As you step into Andover’s first cat cafe, you’re greeted with calming spa-style music, an array of comfy sofas and a team of friendly felines. Never a dull moment - lining the walls are kitty assault courses, cosy hide-outs and tunnels where you may be lucky enough to spot a pair of big green eyes staring back at you!  

The concept was dreamt up by a finalist at the Youth in Test Valley Awards last year, who was awarded a grant and mentorship to start the business and bring his idea to life. Despite setbacks such as struggling to find a suitable premises and months of planning, it’s finally open to cat-loving customers for a £5 per person fee.   

The cafe provides the purr-fect space to grab a cat-puccino and a slice of cake amongst snoozing, silky-furred felines. If you fall in love with one, don’t fret - you might be able to take it home with you!  The Cat cafe fosters cats on behalf of animal charity ‘Helping Dogs and Cats UK’ so some of them are up for rehoming, subject to certain conditions and an adoption fee.  You may just meet your future pet.

While we were there, there were adults enjoying a relaxed break from reality, sharing the sofa with a pair of black cats and a girl celebrating her sixth birthday in style, with the whole family sporting sparkly cat-ear headbands and having great fun interacting with the most playful member of the cat community - Bob, an irresistible ginger kitten. 

To their delight, he showed off his impressive climbing skills by scaling the wooden climbing frame above our heads and pouncing upon a fishing rod brandished by one of the young visitors.  One of the mums could see how in her element her daughter was, and she jokingly asked if they employed any young cat cuddlers.  

The grand finale - upon arrival we were given a run down of the cat team, and the only one that had been elusive so far was Luna, a fluffy white furrball.  Our time was coming to an end, and we had accepted he must be off hiding somewhere, when the cat flap flipped open and out he strutted, captivating the entire cafe with his unique snowy white fur. 

The Andover Cat-fe is doing a great job - providing a social space on the high street for Andover’s human residents, and offering down-on-their luck kitties a chance to find their furever home- make sure to stop by! 

  • This article was written by Coralie Smith, from Peter Symonds College, as part of Newsquest's Young Reporter scheme.