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Explore the city,

May 03 2024

A cat lover’s London guide

London has cat cafés, celebrity cats, cats prowling famous landmarks and plenty of treats and toys for both you and your feline. Discover the purr-fect day out in London as we take you on a prowl around the capital’s best cat-friendly spots. This is our guide to London for cat lovers. 


London’s best cat cafes

Who can resist a cat curled up, purring on your lap as you enjoy a coffee and cake? The London cat café phenomenon is alive and well, so here are the places you can get your feline fix. 

Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, London

Get some cat company as you enjoy a delicious cream tea at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, the best cat café in Bethnal Green. Essentially, this is a playground for up to 20 rescue cats and kittens, with catwalk routes on the walls and above your head. 

There’s a hint of Alice in Wonderland in the eccentric décor, with cats curled up, sleeping in felt flower petals, walking over fake tree branches and getting their exercise for the day in the giant cat wheel. Plus, the cat-themed scones, hot drinks and cocktails are super yummy. It’s not for children under 12, and we recommend booking ahead. 

Java Whiskers, Marylebone & White City

This is one for the style kittens. Java Whiskers has partnered with The Scratching Post and Furry Ears Rescue service to offer a temporary café home to rescue cats and kittens. Yes, you can adopt one of these cute cats if you’d like. Chill in the cat lounge or pay a little more to visit the kitten lounge, with up to 20 furry friends in each space and cat cafés in Marylebone and White City. 

Java Whiskers is a cool café where shoes are left at the door, and the drinks and cakes are oversized and delicious. There’s also outdoor seating where you can meet the sunbathing cats. Children over six are welcome in the cat lounge (over 10s in the kitten lounge). 

Whiskers & Cream, Holloway

From large lionesque Maine Coon cats to cheeky cat burglars who steal your crumbs when you’re not looking, Whiskers and Cream in Upper Holloway is full of feline personalities. As well as cats roaming freely around the café, happy to be stroked and have the odd paw thwack with a cat toy, cats can explore, without disruption, the separate play area where they can climb and chill. The knowledgeable staff here can tell you about cat breeds while you enjoy delicious light bites, drinks and sweet treats. 


London’s famous cat statues

London has a few historic cat statues with stories to tell. Here are the ones you don’t want to miss as you prowl the capital. 

Trafalgar Square lions

These four lions are London’s most iconic cats, and they’ve been guarding Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square since 1867. Created by Sir Edwin Landseer, these giant feline statues are 20 feet long, 11 feet high and weigh seven tonnes. They are cast in bronze from melted ship cannons used in the Battle of Trafalgar. There’s an urban legend that says if Big Ben strikes 13 times, the Landseer Lions will awaken. 

Samuel Johnson’s cat, Gough Square

The adored pet of English writer Samuel Johnson, Hodge sits outside No 17 Gough Square with the inscription “a very fine cat indeed.” The Hodge cat sits on top of a dictionary, with a couple of oyster shells next to him, reflecting his love of fresh oysters purchased by Johnson for his favourite pet. Today, it’s customary to drop a couple of coins into the oyster shells as you pass by. 

A Street Cat Named Bob, Islington

Perhaps London’s most famous street cat is Bob, who kept James Bowen company as he busked and sold the Big Issue on the streets of London in the early 2000s. The story of the relationship between James and Bob became a bestselling book and film, and the pair were local celebrities. Bob died in 2020, but sculptor Tanya Russell has created a life-sized sculpture, which now sits in Islington Green. 


London cat shops

Does your pet cat deserve a new collar or toy? Here’s where to go to treat your furry friend with something new. 

Mungo and Maud, Belgravia

For stylish kitty gifts, visit Mungo and Maud on Elizabeth Street in Belgravia, where there are plenty of cute collars, luxury toys and exclusive accessories. Pick out a knitted toy, get a fresh blanket for cuddles and buy some irresistible catnip. If you’re not sure what your cat would like, you could always pick up a copy of the book What Cats Want while you’re there. 

Cheshire & Wain

If you want your feline fashionista strutting down the street in the latest designer collar, pop into Cheshire and Wain. There are plenty of reflective ones, colourful leather options and even the night prowlers and gems charms you can attach to make sure your cat stands out. Give them the ultimate bed rest with a Cat Cloud and pick out an art print to adorn the walls of your cat lair. They also sell cat wings for the ultimate Halloween costume. Whether your cat will agree to wear them is another matter. 


Cat spotting around London

Meet the cats who have made their home in some of London’s best locations. 

Larry the Downing Street cat

A peek through the gates at Downing Street might be rewarded with a sighting of Larry the cat, who has been a resident at 10 Downing Street longer than some prime ministers. Larry was appointed Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom at 10 Downing Street in 2011, after being recruited from the Battersea Cats and Dogs Home. He’s quite the elderly gent these days, coming and going as he pleases without caring how famous the visitors are. 

Nyxie at the Tower of London

Look out for the Yeoman Warder’s black cat, Nyxie. She’s a young, playful cat who loves to chase ravens and roam the grounds at the Tower of London. You might spot her sunbathing under a bench or sitting on top of a wall, looking off into the distance. Despite her playful nature, Nyxie hasn’t put off the ravens. They still rule the roost here. 

The Seven Stars Pub Cats, Holborn

A visit to this old character-filled London boozer, run by legendary publican Roxy Beaujolais, is always a good idea if you’re a cat lover. There’s usually a pub cat or two in a warm spot on a window seat or curled up on the bar at The Seven Stars. You may even spot resident cat, The General in a clerical collar, looking like they’ve been part of the pub since it opened centuries ago. 

If you like a good cat nap, stay in one of our Thistle Hotels and find your new favourite sleeping spot in our comfortable beds. Get close to the famous Trafalgar Square lions and stay at Thistle Trafalgar Square or settle into your room at Thistle Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens where you could visit Hyde Park’s historic pet cemetery or stay at Thistle Marble Arch and stroll through Regent’s Park to visit the wild cats at London Zoo.