Cat charities slam plans for Brighton kitty cafe

Jon and Keri in their promotional video

Jon and Keri in their promotional video

First published in News
Last updated

A cat charity has branded plans to create the purr-fect place for coffee drinkers a “gimmick” at the expense of the animals.

Jon Ely and Keri Craddock launched a campaign to raise more than £40,000 to start Brighton and Hove’s first cat cafe.

But the couple want to reassure animal charities, which are having kittens over the idea, raising concerns about the potential poor treatment of cats.

The pair need to raise thousands of pounds over the next two months to buy vital equipment for the cafe, including a coffee machine as well as crockery and blenders.

They hope to open up in March on Western Road and are currently looking for a suitable site.

The idea was formed three years ago when Keri, 22, was shown pictures of the cat cafes which are now commonly found in Japan.

The cafe will have ten cats roaming around and the pair are currently looking to form a partnership with a local cat shelter to supply the animals, and 10% of profits will also go to animal charity PDSA.

Mr Ely, 26, said that cats had many proven health benefits including stress relieving qualities, help in reducing coronary disease and high blood pressure, asthma in children, while the frequency of cat purrs reputedly help the healing process of broken bones.

But concerns have been raised by animal charities about the welfare of a large number of cats in a confined space, surrounded by strangers.

Maggie Roberts, director of veterinary services at Cats Protection, which has its national headquarters at Chelwood Gate, said: “We believe this kind of environment is not suitable for domestic cats because they have evolved as solitary animals and generally do not choose to live in groups.

“Although Cats Protection does not have powers to prevent cafes like this from being set up, we believe that people who care about the wellbeing of cats would not want them to be exploited as a gimmick to sell coffee and would therefore not wish to encourage this establishment.”

Mr Ely said: “Cats Protection have concerns that are not completely unfounded but their views are old-fashioned.

“They have not kept up to date with research which shows that cats are sociable, they are not stressed out around people as long as they are of the right temperament.”

To help support the cafe, visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-cat-cafe-for-brighton-and-hove-actually.

Comments (14)

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10:54am Mon 4 Nov 13

Beethoven says...

"solitary animals and generally do not choose to live in groups."

I am surprised at that comment from CPL..The ones that we have had thrive on company , both feline and human..

I think the cafe is a good idea, my wife would love it....
"solitary animals and generally do not choose to live in groups." I am surprised at that comment from CPL..The ones that we have had thrive on company , both feline and human.. I think the cafe is a good idea, my wife would love it.... Beethoven
  • Score: 1

11:00am Mon 4 Nov 13

Tippy Toes says...

Totally agree - I have two cats and they love each others company!
Totally agree - I have two cats and they love each others company! Tippy Toes
  • Score: 1

11:31am Mon 4 Nov 13

The Queen says...

What nonsese. Wild cats are generaly solitary, demestic cats have 'evoloved' to live alongside people. Of course, the cat cafe would not be suitable for every domestic cat. They would have to well chosen by some caring and committed staff, which is what we would appear to have here.
Good luck with your venture, I hope it is a success.
I am sure CP mean well, just a bit broad brush with there comments.
What nonsese. Wild cats are generaly solitary, demestic cats have 'evoloved' to live alongside people. Of course, the cat cafe would not be suitable for every domestic cat. They would have to well chosen by some caring and committed staff, which is what we would appear to have here. Good luck with your venture, I hope it is a success. I am sure CP mean well, just a bit broad brush with there comments. The Queen
  • Score: -1

12:57pm Mon 4 Nov 13

Cave Johnson says...

This is a bad idea. People will be paying x amount for food in the cafe and they will expecting to manhandle the cats. They are not objects to be used to bring in punters to your cafe. And why do they think people will contribute money to this? Any decent cat lover will see this is a very poor idea. What happens if the cats get out? And if he wants to talk about old fashioned he can get rid of that stupid beard.
This is a bad idea. People will be paying x amount for food in the cafe and they will expecting to manhandle the cats. They are not objects to be used to bring in punters to your cafe. And why do they think people will contribute money to this? Any decent cat lover will see this is a very poor idea. What happens if the cats get out? And if he wants to talk about old fashioned he can get rid of that stupid beard. Cave Johnson
  • Score: 1

12:58pm Mon 4 Nov 13

Cave Johnson says...

I also find it offensive that you put a link at the end to support this cafe, but dont provide a link to support CPL as well.
I also find it offensive that you put a link at the end to support this cafe, but dont provide a link to support CPL as well. Cave Johnson
  • Score: -5

1:27pm Mon 4 Nov 13

CharlotteP says...

hmm not one for me... couldn't bear to be surrounded by a load of wretched cats!
hmm not one for me... couldn't bear to be surrounded by a load of wretched cats! CharlotteP
  • Score: -3

1:50pm Mon 4 Nov 13

chilliman says...

