Cat cafe planned for the Capital

A cat cafe in Paris. Picture: Getty
A cat cafe in Paris. Picture: Getty
9
Have your say

CATS are the perfect companions for a cosy night in and now a new business is set to bring the cafe cat to the streets of the Capital.

A pair of entrepreneurs are looking for moggy-mad investors to help start Scotland’s first ‘cat cafe’, adapting an idea ­already a huge success in Tokyo, Paris, London and San Francisco.

Sisters Marta, 31, and Anna Tajsiak, 26, have lived together in Morningside for five years but their tenancy agreement wouldn’t allow them to keep an animal. The sisters, originally from Poland, had both grown up with cats and came up with the idea after reading an article about a cat cafe in Paris.

Much like those abroad, the Edinburgh cat cafe would give petless people the chance to interact with a kitty while enjoying a coffee.

And Marta, who came to Scotland to study English, thinks Edinburgh’s huge student population and tenement flats mean it would be an ideal venue for a rather peculiar idea that started off in Japan.

“The main idea behind cat cafes were that people who couldn’t have pets could come and have some interaction with a pet,” she said. “Many people in Edinburgh, including us, are in that exact situation. Many students as well as residents can’t have animals because the house they are ­living in isn’t their own.”

The pair have been scouring properties in the Bruntsfield and Marchmont area in the attempts to find the ideal venue. The project will cost roughly around £30,000, and Marta and Anna are hoping to achieve their financial goal through crowd funding, with cat-themed mugs, scarves and pre-opening tickets to the cafe among the incentives being offered to investors.

Marta said: “We have entered into talks with some local businesses and have gained a lot of popularity online with loads of positive comments on the Facebook page, and people wanting to buy some of our merchandise already!”

Staff at the award-winning tearoom Eteaket liked the idea.

A spokeswoman said: “I think it would work really well, it sounds like a great idea! When we are travelling around the world for our teas, we see a lot of these cafes in the Far East and the people over there love them, they go crazy for them.”

The cafe would be exclusively for rescue cats and customers could adopt a cat if they took a shine to it.

David Ewing, 57, general manager of the ­Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, is waiting to discuss the idea with the pair, and said: “Edinburgh has a very high cat ­population and there is no ­reason it couldn’t work, just like it has in all the other countries all over the world.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com