I grew up on a farm in County Kerry where pets were plentiful. If I didn’t have a cat running to my lap, I’d open the cupboard and one would pop out. We’d rescue them and take them from neighbours in dire need as we couldn’t stand the thought of them being alone.
Fast forward to 2017 and I still love cats but don’t have any in Dublin due to my rental agreement. At times, I steal my neighbours cats for a cuddle (they love it, I swear) however aside from being weird, that has its own legal limitations. You can therefore imagine my excitement when the Cat Lounge opened in Dublin in October 2017. Facebook was inundated with tags in articles regarding the brand new establishment and it was all anyone was talking about. Two weeks later, I got the credit card out to book a visit with a friend.
Booking the day before seemed to work for the Cat Lounge. It was a bank holiday Sunday and I was concerned that it’d be booked up. Getting a 6pm appointment meant that it was one of the final slots which ran the risk of tired kittens from a busy day. Thankfully, we got lots of playtime. Earlier booking is advised though.
It costs 15 euro in total which I consider fair value. This allows for 1.5 hours altogether and you can help yourself to hot drinks. We shared our time slot with 8 other people along with the hostess and needless to say – they were cat lovers too. Being in the room with serious animal fans had its pros and cons. Of course, there was lovely energy in the room and pure enjoyment. On the other hand, we were all excited to cuddle each kitten and not everyone can do that at the same time. This is perhaps why an hour and a half is given – to give everyone a chance.
As we floated around the one room facility petting kittens and absorbing the atmosphere on a cold October evening, we were told of the stories regarding the kittens. They were all rescued from a local vet and were going to be put to sleep before they were rescued by Georgina – Cat Lounge owner. With two separate litters, they can be easily differentiated by their collar or lack thereof. Each has a fitting name and it’s obvious they receive so much care and love from visitors and minders. When they reach six months, they are re-homed thus making room for more rescue kittens and helping with the overflow of cats in Ireland. It’s like a foster care, you see. Everyone wins – especially the kittens.
When I researched the Cat Lounge, I wanted to ensure I was supporting something positive and ethical and found nothing but positive reviews and explanations. Each kitten has been cared for by a vet, been vaccinated and before being re-homed, will be neutered or spayed. They’re kept warm, fed well and the rules in the Cat Lounge ensures they are left to their own devices. Rules include not forcing a kitten onto your lap and no flash photography.
If I were to narrow my experience down to a couple of tips, it would be these:
*Book for earlier in the day so the kittens are less sleepy. Cats do indeed love to sleep however this might mean that they’re a bit more energetic.
*When entering the lounge, I noticed that lots of cats tend to gather near the radiator and the couches in the back corners. That’s where there is a huge radiator and food.
*The kittens tend to love the lasers above all other toys so responded more to these. There are loads of other toys too to play with by the way.
*Be aware that payment is made on the website with a credit/debit card and not on the day. This means that you don’t need to bring cash with you. It does mean that your place is secured.
*Visit Token for food before or after. You can get an array of snacks, burgers and drinks plus play some games.
Cat Lounge is in Smithfield, Dublin City. It’s super easy to get to (On the red Luas line) and within ten minutes walk from O’connell Street!
If you go along, be sure to share your thoughts.