Stressed out city workers can get a purr-fect cuppa and unwind with a feline friend at what promises to be Newcastle’s most unusual cafe.
Pretty Pussy Parlour will be the North East’s first cat cafe when it opens this year, bringing a craze that’s long been popular in Japan into the heart of Newcastle.
Cat cafes provide a perfect experience for those who don’t have pets – or animal lovers who can’t get enough of their feline friends, and were first created in Japan where most inhabitants are unable to keep pets due to lack of space.
Since then, they have spread to New York and to London, where there are huge waiting lists for those wanting a lap cat to stroke as they sip their lattes.
They have become hugely popular among busy city workers in need of relaxation, young people and students whose landlords forbid pets, as well as older folk who can no longer manage looking after a cat.
Pretty Pussy Parlour is set to be opened at a currently secret location in Newcastle this May by young entrepreneur and cat lover Katie Jane Glazier, who has raised private investment and also plans to use crowd-funding platform Indiegogo to top up the £40,000 start-up funds needed to launch the business.
And Newcastle City Council has provisionally given the project the green light.
Katie Jane has also been liaising with local vets who, once the cafe opens, will regularly visit the cats to make sure they remain fit, healthy and happy.
While Pretty Pussy Parlour will provide jobs for a handful of enthusiastic, animal-loving customer service and catering staff, it will also offer a safe haven for around 15 rescued and unwanted cats.
Katie Jane, a former Northumbria University fashion student who has spent the last three years working in cafes, said: “I’ve always wanted to set up my own business and got the idea for Pretty Pussy Parlour when I was on a trip to Tokyo, where they are really popular.
“People of the North East are always up for trying something new and I think they are going to love the concept of the cat cafe, especially with so many people in rented and student accommodation who can’t keep pets.
“Hygiene and the welfare of the cats are, of course, vitally important and we’ve left no stone unturned in ensuring both our patrons and animals receive the very best service.
“We also want to make sure the food and drink is so good that people would come to us regardless of the cats, and we will be serving a delicious range of cakes, sandwiches and ice cream.”
The venue, which will be open for evening visitors as well as during the day, making it a welcome addition to Newcastle’s increasingly diverse entertainment offering which also includes Geek Retreat, the comic fans’ cafe.
“There’s loads of new stuff going in Newcastle right now and the cat cafe will add to that,” said Katie Jane, of St Peter’s Basin, Newcastle.
“Nights out used to just be about pubs and clubs, but there’s a lot more on offer now. Pretty Pussy Parlour will take that to another level.”
As well as helping people relax and unwind, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests interacting with cats and other animals improves health and wellbeing.
Studies have found that petting cats can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety levels, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve survival rates from heart attacks.
Pretty Pussy Parlour will be open from 8.30am until 9pm every day, and will take advanced bookings for one hour sessions.