CharlotteP wrote:
hmm not one for me... couldn't bear to be surrounded by a load of wretched cats!
I feel surrounded by cats already, just about every one of my neighbours has al least one cat if not two. The trouble is I don't have a cat, or want one, so my garden tends to be the common ground for their fights, etc. I don't dislike cats, or any other animal, just choose not to keep them myself.

One neighbour takes in rescue cats, and seems to favour the ones that have lived feral so they don't really get along with the others and spend their entire time either hunting (there are no garden birds left), fighting or stealing food from the more domestic pet cats.
[quote][p][bold]CharlotteP[/bold] wrote: hmm not one for me... couldn't bear to be surrounded by a load of wretched cats![/p][/quote]I feel surrounded by cats already, just about every one of my neighbours has al least one cat if not two. The trouble is I don't have a cat, or want one, so my garden tends to be the common ground for their fights, etc. I don't dislike cats, or any other animal, just choose not to keep them myself. One neighbour takes in rescue cats, and seems to favour the ones that have lived feral so they don't really get along with the others and spend their entire time either hunting (there are no garden birds left), fighting or stealing food from the more domestic pet cats. chilliman
  • Score: 1

3:10pm Mon 4 Nov 13

mimseycal says...

Cats, like all other creatures, have their own personalities. Some cats will enjoy interacting, others won't. Provided the cats have a place they can go to when they have had enough then I see no problem with the notion ...
Cats, like all other creatures, have their own personalities. Some cats will enjoy interacting, others won't. Provided the cats have a place they can go to when they have had enough then I see no problem with the notion ... mimseycal
  • Score: 3

3:47pm Mon 4 Nov 13

wietraurig says...

who gives a monkeys?
who gives a monkeys? wietraurig
  • Score: -3

4:25pm Mon 4 Nov 13

Monterey says...

Great idea, and good luck with your venture. There must be many people who love cat company but aren't able to keep them where they live.
Great idea, and good luck with your venture. There must be many people who love cat company but aren't able to keep them where they live. Monterey
  • Score: 1

5:55pm Mon 4 Nov 13

tykemison says...

God,that's all we need more cat's! Why on earth would any sane individual want to consume a hot drink with lots of cat's around them, unless of course they want the coffee shops extras, mainly fleas and hairs in their beverage, madness.
God,that's all we need more cat's! Why on earth would any sane individual want to consume a hot drink with lots of cat's around them, unless of course they want the coffee shops extras, mainly fleas and hairs in their beverage, madness. tykemison
  • Score: -2

11:23pm Mon 4 Nov 13

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Rather cats than yummy mummy and old dad's toddlers. You only have to step into some of the pubs in Hanover to be subjected to the spoiled horrors showing off or whining while their medicated parents get hammered on Magners. No different to chavvy parents but of course if they call it lunch and have a glass with ice in it they think its ok.
Hopefully the cats will keep the asthmatic brats at bay.
Rather cats than yummy mummy and old dad's toddlers. You only have to step into some of the pubs in Hanover to be subjected to the spoiled horrors showing off or whining while their medicated parents get hammered on Magners. No different to chavvy parents but of course if they call it lunch and have a glass with ice in it they think its ok. Hopefully the cats will keep the asthmatic brats at bay. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: -1

12:18pm Tue 5 Nov 13

thevoiceoftruth says...

Cats may be sociable with humans but not necessarily with other cats. If raised together they often get along, but I've still had cats that were brothers and hated each other. They are territorial creatures by nature, so I don't think this cafe is a good idea because you are forcing a lot of cats into a small space and it is going to based in the middle of a busy shopping area. If one escapes it will be running down Western Road and will probably be run over, or lost.

Which cat shelter is supporting this?
Cats may be sociable with humans but not necessarily with other cats. If raised together they often get along, but I've still had cats that were brothers and hated each other. They are territorial creatures by nature, so I don't think this cafe is a good idea because you are forcing a lot of cats into a small space and it is going to based in the middle of a busy shopping area. If one escapes it will be running down Western Road and will probably be run over, or lost. Which cat shelter is supporting this? thevoiceoftruth
  • Score: -2

1:13pm Tue 5 Nov 13

mimseycal says...

Some cats do, some cats don't
some cats need a lot of loving and
some cats won't

Good ol' Racey ... haven't thought about them for ages ;-)
Some cats do, some cats don't some cats need a lot of loving and some cats won't Good ol' Racey ... haven't thought about them for ages ;-) mimseycal
  • Score: 0

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