Tabby Teas Cat Café
Sheffield's first cat café, Tabby Teas Cat Café, is set to open in August on Cemetery Road, just off London Road.
The cafe will give coffee lovers the chance to enjoy some feline company with their cappuccinos.
Now café entrepreneur Charlotte Pickering and partner Michael Leviston will staff the venue and are putting the finishing touches to the 30 seater café, having already re-homed 10 cats which are coming from animal rescue shelters across the city.
Cat cafés have been increasingly popular over the last couple of years, popping up in London, Bristol, Newcastle and Manchester. Now, the Steel City will have one of its own.
Charlotte said: “We identified a gap in the market with large numbers of city dwellers unable to have pets of their own due to living in rented accommodation, small flats or financial constraints. There’s also students who have to leave their family homes and pets.
“The café will provide a place where cat lovers can stroke the roaming felines while drinking their coffee and also learn about keeping animals.
"We tried to figure out a solution where the cats don’t get stressed out, which is why we’ve introduced an online booking system for time slots and have built a cat only area at the back of the café.
“That way, people come in and stay for an allocated amount of time, meaning we control the number of guests in the building and allow the cats a little more time to get used to people.”
Charlotte hopes to have a team of seven staff working in the café, which has undergone a full refurbishment from an empty shell, and even includes a cat jungle and chill out zones for her feline friends.
She added: “Everything we have done has the cats' best interests at heart. I am an animal lover and I want to make sure everything is right for the cats. I’ve contacted various local shelters advice and will have strict rules for visitors so we don’t upset the cats.”
The pair were supported in their venture by city solicitors Wake Smith.
Tom Weightman, solicitor in Wake Smith's commercial property division, said: “We were really pleased to be able to advise on the lease requirements for the landlord.
"The lease had to be specialised to reflect the proposed use of the premises but everything went very smoothly.”
Tabby Teas opens from 1 August from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 7pm.