measures are in place  
• We have written up a risk assessment which is available on request to show these changes are in place  
• There are two hand wash stations available to customers to use  
• There are hand sanitisers on each table  
• Staff members will be wearing gloves and masks  
• Customers are required to bring their own gloves and masks if the government states that it is mandatory  
• Instead of taking payments at the till, a member of staff will come to your table with your receipt to reduce customers gathering near the till

How do you make sure your cats are safe?

As touched upon briefly we have a double door system in place.  As we are on a main road, this ensures the cats are unable to get out of the café by accident.  Customers are politely asked to wait in the corridor until a member of staff lets them into the main café once ensuring the area is free of cats.  Our cats are regularly health checked by Cobie Vetcare and are all up to date with vaccinations and neutering.  All of our cats are used to people coming and going and are very much attention seekers! If for any reason they are not happy or are unhealthy we will take them home immediately as we have the option to have them as home cats instead of at the café.  Luckily, all of our cats absolutely love café life.  

We have cat only private quarters which they have access to 24/7.  In here they have their litter trays, food and water as well as a cat tree if they want to take a break from all the strokes and playing! There are strict rules in place to ensure the cats are kept healthy, happy and safe at all times which are explained on your visit by a member of staff, as well as signage, a slideshow and in our scrapbook.

Is it true cats can be used in therapy?

Yes it is.  There has been extensive research done to give evidence that cats are great for therapy. Whether you are autistic, suffer from anxiety and/or depression, have a disability, suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s, cats really do help. When we are back on track we will be putting some time aside for those who suffer with social difficulties including autism, Asperger’s, social anxieties and much more by providing a safe place for people to meet who all have that one talking point…the cats.  We will ensure the music is at a lower level and there will be a reduced number of customers.  We also raise money for a Dementia charity called Memory Lane who give support to carers as well as sufferers of Dementia.  If you would like to give a donation to them please contact Carole at Memory Lane via social media or pop a donation in their charity box in the café.

Are there other cat cafes trading?

Yes there are.  Unfortunately we didn’t come up with the idea all on our own! “The first noted cat cafe opened in Taipei, Taiwan in the late 90s. But the phenomenon is usually much more closely associated with Japan. The Japanese truly embraced the concept and still have the most cat cafes in the world today.

In the UK, the first cat cafe was in Totnes (sadly now closed), opening in 2013. However the idea rapidly gained popularity due to a crowdfunding campaign for a London cat cafe (now Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in East London) towards the end of 2012. The campaign gained a huge amount of press coverage throughout the country, and the cafe opened in early 2014.

A wave of similar crowdfunding campaigns across other UK cities followed, with varying levels of success. Some of the first UK cafes to open included Maison de Moggy in Edinburgh, Kitty Cafe in Nottingham and Mog on the Tyne in Newcastle. Willows Cat Adoption Centre in South Shields also opened a cafe to support its adoption centre and give visitors the chance to bond with cats in a relaxed environment.

Now many UK cities have cat cafes, with more openings reported often. As a nation of pet lovers, the UK seems to have got on board with the idea wholeheartedly.” http://catcafes.co.uk/uk-cat-cafe-history

What do you sell?

We sell homemade cakes, fruit/plain/cheese scones, sandwiches, soups, alcohol, hot beverages, soft drinks at reasonable prices.  Our menu will be coming out soon in PDF form so please keep an eye on our website and social media.

How do I book?

Booking is preferable however, we will try our best to accommodate walk ins if we can.  You can visit our website madcatter.pet, email us at info@madcatter.pet or phone us on 07904 973166